Command Authority

Command Authority

by Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney

Narrated by Lou Diamond Phillips

Unabridged — 17 hours, 53 minutes

Command Authority

Command Authority

by Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney

Narrated by Lou Diamond Phillips

Unabridged — 17 hours, 53 minutes

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The #1*New York Times-bestselling author and master of the technothriller returns with his All-Star team.

There's a new strong man in Russia but his rise to power is based on a dark secret hidden decades in the past. The solution to that mystery lies with a most unexpected source, President Jack Ryan.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In the entertaining final Jack Ryan novel from bestseller Clancy (1947–2013), Russian president Valeri Volodin has imperialistic ambitions similar to those of a certain real-life Russian president. Failure to annex Estonia thanks to unexpected NATO resistance only redirects Russian attention to the Crimea and other lands currently outside NATO's formal umbrella. Meanwhile, President Ryan's son, Jack Ryan Jr., investigates what appears to be an unrelated case involving Russian gangsters exploiting a corrupt system to steal a vast fortune. In fact, the opportunistic appropriation links the ambitions of a once-obscure KGB officer decades ago to the events unfolding in the Crimean region and to the early career of President Ryan himself. Although the military conflict is an important part of the plot, this is a classic spy novel. Fans of extended combat sequences should look elsewhere, as the focus is on high stakes espionage and assassinations carried out in rented rooms and dark alleys, not well-lit battlefields. (Dec.)

From the Publisher

Praise for Command Authority

“Once again, the acrid scent of cordite wafted through my imagination during the climactic gun battle as Clancy’s characters from the world of intelligence achieved yet another victory over the forces of evil.”—The Washington Times

“Vintage Clancy...A pleasing fairytale for people who like things that blow up.”—Kirkus Reviews

More Praise for Tom Clancy

“He constantly taps the current world situation for its imminent dangers and spins them into an engrossing tale.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A brilliant describer of events.”—The Washington Post

“No one can equal his talent for making military electronics and engineering intelligible and exciting...He remains the best!”—Houston Chronicle

DECEMBER 2013 - AudioFile

Jack Ryan is still president of the United States, and the Russians are back—more awful than ever! As delivered by actor Lou Diamond Phillips, the last of Clancy’s techno-thrillers once again shows that the late Clancy was a master of the action scene. As always, the action is accompanied, but undiminished, by a blizzard of military jargon. Phillips has a clear voice and a pleasant, even cadence. He does an excellent job with the fast-paced, muscular dialogue that makes up much of Clancy’s story (when guns aren’t blazing). Phillips’s Russian accents have a slightly tongue-in-cheek tone. His only weakness is his pronunciation of some Eastern European names. Listeners who enjoy the genre will enjoy this audiobook. F.C. © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine

Kirkus Reviews

The late Clancy (1947-2013) ends his active role in his Jack Ryan franchise on an oddly timely note. Ryan, former CIA op, is president, of course, and he's back up against the Russkies. You can tell who they are since, even when transliterated into English, they say da: "Da. I have been tasked with protecting this building, not the Communist Party." And why, Fearless Leader? Because they're commies, and they do what they're supposed to do. The biggest, baddest commie of all is Vladimir Putin--beg pardon, Valeri Volodin, veteran of the former Soviet Empire and now, two decades after the fall, the engineer of its resurgence. First off comes the invasion of Estonia "on the first moonless night of spring," an act that NATO fails to oppose even though Estonia is a NATO signatory; then comes turmoil in Ukraine. Here's where it gets especially timely, for, as Clancy and Greaney write, just off the headlines, "Any hopes the police might have had that the situation would defuse itself went away when tents started to be erected on both sides, and nationalists and Russian Ukrainians began clashes that turned more and more violent." Jack Ryan Sr. and Jr. team up again to take Volodin on, even though, in a nod to verisimilitude on the people instead of the hardware front, the authors admit that Jr. makes a poor spy inasmuch as he looks just like his world-famous pop. Must the nukes shower down upon him in order to make Volodin behave? The Ryans, naturally enough, have another card to play. It's vintage Clancy (Threat Vector, 2012, etc.) stuff, full of cool technology and cardboard characters ("he was a single-minded and purposeful individual, perhaps to a pathological degree"), with a story that, given enough suspended disbelief, is a pleasing fairy tale for people who like things that blow up. Likely not the last installment in the Ryan saga--not with a world full of terrorists, disgruntled KGB types and Venezuelans.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940172136498
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Publication date: 12/03/2013
Series: Jack Ryan Series
Edition description: Unabridged

Read an Excerpt


The Russian Federation invaded its sovereign neighbor on the first moonless night of spring. By dawn their tanks ground westward along highways and back roads as if the countryside belonged to them, as if the quarter-century thaw from the Cold War had been a dream.

This was not supposed to happen here. This was Estonia, after all, and Estonia was a NATO member state. The politicians in Tallinn had promised their people that Russia would never attack them now that they had joined the alliance.

But so far, NATO was a no-show in this war.

The Russian ground invasion was led by T-90s—fully modernized fifty-ton tanks with a 125-millimeter main gun and two heavy machine guns, explosive-reactive armor, and a state-of-the-art automated countermeasure system that detected inbound missiles and then launched missiles of its own to kill them in midair. And behind the T-90 warhorses, BTR-80 armored transporters carried troops in their bellies, disgorging them when necessary to provide cover for the tanks, and then retrieving them when all threats had been neutralized.

So far, the land war was proceeding nominally for the Russian Federation.

But it was a different story in the air.

Estonia had a good missile defense system, and Russia’s attack on their early-warning systems and SAM sites had been only marginally successful. Many SAM batteries were still operational, and they had shot down more than a dozen Russian aircraft and kept dozens of others from executing their missions over the nation.

The Russians did not yet own the skies, but this had not slowed down their land advance at all.
In the first four hours of the war, villages were flattened, towns lay in rubble, and many of the tanks had yet to fire their main guns. It was a rout in the making, and anyone who knew anything about military science could have seen it coming, because the tiny nation of Estonia had focused on diplomacy, not on its physical defense.

Edgar Nõlvak had seen it coming, not because he was a soldier or a politician—he was a schoolteacher—but he had seen it coming because he watched television. Now as he lay in a ditch, bloody and cold, wet and shaking from fear, his ears half destroyed from the sustained crashing of detonating shells fired from the Russian tanks poking out of the tree line on the far side of the field, he retained the presence of mind to wish like hell his country’s leaders had not wasted time with diplomacy in Brussels, and had instead spent their time constructing a fucking wall to keep the fucking Russians out of his fucking village.

There had been talk of an invasion for weeks, and then, days earlier, a bomb exploded over the border in Russia, killing eighteen civilians. On the television the Russians blamed the Estonian Internal Security Service, a preposterous claim given credence by Russia’s slick and state-sponsored media. They showed their manufactured proof and then the Russian president said he had no choice but to order a security operation into Estonia to protect the Russian people.

Edgar Nõlvak lived in Põlva; it was forty kilometers from the border, and he’d spent his youth in the seventies and eighties fearing that someday tanks would appear in that very tree line and shell his home. But over the past twenty-three years that fear had been all but forgotten.

Now the tanks were here, they’d killed scores of his fellow townspeople, and they would surely kill him with barely a pause on their way west.

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