Following the events of Tom Clancy Point of Contact, Jack Ryan Junior returns, this time to carry out another assignment for his employer, Hendley Associates, a front for a top-secret program known as the Campus, which answers only to the president of the United States of America, Jack Ryan Senior. . . Jack’s father.
Lunch around the Ryans’ table, located in the president and First Lady’s private quarters, becomes a tad awkward when Cathy Ryan asks her son why Hendley Associates, a financial firm that her son works for, is sending one of their top analysts over to Ljubljana, Slovenia. Senior, one of the greatest presidents the country has ever known, stops reading his newspaper long enough to watch Junior explain through spoonfuls of beef stew that a company based in the former Yugoslavia plans to offer an IP on the NASDAQ, and hired Hendley Associates to handle the preliminary financials.
It turns out that Dr. Cathy Ryan treated a young girl who was injured twenty-six years earlier in Sarajevo. During the Bosnian civil war, Aida Curic nearly lost one of her luminous blue eyes when she was hit by a piece of shrapnel. Cathy managed to save Aida’s eye and her vision, and since then has often thought about the girl, who clearly had a profound impact on the First Lady. Such an impact, in fact, that she asks her son to see if he can locate Aida while he’s there, in order to deliver a letter Cathy has written.
Jack agrees, thinking it’ll be fun to explore Sarajevo, but also assuming the mission will be harmless. . . which he couldn’t have been more wrong about.
After eight days of real Hendley work, Jack sets out trying to find Aida. Failing to locate the girl after doing everything he can to track her down, Jack is ready to return back to the U.S. empty-handed when Curic, now a twenty-eight-year-old woman with jaw-dropping good looks, knocks on his door late at night after hearing about his efforts to find her. Caught off-guard and distracted by her beauty, Jack hands over the letter Cathy sent, then lets it slip that he’d like the chance to get to know her better. Aida, who owns a successful tour guide company, offers to show Jack around the city the following day.
Delaying his return home, Jack spends time with Aida, and it doesn’t take long for her to have a major impact on another Ryan when Junior falls head over heels for her. The two hit it off immediately, and Jack even lends a hand to Aida’s business, which serves as a front for aiding refugees, all while ignoring his boss’s instructions to return home immediately.
Instead, Jack’s focus is on Aida, who teaches him about her war-torn country, which he develops a soft spot for during his prolonged vacation. The two continue spending time together but, eventually, danger finds him, and Jack is hellbent on protecting Aida at all costs. What Junior doesn’t know, though, is that a secret group of international hitmen known as the Iron Syndicate are after him. And worse, there are powerful forces at work behind the scenes, knee-deep in a plan to ignite a third world war. . . and it’s up to Jack to figure it all out and stop them before it’s too late.
It’s always neat when a book’s title has dual meanings, and Maden’s latest most certainly fits that bill. Obviously, there’s a nod in the title to Doctor Cathy Ryan’s letter to a former patient who had eye surgery. It’s also a secret reference to several deeper plot points, which is ironic in the sense that there are several very solid twists readers will never see coming. Those shocking moments are balanced out by Maden’s ability to continue developing Jack Junior, raising the stakes by challenging the operator to not only save the day, but to do so while also protecting someone he cares about.
Mike Maden shows once again why he was such a brilliant choice to continue this franchise. From the impressive, Clancy-esque opening which shows a missile strike in Syria, full of technical details and executed exactly the way Ryan’s creator would have written it, to the heart-pounding final act, Maden puts on one heck of a show.
There’s probably some truth to the fact that Jack Ryan Junior has always lived in the shadow of his father, and the same goes for this series — which gets a tad less coverage than the Senior books. That’s all about to change beginning with this thriller, and longtime Clancy fans will appreciate Maden’s efforts to stay true to the universe and characters Tom Clancy created, while also putting his own stamp on the series.
Lightning-quick, filled with action, and heavy on surprises, Tom Clancy Line of Sight is a game-changer. . . Make plans to be at the bookstore the second it opens on June 12th, because Mike Maden’s latest Jack Ryan Junior book is one of this summer’s must-read thrillers.
Author: Mike Maden
Series: Jack Ryan Junior #4
Pages: 480 (Hardcover)
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 8.5/10
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.