Point of Contact: Tom Clancy: Mike Maden
The story begins with a mission led by Jack Ryan Jr. that does not end the way he would have liked. Lives are lost but somehow he manages to get out. Things take on an unusual turn as a result of this mission as he is sent on a mission to audit a major company, Dalfan Technologies housed in Singapore in order to make sure that before it is bought by one of our companies that their finances and records are well above board. Jack Ryan meet forensic accountant Paul Brown both working for Hendley Associates a financial analysis firm. Their job is to carefully use their particular skills as if they had a special forensic microscope to study their files, accounts, bills, billing practices and much more making sure that they were not hiding anything. Weston Rhodes wants this merger to go through and because of it he compromises Paul Brown and insists that he install a CIA diagnostic program into Dalfan’s files making this a serious cyber espionage mission. But, finding themselves dealing with the Fairchild family who owns Dalfan and their security system, so tight, so methodically carried out that Paul has no idea of how he can place the special USP drive given to him by Rhodes to do what he has been tasked to do on the side of maybe not the law. As he tries his hand at doing this task but his comings and daily goings are monitored by the people that own Dalfan and his watcher you might way Bai, he finds it almost impossible to infiltrate their security, place his special drive without enlisting the brilliance of a man named Gavin who is the best IT man for Hendley Associates who agrees to his wishes when the lies and tells him something about Jack. Jack Ryan Jr. secretly works for the Campus a covert and secret unit of Hendley Associates, an equity management company. When Rhodes asks to have Jack and Paul Brown sent to Singapore as he is fronting as for a defense contractor Marin Aerospace Systems whose intensions it is to buy Dalfan Technologies, thereby making their mission necessary to audit the company. Paul is brilliant and his ability to find fraud as a forensic accountant is by far impeccable and brilliant. Jack is a trained and seasoned financial analyst but both do not want to do this job and both wonder why they are being sent. Jack wants another mission for the Campus and Paul just does not want to be there but has no choice. Rhodes and Paul are not strangers and behind the mission or deal pulling the cords or strings of Rhodes is a Bulgarian assassin, North Korean mobsters, one of their leaders and a traitor or mole in Dalfan Technologies. Lian Fairchild is Jake’s mentor or liaison in the company and she is smart, astute, dangerous and definitely not easily fooled by Jack and what she thinks he’s really doing there. Hoping to not find any obstacles and allowed access to the company’s files, documents and records Jack and Paul both learn that what you want is not always what you get. Dealing with the owners, protocol and dangerous mobsters Jack finds himself on the other side of guns, knives, explosives and much more. The Eurasian Fairchild family is just one link or one obstacle he faces there are many more. Yong the son of Mr. Fairchild is angry that Paul and Jack are invading his life and company and want them both eliminated if possible. Dealing with the government of Korea and two higher ups places him in the right seat for power so he thinks. Steady Stare is cheap, easy to use and requires little manpower services of the client that requires them. Dalfan provides the training for those that do not want them to operate the system for them but either way they are in control. Author Mark Maden describes the four types of analysts that are trained to handle this system and states that if they conduct their initial investigations and cannot identify who is committing the crime, an assigned detective will call them and give them the street number like in case of an accident, address and them they perform time travel search function enabling them to find the car, the cause of the accident and much more. Marin Aerospace wants a piece of this who could blame them but the Chinese would like to steal the technology. Lian is still hostile to Jack and at times they butt heads. Checking out their warehouse should have been routine except for the goons that tried to take him out. The People’s Republic of China was on the CCC and there was at least one item listen on the CCL with the Export Control Classification number 5AOOZ, and that item had two letters in it QC. This was a strange clue and never confirmed as to what it means. Paul finally tried downloading data from his Dalfan laptop onto the encrypted USB, then onto the port on his laptop. Bai, unknowingly gave his the resource. But, Yong or Lian wants them out of the way and before Paul and Jack can eat dinner several goons are sent to arrest him and take them in on trumped up drug charges so who comes to the rescue and why?
Paul’s room explodes, he is mourning his wife, Jack realizes they need to get somewhere safer but where and who is after them and why?
With the help of Gavin the best IT man he receives a program named SNATCHWARE To help him steal the information he needs. Jack finally pieces it together and realizes the attempts on his life and Paul’s; the attacks, the sabotage and more are the work of one man. What if they inform Gerry or Hendley Associates of what they realize and the merger is squashed? Yong does not want it and would he chance killing Jack and Paul to achieve his goals. The technology in this book is first rate and the use of Steady Stare, the program Paul uses and OnStar, Google Maps and more will give the other side a serious advantage. Steady Stare is solar powered and is a drone and everyone wants it when you hear and see the examples that are presented to Jack and Paul but the USP thumb drive is at the center and if Paul achieves loading it down the world’s economic structures and economy will fall.
Deputy Ri sat across from the Chairman’s desk, as Cho Ha-guk faced him. Angry that the downfall of the markets has been delayed for whatever reason and noting that the Director will not be happy yet killing Jack is called for at this point and Paul do what happens next sheds some light on just how far this deceit and fraud goes. Dr. Fairchild hired him to delve into his records and find the problem so Jack has done sample auditing of several departments and found that some are linked to Dalfan’s. Other technology such as quantum cryptography is described and discussed and even teleportation. Marin Aerospace wants to buy Dalfan and the Chinese want to know what Paul is doing but why? Things come to a huge boil when Jack realizes that Paul is in over his head and that Weston Rhodes is the one whose fingerprints might be on this as they want to down our markets, The Shanghai stock market and much more. Zvezdev has Rhodes he things in check and realizes that he cannot deliver the end result. Added in when Paul disappears and Jack tries to find him, Paul risks his life for Jack and the end result is more than tragic as he confronts Rhodes. When all of the pieces come together we learn that the purpose of this software program was to crash Dalfan stock and the end would come really fast as time was running out and the malware you might say has succeeded in taking affect. Rhodes is not who he says he is and used his cover at our embassy and Foreign Commercial Service and other departments. How far does this go all the way to East Germany to sell this to them. Lies were told to Paul and others and the Bulgarian link was on the other end and thrilled and yet scared. It’s all about power, greed and money and who gets the win!
Just who is in over their heads? What happens when Rhodes takes aim at Jack? What happens when Rhodes and Paul meet to share with readers in Chapter 76 how it all began and why? The ending is quite remarkable and the final outcome right out of the headlines of the international news. What is Jack’s fate? Author Mike Maden ups the image of Jack Ryan Jr. in this creatively written mystery/murder/international espionage thriller. What about the final signatures on the merger: YES OR NO? Who will live, who will be sacrificed and who will learn the dangers of the POINT OF CONTACT?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine