Jack Ryan Junior takes on his toughest mission yet in Tom Clancy Flash Point, the explosive new novel from New York Times bestselling author Don Bentley.
Opening in Regensburg, Germany, readers pick back up with Jack Ryan Junoir, who is running a routine surveillance mission for the Campus when everything suddenly goes to hell. First, their coms are comprised, then Jack takes off on a motorcycle in pursuit of a submachine-gun-carrying mystery man before finding himself in the middle of a”kidnapping debacle” that leaves him with more questions than answers. Checking in with John Clark, Jack—now a team leader—is tasked with going to Manila, though his mission is unclear. There, things go from bad to worse when Jack and his team are attacked, resulting in a number of serious injuries and the abduction of Clark.
In one fell swoop, someone managed to completely gut the Campus, rending everyone—everyone but Jack Ryan Junior—useless in their biggest fight yet.
Tested like never before, it’s once again up to Jack to put the pieces together before it’s too late, but this time, he’ll have little to no help from those closest to him.
Without giving away the plot, diehard fans of Clancy will love this book. No spoilers here, but the Chinese play a big role in the carnage that’s taking place, which itself is all part of a much bigger and more sinister plot to cripple to United States government so they can move into another country. The why is more complex but certainly feels and reads like a vintage Jack Ryan adventure. All in all, this is Bentley’s most Clancy-esque thriller to date. Some of that has to do with his full use of Clancy’s beloved cast of characters (Director of national intelligence Mary Pat Foley plays an important role in this one and gets a good amount of screen time, as do some other fan-favorites), but even beyond that, his plotting is reminiscent of the late author’s style, which builds and winds its way to a big, high-stakes finale—which Bentley executes and delivers perfectly.
Moreover, from his love life to his work life and everything in between, Bentley does a superb job continuing to develop Jack Junior. That’s crucial because there have been times, especially in the past, where it’s fair to wonder what, exactly, Junior brings to the table other than just his last name. Certainly, within the fictional world that they live in, President Jack Ryan Sr. casts a large shadow, but the same is true here in the real world too. These books, the Junior books, tend to be smaller in scope than the Jack Senior books (released each fall), which, traditionally, are more geopolitical in nature. Here, with Flash Point, Bentley has really found the sweet spot, mixing in a lot of what makes those Jack Sr. books work so well while also bringing the action readers have grown accustomed to finding in these books. By making Jack Junior a team leader, and by extension of that a boots-on-the-ground decision-maker, his character feels more relevant and important than ever before, and it’ll be fun to see where he goes from here.
Fast-paced with a smart plot that feels all too plausible in today’s world, Don Bentley serves up his best Jack Ryan novel to date. Tom Clancy Flash Point packs a mean punch and is not to be missed.
Author: Don Bentley
Series: Jack Ryan Junior
Pages: 432 (Hardcover)
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: May 23, 2023
Real Book Spy Rating: 8.5/10
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