Jack Ryan, Jr. is out to avenge the murder of an old friend, but the vein of evil he's tapped into may run too deep for him to handle in the latest electric entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.
While on vacation in Barcelona, Jack Ryan, Jr. is surprised to run into an old friend at a small café. A first, Renee Moore seems surprised to see Jack, but then she just seems irritated and distracted. After making plans to meet later, Jack leaves, only to miss the opportunity to ever speak to Renee again, as the café is destroyed minutes later by a suicide bomber. A desperate Jack plunges back into the ruins to save his friend, but it's too late. As she dies in his arms, she utters one word, "Sammler."
When the police show up they are initially suspicious of Jack until they are called off by a member of the Spanish Intelligence Service. This mysterious sequence of events sends the young Campus operative on an unrelenting search to find out the reason behind Renee's death. Along the way, he discovers that his old friend had secrets of her own—and some of them may have gotten her killed.
Jack has never backed down from a challenge, but some prey may be too big for one man.
Bestseller Maden's unfocused fourth entry in Clancy's Jack Ryan Jr. franchise (after 2019's Enemy Contact) takes Jack to Barcelona, Spain, for some vacation after an intelligence mission in South Korea. On his last day before returning home to Virginia, Jake is having a drink in a bar when he spots Ren e Moore, a college classmate with whom he was once romantically involved. After chatting, the two agree to get together that evening. Seconds after Jake leaves the bar, the place blows up. Ren e dies, but not before uttering a mysterious word: Sammler. Jack joins Laia Brossa, a Spanish Centro Nacional de Inteligencia agent, to hunt down the organization responsible for Ren e's death. Meanwhile, someone is torpedoing container ships in the South Pacific. Large swaths of Spanish history tend to slow the narrative, and readers will struggle to engage with extremely shadowy villains with equally shadowy motives. Even after the main threads are pulled together and the evildoers unmasked, the criminal element and motive remain murky. Maden, a thriller pro, is capable of better.