cover image Tom Clancy: Enemy Contact

Tom Clancy: Enemy Contact

Mike Maden. Putnam, $29 (480p) ISBN 978-0-525-54169-1

In bestseller Maden’s competent but ponderous third Jack Ryan Jr. novel in the Clancy franchise (after 2018’s Line of Sight), a hacker known as CHIBI, a name that references an 1,800-year-old Chinese battle, is offering actionable intelligence for free to Iran, China, Russia, and a secret agency called the Iron Syndicate as proof that he has the key to all Western intelligence, now stored in the Intelligence Community Cloud. After the value of the material is proven, CHIBI invites the three countries and the syndicate to bid on the master key. Meanwhile, Jack looks into the possibility that a U.S. senator is working with the Chinese. The case takes Jack to Poland, where he teams with Liliana Pilecki, a member of that country’s equivalent of the FBI. As usual, Jack’s professional partner becomes his love interest. During their travels around the countryside, Jack and Liliana sample Polish delicacies over Liliana’s mini lectures on Polish history. Eventually, Jack’s investigation connects with CHIBI, whose identity comes as a shock. Along the way, bad things happen to good people. For less formulaic continuations of the Clancy series, readers should check out the respective works of Mark Greaney and Marc Cameron. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, WME. (June)