Like in all the books about Jack Ryan Jr., who is the son of the President of the United States, there are many confusing ideas introduced which will converge in the final chapter to reveal and explain all of the mind-boggling and conflicting themes that arise. When the story begins, there is a violent, failed military event in Argentina involving Hezbollah, a terrorist organization intending to stage an attack on Jews who are planning a large gathering there. At this same time, Jack Ryan Jr. visits an old friend he has not seen in many years. His dying friend asks him to fulfill a promise he had made to his father, but was never able to carry out. Jack agrees to do this but is then prevented from fulfilling the task when he is sent to Poland by his employer to check out some unrelated and nefarious goings on over there that possibly concern cyber security. As the story develops, it goes in several different directions involving many countries like China, Argentina, Angola, Poland, Russia, Iran, the Middle East, and the Czech Republic. Soon the bodies are piling up and the mysteries widen. There are so many themes, and they all seem unrelated until the very end, as per usual.
There appears to be an effort not only to compromise the cyber security of the United States but there are also tangents concerning drugs, mining, human trafficking, spying, money-laundering and the cloud. There is so much misdirection in this novel, and there are so many underlying conspiracies which send the reader in different directions, that until the very end, the entire raison d’etre of the novel remains a mystery.
Jack Ryan, however, as usual, gets into many mishaps that defy the imagination for which he suffers unbearable guilt, and yet is extricated from each harrowing experience in ways that sometimes require the suspension of disbelief. This novel sometimes got tiresome as the reader is forced to deal with Jack’s constant soul searching and brow beating as a result of his often thoughtless and witless choices for which he survives but most often, others do not.
Still, there is tension and excitement that the author builds to keep the reader coming back over and over in order to find out just how all of the many threads will knit together in the end.