For Jack Ryan Junior, a dream vacation quickly turns into a nightmare in the latest offering from New York Times bestseller Mike Maden.
Following another grueling mission as part of the Campus, Jack Junior heads to Barcelona in hopes of laying low and finally catching up on some much-needed rest. After soaking up the sun in Spain for a few days, Jack is preparing to head home when he enters a bar and spots Renée Moore, a former lover and classmate from back in the day. The two talk for a bit before agreeing to catch up later on that evening—parting ways with plans to meet back up in a few hours. Then, everything goes sideways.
After exiting the bar, Jack watches in horror as the whole place goes up in a ball of fire after a suicide bomber rushes in and detonates an explosive charge that rocks the establishment, killing most everyone inside. Holding Renée as she dies, Jack does his best to comfort her, but is thrown when his former classmate utters one final word before passing: “Sammler.” Confused, Jack vows to hunt down the organization behind the attack, but as always, there’s more going on than he initially realizes, and as a number of evil forces begin to emerge from the shadows, Ryan finds himself outmanned and outgunned.
Teaming up with a fierce, no-nonsense Spanish intelligence officer, the duo set out to unravel the web of violence and destruction wherever it may lead, but in the words of Mike Tyson, “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” something Jack has experienced more than a few times during his career as an operator. Now, more than ever, he’ll find out just what he’s made of . . .
Maden, the man responsible for returning the Jack Junior books to relevancy, continues his dominant run with this one, packing action and twists on top of a well-crafted plot that—once it reaches top-speed—is as good as any thriller hitting bookstores this summer. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more iconic character than Jack Ryan, and Maden has always done Clancy’s cast of characters justice. That doesn’t change here. Readers, of course, will still need to suspend their disbelief when it comes to certain things (Jack Ryan Sr. has been in office a very long time now), but those who do will be treated to a captivating, heart-thumping adventure that hits all the right notes.
With news breaking last month that Maden will be exiting the series and passing the torch to Without Sanction (2020) author Don Bentley, there’s no question that the veteran thriller writer has left the franchise much better than he found it, and his presence will certainly be missed.
Fast, unflinching, and helplessly fun . . . Tom Clancy Firing Point is another lights-out thriller from Mike Maden, who remains the thriller genre’s most underrated author.
Author: Mike Maden
Series: Jack Ryan/Jack Ryan Junior
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: June 9, 2020
Real Book Spy Rating: 9/10
Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.