Tom Clancy takes us back to a formative episode in the life of John Kelly, a character familiar to his many readers as CIA legend Mr Clark, in his seventh No 1 bestselling thriller – now reissued with a new cover.
It is 1970. Back in the US after serving as a Navy SEAL in Vietnam, John Kelly meets a woman who will change his life forever. She has recently escaped from a nightmare world of unimaginable suffering, yet before they can plan a future together, the horrors of her past reach out to snatch her from him. Kelly vows to gain revenge – but finds there are others who have need of his deadly skills.
In Washington a high-risk operation is being planned to rescue a key group of prisoners from a POW camp deep within North Vietnam. Kelly has his own mission; the Pentagon want him for theirs. As he attempts to juggle the two, he must step into a netherworld as perilous as any he has ever known – from which he may never return…
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Expanding the universe of Jack Ryan and his colleagues, Without Remorse tracks the early career of John "The Invisible Man" Kelly, the ex-Navy SEAL who eventually becomes the shadowy John Clark of Clancy's other novels. Kelly is a highly decorated hero and a masterful soldier, diver and sailor. But during the first Nixon administration he suffers two tragedies that transform him into a ruthless vigilante: his pregnant wife is killed in a freak accident, and Pam, the woman he turns to in his pain, is murdered. Motivated by revenge, Kelly systematically kills the drug-dealing pimps who had so brutalized Pam and her friends. At the same time, CIA man James Greer recruits Kelly for covert operations in Vietnam.
While most of Clancy's oeuvre celebrates high-tech gadgets and clear-cut battles of good versus evil, Without Remorse focuses more on the character, struggles and motivations of its hero. Kelly's status is always ambiguous, reflecting the uncertainties of the Vietnam era, and Clancy resists the temptation of making him into a puritan. From the start, he holds secrets from even his loved ones (he won't tell Pam the origin of his SEAL tattoo, for example). While he is a killer, he believes he has justification for each death, and the CIA is more interested in his deadly talents than his criminal record.
For Clancy fans, the insights into the early history of Clark, Greer and others build a sense of realism and depth into the Jack Ryan series. As Kelly becomes Clark, Clancy underscores the sombre sense of resignation and despair that underlies much of the book: "He was working for the Agency now, so Clark was his name. It made it easier somehow." Yet, in the darkness of this moment, one can't help but reflect on what Clark and his CIA will become. It's like watching Batman donning his cape for the very first time. --Patrick O'KelleyReview:
From the reviews of Without Remorse:
‘The best in the business… he remains No 1.’
Los Angeles Times
‘Heart-stopping… the product of a master.’
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0006476414
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110006476414