As a long time fan of Tom Clancy I would have to admit that the quality of his work had been steadily deteriorating over the last decade or two. A new co-author (Peter Teller) and new cast of characters seem to have arrested the slide.
Clancy’s latest novel follows the exploits of a former SEAL and current CIA Operations Officer Maxwell Moore as he pursues Islamic terrorists through the Tribal Territories of Pakistan to a new and dangerous link to narcotics traffickers in Mexico while exorcising his own demons.
The plot moves quickly and engagingly from a prisoner transfer gone wrong through a series of false starts, betrayals, and cutouts as Moore pursues indications of an alliance between al Qaeda and the most powerful and shadowy of the Mexican narcotics cartels. As battle is joined between competing cartels, Moore and an inter-agency team work to play one cartel against another while exposing the corrupt amongst Mexico’s “Federales.”
Along the way Moore discovers unlikely allies and deep penetration agents working towards the same ends. He also discovers the an al Qaeda field commander taking advantage of the chaos created by the war between the cartels to infiltrate into the United States for purposes unknown.
The characters are better drawn than in Clancy’s last few novels, while the technical discourses are fewer and more central to the plot.
I recommend the novel as a must read for Clancy fans and a strong recommendation for those interested in the ongoing intelligence wars Against All Enemies.
By Tom Clancy
with Peter Telep
G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Published by the Penguin Group