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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Book Review of Bestsellers Authors: John Grisham , Tom Clancy


The Reckoning by John Grisham
Plot
In 1946, months after returning home to Mississippi from fighting in the Philippines, decorated war hero Pete Banning strolls into the local church and shoots pastor Dexter Bell dead. Even when facing the electric chair, he won't say why he murdered his old friend.
Did it have something to do with word that in Pete's absence his wife, Liza, was seen with Bell, who was known for straying from his marriage? Liza, who three years before her husband's shocking return had been traumatized by a notification that he was missing in action and presumed dead, is in no condition to answer any questions. She is in the state mental hospital, where Pete, head of a prominent farm family in Clanton, got her committed for iffy reasons after his homecoming. Brutally tortured by the Japanese, he himself appears to be in a reduced mental state. This being a Grisham (The Rooster Bar, 2017, etc.) novel, we spend a fair amount of time in the courtroom, first with the insistently tight-lipped Pete's trial and then after Bell's widow files a wrongful death suit against Pete's family that stands to wipe them out. As usual, Grisham does a solid job of portraying a Southern town at a particular moment in time, touching upon social issues as he goes. But the book never overcomes the hole at its center. It's one thing to create a character who is a mystery to those around him, quite another to reveal next to nothing about that character to the reader. After a while, Pete's one-note act becomes a bit of a drag.
NayakGiri Comments:
Grisham' entertaining wartime novel is not lacking in ambition or scope, but the spark of imagination that would grease its pages is largely missing. The courtroom drama is missing for long uninteresting sequence of events. War stories in Phillipines are predicatble as its not Grisham territory. There is whole lot of narrative on typical southern life in USA in those days of slavery and racial acrimony.  I was introduced to Grisham as a pass out college student. For me film The Firm came ahead of reading the novel. I was just recruited off campus the  story of yuppie stuck in fraud kind off stuck. Later Grisham’s novels were bread and butter for reading experiences be it daily home or travel. I was hungry at international airport reading Playing for Pizza. That was foodie in Grisham which was great to read . Over recent years the quality  of writing has really gone south. 


Plot
Clancy’s thriller industry lives on in this Jack Ryan Jr. adventure by Maden. Vladimir Vasilev heads the Iron Syndicate, an international criminal enterprise, and he’s dying of cancer. Even bad guys have bucket lists, and his fondest wish is to have Jack Jr.’s head cut off and delivered to him. When Jack, a financial analyst, travels to the Balkans on business, his eye-surgeon mother, Cathy, asks him to look up a former patient, Aida Curic, in Sarajevo. Then the hit woman Elena Iliescu tries first to charm and then kill Jack. She goes one-for-one. “I’m just a guy who can throw a punch,” he says later. People wonder why anyone wants to kill him, while others muse that there's “no way to keep Jack safe short of locking him up.” He eventually finds the gorgeous (of course) Aida, a secular Muslim who runs a tour business and a refugee aid organization. They hit it off well enough that Jack almost falls in love. Oddly, no one in the story ever seems to associate Junior with Senior, who occupies the White House. Jack says his name is common in America, but some character might at least comment that he shares a famous name with or that he looks rather like the American president. Anyway, the stakes are high, with the Iron Syndicate hoping to incite World War 3 because “mafias thrive in wartime.” So they plan to vaporize thousands of people in a stadium using “122-millimeter thermobaric missiles fixed on the new T-14 Armata chassis.” In the Adriatic Sea, the USS Garza has GM/UGM-109E (TLAM-Block IV) Tomahawk cruise missiles, but they may be too late. There’s plenty of action, but readers looking for gore will have to settle for Bulgarian body parts in a kimchi jar and a poor fellow “shredded…like creamed chipped beef.”
Nayakgiri Comments: I was Clancy fan since Hunt of Red October and other Jack Ryan Franchise. Fast-moving and exciting, this one reads like it came from Clancy himself. I liked from learning perspective of problems faced by ex Yugosalvian Countries, population dynamics and history. Thrilling ride though


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