This latest installment of the Tom Clancy series does not fail to meet expectations. The story focuses primarily on Jack Jr, the son of the central Jack Ryan character. Locked On develops the Jack Jr. character and starts to develop him in his own right. Jr. continues his work as an analyst at an extra-governmental intelligence company and hones his skills as a field operative, following in the steps of his father’s CIA work.
The main story plot is fairly plausible (a Pakistani ISI colonel has delusions of bringing forth the 12th imam and steals a trio of Pakistani nuclear weapons to use against Russia) and has Clancy’s usual eye for detail. Jack Jr.’s quest to find these weapons is set against his father’s latest run for the US Presidency. The Ryan family has to grow, realizing their son’s increasing involvement in the dangerous world of “hot” clandestine operations. Shooting, dramatic chases and escapes, and the occasional bout of fisticuffs are sprinkled throughout the story.
Overall, I was satisfied with the story and the continuing plot line. Clancy makes it apparent that Jack Sr. is going to win the presidency again, opening a whole new possibility for follow-on writing. It looks like Jack Jr. finds a smart girl that acts like wife material. However, she is merely doing the bidding of her three letter agency management. Her continuing betrayal left the only sour note in my mouth from the whole novel – I just know there is going to be pain down the road for everyone involved.