Locked On

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 January, 2012, 12:00am


Locked On
by Tom Clancy and Mark Greaney
Penguin (e-book)

'The Russians call their Kamkov-50 helicopter gunship Chernaya Abula - Black Shark. The name suits it, because it is sleek and fast, and it moves with cunning and agility, and, above all, it is a supremely efficient killer of its prey.' Is this a sly metaphor for Tom Clancy's collaboration with able thriller writer Mark Greaney, whose name is all but swallowed whole on the front cover? The sentence sounds Clancy-esque in other ways too: concise, dramatic and distinctly prissy. Locked On continues the story of Jack Ryan (played on screen by Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin and Ben Affleck). Having refused to run for a second term as president of the US, Ryan returns to stop the current commander in chief, Ed Kealty, from ruining his beloved US of A. One legacy of Ryan's first term (a super-secret security organisation called 'The Campus') is going strong; one of its star operatives is Jack Ryan Jnr. While Ryan Snr fights Kealty, Ryan Jnr takes on a Pakistani terrorist intent on destroying Western democracy. It ain't bad. Then again, it ain't Hunt for Red October. Oh, and Mr C, please reduce the price of your next e-book. Or add some extras.