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Tom Clancy
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The Cardinal of the Kremlin
paperback
624 pages
Another Jack Ryan book from the acclaimed "Cold War" author. This one plays during the later stages of the era, when the USSR and USA are finally coming round to the idea that having enough nuclear weapons to blow up the whole planet 50 times might just be a little overkill..

The story consists of 2 main stories and 2 subplots. In Afghanistan a freedom fighter known as "The Archer" is firing of missiles provided by the CIA at Russians like there's no tomorrow. In the Kremlin there's something brooding in the shape of a new top-secret project.

Then there's Jack Ryan of course, who's part of a negotiation team concerned with trying to sort out and agreement to bring down the number of nuclear missiles in both the USSR and the US. And during all this he's also being suspected of some dodgy dealings..

It is definitely a very entertaining book, it's the sort of book you're constantly wondering what will happen next. The main plot is very entertaining and worked out, it's the sub-plots that let it down a bit. The whole thing with "The Archer" seems a little forced and gives the impression of a sort of " add-on". I don't know why Tom thought this was needed as the basic story on it's own would be more than enough to entertain anyone with a taste for action and spies..

Still recommendable though.
7/10
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Tom Clancy
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Without Remorse
hardcover
583 pages
Bit lengthy revenge thriller set in 1970, which tells the tale of John Kelly, ex-Navy SEAL Vietnam veteran. He also features in some of Clancy's other books as CIA agent John Clark.

A few months after his wife dies our hero meets a young woman whom he falls in love with. It turns out however that she's got a bit of a shady past, having been a prostitute working for a drugs ring where she didn't leaeve on the best of terms...

One night, she is spotted along with Kelly by her ex employers and after a chase, Kelly is shot and left for dead, while she is taken away to be gang-raped and tortured to death. Kelly recovers and vows revenge and goes of on a killing spree. Meanwhile the CIA and Pentagon are planning a major rescue operation in North Vietnam for which the call upon Kelly's help..

When the rescue mission goes a tad wrong, he returns to the States only to find that the police are now looking for him in connection with the slaugthering of Baltimore's not-so finest.

Kelly decides to tell his CIA superiors what he's been up to, and they agree to help him if he comes to work for them by faking his death and turning him into John Clark.

Although it's basically a run of the mill guy gets hurd - guy gets angry - guy kills everyone story it's actually quite entertaining. Thanks to some good tension and plot twists it stays a real page turner, despite perhaps being a little too long..
Recommended!
7/10
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Running Apache