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Command Authority : A Jack Ryan Novel - Tom Clancy

Command Authority

A Jack Ryan Novel

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Published: 3rd December 2013
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Number one bestselling author and master of the modern thriller, Tom Clancy delivers an electrifying story of intrigue, power and one family with two generations of heroes.

Decades ago, when he was a young CIA analyst, President Jack Ryan, Sr. was sent on what was supposed to be a simple support mission to investigate the death of an operative who had been looking into suspicious banking activities at a Swiss bank. Ryan's dogged tenacity uncovered not only financial deceit, but also the existence of a KGB assassin, code-named Zenith. He was never able to find the killer.

But in the shadow world of covert operations, nothing stays hidden for ever.

In the present, a new strongman has emerged in the ever-chaotic Russian republic – the enigmatic President Valeri Volodin. His rise to power was meteoric, but shrouded in deception and treachery. The foundations of his personal empire are built on a bloody secret from his past, and he will eliminate anyone who comes close to that truth. For he has set in motion a plot to return Russia to its former glory and might, with the rest of the world once again trembling in fear of the mighty bear.

When an old friend of the Ryans is poisoned by a radioactive agent, the trail leads to Russia. And Jack Ryan Jr. – aided by his compatriots John Clark and the covert warriors of the secretive Campus – must delve into an international conflict thirty years in the making, and finish what his father started.

With President Ryan fighting a desperate campaign to thwart Russian aggression, and his son fighting a silent war against a ruthless foe, the chances for global conflict grow ever greater – and the possibility of survival may soon be lost for all...

About the Author

Thirty years ago, Tom Clancy was a Maryland insurance broker with a passion for naval history, who had always dreamed of writing a novel. His first effort, The Hunt for Red October, catapulted onto the New York Times bestseller list after President Reagan pronounced it 'the perfect yarn'. Since then Clancy has established himself as an undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting and razor-sharp suspense.

Mark Greaney has a degree in international relations and political science and is pursuing his master's in intelligence studies with a concentration in criminal intelligence. He is the author of The Gray Man, On Target, and Ballistic.

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Command Authority
 
5.0

(based on 2 reviews)

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5.0

Tom Clancy Command Authority

By Joan

from Sydney

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Easy To Read
  • Engaging characters
  • Informative
  • Page-Turner
  • Reseached Well
  • Uncanny Feeling Of Future
  • Well Written
  • Writes With Authority

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Older Readers

    Comments about Command Authority:

    Tom Clancy has the ability in his writing to be almost predictive of future foreign affairs trends,he is insightful and he knows his subject very well,all his characters are believable and human in faults. I like to read Tom Clancy his books are informative.

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    Another Great Jack Ryan Story

    By Mickey 65

    from Eltham VIC

    About Me Casual Reader

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Easy To Read
    • Engaging characters
    • Page-Turner
    • Well Written

    Cons

    • Book Ended Too Soon

    Best Uses

    • Anytime read
    • Gift
    • Younger Readers

    Comments about Command Authority:

    I've read nearly all of Tom Clancy's books and find that I cannot put them down once I start reading them. Great story lines great reading.

    Comment on this review

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    There's hardly another thriller writer alive who can fuel an adrenaline surge the way Clancy can Daily Mail Exhilarating. No other novelist is giving so full a picture of modern conflict Sunday Times

    Prologue

    The flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics flew high above the Kremlin in a rain shower, a red-and-gold banner waving under a gray sky. The young captain took in the imagery from the backseat of the taxi as it rolled through Red Square.

    The sight of the flag over the seat of power of the largest country in the world jolted the captain with pride, although Moscow would never feel like home to him. He was Russian, but he'd spent the past several years fighting in Afghanistan, and the only Soviet flags he'd seen there had been on the uniforms of the men around him.

    His taxi let him out just two blocks from the square, on the north side of the massive GUM department store. He double-checked the address on the drab office building in front of him, paid his fare, and then stepped out into the afternoon rain.

    The building's lobby was small and plain; a lone security man eyed him as he tucked his hat under his arm and climbed a narrow staircase that led to an unmarked door on the first floor.

    Here the captain paused, brushed wrinkles out of his uniform, and ran his hand over his rows of medals to make certain they were perfectly straight.

    Only when he was ready did he knock on the door.

    'Vkhodi!' Come in!

    The young captain entered the small office and shut the door behind him. With his hat in his hand, he stepped in front of the one desk in the room, and he snapped to attention.

    'Captain Roman Romanovich Talanov, reporting as ordered.'

