Tom Clancy Full Force and Effect, Mark Greaney, author, Scott Brick, narrator
When the book begins, there is an exciting chase scene. A former CIA agent is in Viet Nam, now working for a private company. He is being surveilled by The Campus, a clandestine organization set up to protect the United States and the President. Colin Hazelton was working for Sharps Global Intelligence Partners which was being investigated by the Justice Department for possibly engaging in suspicious, possibly treasonous activities. It caught the attention of Mary Pat, the Director of National Intelligence, because she once worked with Hazelton and respected him. She worried about what he had become involved in with the firm.
Hazelton was not aware of the nature of his mission for Duke Sharps, a former FBI agent, until it was too late. When he refused to carry it out, he was chased by four Asian men on motorcycles intent on securing the documents he carried and had refused to turn over to his contact. Jack Ryan Jr. was in Viet Nam with a team of agents from The Campus. Their assignment was to observe Hazelton and they witnessed this event taking place. They were unable to prevent his murder, although they tried. They had no idea what his assignment was nor did they know what he had been trying to prevent the Asians from procuring, but they had a pretty good idea that the assailants were North Korean and the business they were engaged in was not above board.
As the story progresses, it becomes apparent that the leader of North Korea is intent on three things. One of them is achieving global dominance in the mining of rare metals. The second is to develop and produce a ballistic missile that can reach the United States. The third goal is to assassinate the President of the United States, Jack Ryan, Sr. These three goals are the major themes of the novel and the excitement increases exponentially with each page as the Supreme Leader attempts to accomplish his objectives! His methods are brutal; the people working for him are threatened with horrific retribution if they fail to realize his wishes.
The picture that is presented of life in North Korea, in this closed society, seems backward and oppressive. Their exposure to the outside world is completely controlled and limited while the adoration of the North Koreans for their leader seems all embracing. He is worshiped as a G-d. Those who offend him for any reason he imagines, are subject to tortured and are often violently and cruelly eliminated. There is no place for appeal.
It is apparent that this author, Mark Greaney does an enormous amount of research since the similarity to some historic incidents and facts are woven seamlessly into the tale even though the characters and circumstances are fictional. The atmosphere that exists in North Korea is authentically imagined, and the tension he creates keeps the reader completely engaged in the story. Further, even the ending is well done and does not fall short of expectations. The book is a good choice for a vacation read or as an audio while on a long drive. It will keep the driver alert! It is narrated extremely well by Scott Brick, one of my favorite narrators. His expression and tone perfectly set the scenes as the excitement builds toward the conclusion.