In Without Remorse, Tom Clancy trots out the hero of several earlier novels, John Kelly, in a story that mixes military action with mafia action.
Kelly’s wife was accidentally killed in a previous novel and he is still numb when he gives young hitchhiker a lift. Pam restarts his sex drive, and Kelly helps her shake her drug habit. After Pam is brutally killed by drug dealers, Kelly goes ape, hunting the men responsible. He’s efficient and brutal.
Meanwhile the Pentagon is preparing to rescue prisoners in a POW camp in terrain Kelly knows well. They recruit him to lead the rescue.
An idealistic peacenik in a federal government position leaks the plans. As troops prepare to attack, Kelly has to abort the rescue. Although his mission failed, Kelly has caught the eye of powerful people the federal government who want to use his expertise.
Before he can decide whether to take them up on their offer, he has some more drug dealers he kills without remorse.
Clancy fills pages with caricatures and pushes them through the novel on an express train powered by hostility. The story is a page-turner without a hero. Clancy may be useful to the military, but he hasn’t the moral sense to be a role model.
Without Remorse by Tom Clancy
G. P. Putman. ©1993. 639 p.
1993 bestseller #4; my grade: B
©2020 Linda G. Aragoni