Commander In Chief,
a Jack Ryan novel, written by Mark Greaney has all the ingredients
of a Tom Clancy story. There is action, technology, a lot
of world politics, and characters that many wish actually
existed. This book can be seen as a follow-up to Command Authority,
the last book actually written with Tom Clancy.
Greaney noted, “When I wrote Command Authority with
Tom Clancy Putin had attacked the Ukraine and was in a position
of strength. We decided to have Volodin as a literary Putin
figure, never trying to mask it. Now because of the repercussions
of sanctions he is in a weak position, which is why I put
in the quote about Russia not having a better military, economy,
geography, or ideas than the West. I decided to bring back
the Putin-like villain, Valeri Volodin, who uses the threat
of force in a move of desperation. He is playing poker with
a bad hand, but is a very good bluffer. Russia still sees
the Baltic States as their territory.”
The plot includes two themes: a geographical political war
between NATO and Russia, which is where President Jack Ryan
has a major role. The other features Jack Ryan Jr. who attempts
to find out what the Russian leadership is up to by following
the finances involving money-laundering schemes. The plot
has Russian President Valeri Volodin planning to expand his
power and territory by covertly taking over Lithuania. US
President Jack Ryan recognizes this action but needs proof
to get the European nations on board. With the help from the
Campus, a clandestine small operations unit, President Ryan
must move swiftly to stop Volodin’s grand plan of global
conquest that could change the balance of power.
Readers realize that this relates to today’s events.
The story is almost the direct opposite of what is happening.
The US President, Ryan, actually want to win wars and takes
aggressive action. He is attempting to get the passive European
nations to help in the fight. Compare that to today where
the French President is asking for US support.
Greaney also commented about his status in writing future
Clancy books. Currently he is not contracted to write another
Ryan novel. It would be a shame for those who are fans of
Jack Ryan, because Greaney writes such action packed plots,
while maintaining the flavor of a Clancy story. When asked
about it he stated, “I had a conversation with my editor
about a grand idea I have for another plot. I just want to
make sure I have enough pieces of the plot to make it interesting.
I want to make the stories realistic to the contemporary world
while being honest to the characters.”
Currently the author has his own book coming out in February.
His “Gray Man” series has a former CIA, para-military
type chased by the CIA. Having worked as a contract killer
around the globe he will come back home to confront the CIA
Whether writing his own series or the Jack Ryan series, Greaney
combines enthralling characters with realistic plots. He seems
to be able to foreshadow events in the real world. Commander
In Chief is a riveting book that readers will not want
to put down.