I’d call this vintage Tom Clancy except it’s very current, not vintage. It is, however, true to form: lots of combat at all levels – hand-to-hand, small arms, and military force. The story involves the doings of both Russian and western spy agencies in Ukraine during the period of Russia’s takeover of the Crimea, threatening to move on Kiev. That story line stars Jack Ryan, Jr., son of President Jack Ryan. At the same time there is a back story starring Jack Sr. when he was a CIA analyst. The chapters switch back and forth in time. Major players are the Russian FSB and a fictional(?) organized crime syndicate called the Seven Strong Men as well as the CIA and British IO’s. The combat scenes are detailed and very credible as Clancy shows his encyclopedic knowledge of armaments and tactics. The political side is also more sophisticated and at least a bit more nuanced than some of his early books. Like those, this one is too long, but sometimes that can be good, especially if you’re listening on a long drive. Clancy’s writing style has improved, too, or perhaps he’s gotten better editors. I can give it a solid three and a half stars.
I listened to the audiobook (14 disks). It was narrated by Lou Diamond Phillips (Henry from the Longmire series), who did an excellent job.