    The man behind the desk looked like he was still in his twenties, which greatly surprised Captain Talanov. He was here to meet a senior officer in the KGB, and he certainly did not expect someone his own age. The man wore a suit and tie, he was small and thin and not particularly fit, and he looked, to the Russian soldier, like he had never spent a day of his life in military service.

    Talanov showed no hint of it, of course, but he was disappointed. For him, like every military man, officers in the KGB were divided into two classes. Sapogi and pidzhaki. Jackboots and jackets. This young man before him might have been a high- ranking state security official, but to the soldier, he was just a civilian. A jacket.

    The man stood, walked around the desk, and then sat down on its edge. His slight slouch contrasted with the ramrod-straight posture of the officer standing in front of him.

    The KGB man did not give his name. He said, 'You just returned from Afghanistan.'

    'Yes, comrade.'

    'I won't ask you how it was, because I would not understand, and that would probably just piss you off.'

    The captain stood still as stone.

    The jacket said, 'You are GRU Spetsnaz. Special Forces. You've been operating behind the lines in Afghanistan. Even over the border in Pakistan.'

    It was not a question, so the captain did not reply.

    With a smile, the man slouched on the desk said, 'Even as a member of the most elite special operations unit in military intelligence, you stand out above the rest. Intelligence, resilience, initiative.' He winked at Talanov. 'Loyalty.'

    Talanov's blue eyes were locked on a point on the wall behind the desk, so he missed the wink. With a powerful voice, he replied with a well-practiced mantra: 'I serve the Soviet Union.'

    The jacket half rolled his eyes, but again Talanov missed it. 'Relax, Captain. Look at me, not the wall. I am not your commanding officer. I am just a comrade who wishes to have a conversation with another comrade, not a fucking robot.'

    Talanov did not relax, but his eyes did shift to the KGB man.

    'You were born in Ukraine. In Kherson, to Russian parents.'

    'Yes, comrade.'

    'I am from Saint Petersburg myself, but I spent my summers with my grandmother in Odessa, not far from where you grew up.'

    'Yes, comrade.'

    The jacket blew out a sigh, frustrated at the continued formality of the Spetsnaz man. He asked, 'Are you proud of those medals on your chest?'

    Talanov's face gave away his first emotion now. It was indecision. 'I . . . they are . . . I serve the—'

    'You serve the Soviet Union. Da, Captain, duly noted. But what if I told you I wanted you to take off those medals and never put them back on?'

    'I do not understand, comrade.'

    'We have followed your career, especially the operations you have conducted behind the lines. And we have researched every aspect of your private life, what little there is of it. From this we have come to the conclusion that you are less interested in the good of the Communist Party, and more interested in the work itself. You, dear Captain, have a slavish desire to excel. But we do not detect in you any particular passion for the joys of the collective or any unique wonderment at the command economy.'

    Talanov remained silent. Was this a test of his loyalty to the party?

    The jacket continued. 'Chairman Chernenko will be dead in months. Perhaps weeks.'

    Captain Talanov blinked. What madness is this talk? If someone said such a thing in front of a KGB man on base back in Afghanistan, they would be shuffled away, never to be seen again.

    The jacket said, 'It's true. They hide him from the public because he's in a wheelchair, and he spends most of the time up in Kuntsevo at the Kremlin Clinic. Heart, lungs, liver: Nothing on that old bastard is working anymore. Gorbachev will succeed him as general secretary—surely you've heard he's next in line. Even out in some cave in Afghanistan, that must be common knowledge by now.'

    The young officer gave up nothing.

    'You are wondering how I know this?'

    Slowly, Talanov said, 'Da, comrade. I am wondering that.'

    'I know this because I have been told by people who are worried. Worried about the future, worried about where Gorbachev will take the Union. Worried about where Reagan is taking the West. Worried everything might come crashing down on top of us.'

    There were a few seconds of complete silence in the room, and then the KGB suit said, 'Seems impossible, I know. But I am assured there is reason for concern.'

    Talanov couldn't take it anymore. He needed to know what was going on. 'I was ordered to come here today by General Zolotov. He told me I was being considered for recruitment into a special project for the KGB.'

    'Misha Zolotov knew what he was doing when he sent you to me.'

    'You do work for the KGB, yes?'

    'I do, indeed. But more specifically, I work for a group of survivors. Men in KGB and GRU, men who know that the continued existence of our organizations is the survival of the nation, the survival of the people. The Kremlin does not run this nation. A certain building in Dzerzhinsky Square runs this nation.'

    'The KGB building?'

    'Da. And I have been tasked with protecting this building, not the Communist Party.'

