Cameron’s so-so second contribution to Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan franchise (after 2017’s Tom Clancy: Power and Empire) centers on an insurgency movement in Iran. Erik Dovzhenko, a reluctant Russian spy stationed in Tehran, chooses to defect when his dissident lover, Maryam Farhad, is killed by Revolutionary Guards. Erik escapes to Afghanistan to warn Maryam’s friend Ysabel Kashani, who in turn contacts her former lover, Jack Ryan Jr., the U.S. president’s son. Jack Jr. travels to Iran, where he meets Erik and Ysabel—and seeks to intercept two hijacked Russian nuclear missiles, which he and his compatriots from the Campus, a covert antiterrorism organization, have been tracking. The main action builds to an extremely clever twist. Meanwhile, in random interludes, President Ryan deals with an attack on the American embassy in Cameroon and the attempted assassination of a political rival. Maybe, once Ryan has finished his term in office and can do more than sit resolute behind a desk, he will again excite readers. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, WME. (Nov.)
Praise for Tom Clancy Oath of Office
“The spirit of Tom Clancy lives on...Cameron’s storytelling is indistinguishable from the late Clancy’s...An enjoyable read for Clancy fans.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Deftly plotted, high-stakes scenarios...Marc Cameron dazzled Clancy loyalists with Power and Empire, but now he’s kicking it up a notch for his next book...and Tom Clancy Oath of Office is going to blow readers away.”—The Real Book Spy
Praise for Tom Clancy Power and Empire
“Superior...Cameron delivers plenty of action along with the spycraft and weapons details that Tom Clancy fans have always loved...Cameron successfully juggles the three separate plot lines, each engrossing on its own, and seamlessly stitches them together by novel’s end...All the writers who have contributed to this series since Clancy’s death have been good, but Cameron’s formidable performance puts him at the head of the pack.”—Publishers Weekly
“[Cameron] enters Clancyworld with the chops to allow the formidable Clark and the president-we-wish-we-had Ryan to save the world again...Another turbocharged, take-no-prisoners Ryan yarn.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Marc Cameron has written a perfectly played ‘chess match’ that would certainly make Tom Clancy proud. Jack Ryan has remained, through more than a few authors who have taken on the job, a formidable hero that no one has been able to match. Having the new ‘spice’ that Cameron has added to the series offers a fresh voice to a world that will continue for some time.”—Suspense Magazine
“Picks up the mantle of Tom Clancy’s epic Jack Ryan series, and delivers a solid initial entry...Cameron does a particularly good job of capturing the complexity of John Clark, one of the series most beloved and complex heroes.”—New York Journal of Books
“Cameron rises to the challenge of replacing Mark Greaney to continue Tom Clancy’s franchise in high-powered fashion...A terrific, high-concept political thriller written with the same finesse and style that Clancy’s fans have come to expect.”—The Real Book Spy
The spirit of Tom Clancy lives on as two generations of Jack Ryans continue to save America's cookies (Power and Empire, 2017, etc.) in this doorstop-sized thriller.
President Jack Ryan has plenty of domestic problems—flooding down South, an outbreak of flu, faked videos showing him in a bad light, and the hateful Sen. Michelle Chadwick, who spouts dangerous lies about him. Certain Russians want to kill Chadwick and cause Ryan to be blamed. (Ha! As if the Ruskies would ever interfere in America's business.) Meanwhile, Jack Junior, "the first born son of the immortal Jack Ryan," is in the middle of the action overseas. An American woman is kidnapped in Cameroon. In Portugal, Junior's cohort Ding Chavez surveils an "international arms dealer and fat man of intrigue" who is conspiring with the Russians on an incredibly profitable scheme involving nukes for Iran. A Russian aircraft vanishes, probably carrying nuclear material. The story has the staple characters such as John Clark, Ding, and Mary Pat Foley, but more interesting are the lesser folk like Lucile Fournier, the sexy killer and self-described "very nasty woman," to whom readers had best not get too attached. There is Yazdani, the desperate father of a child with cystic fibrosis, who will trade military secrets for medicine if only he can trust Jack Junior. And Ysabel, who might be the love of Junior's life if only he had the time. But no one reads Clancy for romance, anyway. Readers want global conflicts, fight scenes, and heroics. The Ryans are the idealized American heroes—they may be imperfect like you and me, but they have no fundamental flaws and even tolerate their haters: "Kindness came naturally to [President] Jack Ryan," but bad guys "do not want to test me." Author Cameron's storytelling is indistinguishable from the late Clancy's, down to infodumps that bulk up what could be a much shorter novel.
An enjoyable read for Clancy fans.