    'And General Zolotov?'

    The jacket smiled. 'Is in the club. As I said, a few in GRU are on board.'

    The man in the suit came very close now, his face inches from the chiseled cheekbones of Roman Talanov. In a voice barely above a whisper he said, 'If I were you I would be saying to myself, 'What the fuck is going on? I thought I was being recruited into the KGB, but instead I've just met a crazy man talking about the impending death of the general secretary and the possibility of the fall of the Union.''

    Talanov turned to face him and squared his shoulders. 'Every word you've said here, comrade, is treasonous.'

    'That is true, but as there are no recording devices in this room, it would take you to stand up as a witness against me. That would not be wise, Captain Talanov, as those survivors that I mentioned are at the very top, and they would protect me. What they would do to you, I can only imagine.'

    Talanov looked back to the wall. 'So . . . I am being asked to join the KGB, but not to do the work of the KGB. I will, instead, do the work of this group of leaders.'

    'That's it, exactly, Roman Romanovich.'

    'What will I be doing specifically?'

    'The same sort of things you have been doing in Kabul and Peshawar and Kandahar and Islamabad.'

    'Wet work?'

    'Yes. You will help ensure the security of the operation, despite what changes the Soviet Union undergoes in the next few years. In return, you will be protected no matter what might happen in the future regarding the Union.'

    'I . . . I still do not understand what you think will happen in the future.'

    'Are you listening to me? It's not what I think. How the fuck should I know? It's like this, Talanov. The USSR is a large boat, you and I are two of the passengers. We are sitting on the deck, thinking everything is just perfect, but then'—the KGB man moved around the room dramatically, as though he was acting out a scene—'wait . . . what's this? Some of the boat's best officers are preparing to abandon ship!'

    He moved back in front of Talanov. 'I might not see the iceberg in our path, but when those in charge are looking for the fucking lifeboat, I'm smart enough to pay attention.

    'Now . . . I have been asked to tend to the lifeboat, a great responsibility entrusted to me by the officers.' The jacket grinned. 'Will you help me with the lifeboat?'

    Captain Talanov was a straightforward man. The metaphors were starting to piss him off. 'The lifeboat. What is it?'

    The jacket shrugged his narrow shoulders. 'It's money. It's just fucking money. A series of black funds will be established and maintained around the world. I will do it, and you will help me keep the funds secure from threats both inside and outside the Union. It will be a simple assignment, a few years in duration, I should think, but it will require the best efforts of us both.'

    The man in the suit walked to a small refrigerator that sat against the wall between two bookshelves. He pulled out a bottle of vodka, and then he grabbed two stemmed shot glasses from a shelf. He came back to the desk and filled them both.

    While he did all this, Captain Roman Talanov just looked on.

    'Let's have a drink to celebrate.'

    Talanov cocked his head. 'Celebrate? I haven't agreed to anything, comrade.'

    'No. You haven't.' The man in the suit smiled and passed over one of the glasses to the bewildered military man. 'Not yet. But you will come around soon enough, because you and I are the same.'

    'The same?'

    The jacket raised his glass to Talanov. 'Yes. Just like the men at the top who came up with this scheme, you and I are both survivors.'
    Tom Clancy

    Twenty years ago Tom Clancy was a Maryland insurance broker with a passion for naval history. Years before he had been an English major at Baltimore's Loyola College and had always dreamed of writing a novel. His first effort, The Hunt for Red October sold briskly as a result of rave reviews, then catapulted onto the New York Times bestseller list after President Reagan pronounced it "the perfect yarn." Since then Clancy has established himself as an undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense.

    Tom Clancy passed away in October 2013, aged 66. His bestselling books include The Hunt for Red October, Debt of Honour, Mission of Honour, Executive Orders, The Bear and the Dragon, Cold War, Red Rabbit, Rainbow Six, The Teeth of the Tiger and Cutting Edge.

    Jack Ryan/John Clark Universe Chronology

    Main article: Ryanverse

    In the order in which they occur in the storyline (and when they occur):

    * Without Remorse (1970)
    * Patriot Games (1981, based on a reference to Ryan's age, which is 31 at the beginning of the novel. This roughly fits with a reference to the Princess of Wales expecting a second baby – in reality, Prince Harry was born in September 1984)
    * Red Rabbit (circa spring of 1982, based on references to living Leonid Brezhnev and Mikhail Suslov, both of whom died in 1982, as well as Jack Ryan Jr.'s age in the novel, 6 months)
    * The Hunt for Red October (1984)
    * The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1986) – "The first chapter is set in January and states that Ryan is 35 years old. It also has references to the other books set earlier. For example the Foley's have been in Moscow for almost four years. The book must begin (not including prologue which was set end of previous year) in January 1986.

    Starting with the following novel, the series becomes distinctly different from real history as noted below.

    * Clear and Present Danger (1988)
    * The Sum of All Fears(1990–91) – Israel partially cedes sovereignty over Jerusalem to the Vatican and Saudi Arabia, and the city becomes a UN protectorate policed by Swiss Guards. Residents of Jerusalem can choose between either Vatican, Israeli or Islamic judicial law. Denver is devastated by a terrorist nuclear explosion. The book occurs after the Persian Gulf War and before the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It is implied that both events occur at the same time in the Ryanverse as in actual history (of the Soviet Union dissolution), 1991. In the earlier chapters it states that it had almost been two Novembers since President Fowler had been elected, making the beginning set in 1990.
    * Debt of Honor (1995–96) – The U.S. and Russia destroy all of their ballistic missiles. After crippling the US economy and becoming a nuclear power, Japan invades and takes the Marianas Islands; the US and Japan fight a brief war, which the Japanese lose (they are subsequently denuclearized); an embittered Japanese pilot and proponent of the war crashes a 747 into the US Capitol Building immediately after Ryan's confirmation vote for the Vice President, killing most of the House and Senate, the President, all nine Supreme Court justices, the senior military establishment (including the JCS), and most of the Cabinet; Ryan is left in charge of a gutted government. The end of the book occurs shortly after the New Hampshire primary, which shows that the novel takes place during the 1996 election. Of interest, but not crucial to the plot of this or further books is that North and South Korea were said to be unified at some point between The Sum of All Fears and this book.
    * Executive Orders (1996) – Saddam Hussein is assassinated; Iran and Iraq merge forming the United Islamic Republic; the UIR launches a biological attack on the U.S. using the Ebola virus; the US launches the Second Persian Gulf War against the UIR and defeats them; the Ayatollah is killed in a smart-bomb attack by the US.
    * Rainbow Six (Takes place between Executive Orders and The Bear and the Dragon most likely 1998-1999 from a statement saying that it had been a year and a half since Jack became president and the date of the video game)(although events seem to be based on the Sydney Olympics held in 2000) RAINBOW – an elite counter-terrorist force – is created and engages terrorists across Europe. Ecoterrorists plan to create a genetically-enhanced virus based on Ebola and cancer cells, which they plan to use to wipe out much of the world's population.
    * The Bear and the Dragon (2000) – Russia is admitted to NATO; China and Russia fight a major war, in which the US intervenes on its NATO ally's side. It implies that the British Prime Minister is Tony Blair.
    * The Teeth of the Tiger (2005, based on the age of Jack Ryan Jr.) The U.S. is now engaged in a global war on terrorism, in response to the September 11th attacks which occurred in the Ryanverse as they did in the real world. It is mentioned that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq occurred in the Ryanverse continuity, and that the Jerusalem Treaty signed in The Sum of All Fears has failed as Israelis and Palestinians went back to fighting each other.
    * Dead or Alive (2007, based on Jack Ryan's announcement that he would run against Ed Kealty for President "in the coming year") – The Umayyad Revolutionary Council (the Ryanverse's version of Al-Qaeda) and its leader "The Emir" (based on Osama bin Laden) plan a string of major attacks on the U.S. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue, as in our timeline, and President Kealty is in the process of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, a process that began in our timeline in 2009. A character also explicitly refers to the date as May 2010, in the process of decoding encrypted messages.

    If you would prefer to read the books by publication date here is the order as provided by Wikipedia

    The Hunt for Red October (1984)

    Red Storm Rising (1986)

    Patriot Games (1987)

    The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988)

    Clear and Present Danger (1989)

    The Sum of All Fears (1991)

    Without Remorse (1993)

    Debt of Honor (1994)

    Executive Orders (1996)

    SSN: Strategies for Submarine Warfare (1996)

    Rainbow Six (1998)

    The Bear and the Dragon (2000)

    Red Rabbit (2002)

    The Teeth of the Tiger (2003)

    Dead or Alive (2010, with Grant Blackwood)

    Visit Tom Clancy's Booktopia Author Page


    ISBN: 9780718178871
    ISBN-10: 0718178874
    Audience: General
    Format: Hardcover
    Language: English
    Published: 3rd December 2013
    Dimensions (cm): 24.0 x 16.5  x 4.8
    Weight (kg): 24.5
    Edition Number: 1