Without Remorse

Without Remorse

4.5 281
by Tom Clancy

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In a harrowing tour de force, Tom Clancy shows how an ordinary man named John Kelly crossed the lines of justice and morality--to become the CIA legend Mr. Clark.See more details below


In a harrowing tour de force, Tom Clancy shows how an ordinary man named John Kelly crossed the lines of justice and morality--to become the CIA legend Mr. Clark.

Editorial Reviews

Walter Goodman
The author's narrative technique owes something to the old magazine-writer maxim: Tell them what you're going to tell them; tell it; tell them what you've told them. The dialogue is never elliptical, in, say, the le Carre manner. Everything that anybody might want to know is laid out explicitly and repeatedly. Maybe Mr. Clancy has a short memory span or maybe he assumes that his readers do not pay close attention between the action sequences. Either way, he takes no chances; if you hear a criminal's plan or a police officer's deduction once, you'll hear it again. Our author is without remorse....The nice people in "Without Remorse" and presumably Mr. Clancy's many readers see things Kelly's way. Others may find 639 pages of flapdoodle materially degrading.
— New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Avid readers of Clancy's bestselling techno-thrillers ( The Hunt for Red October et al.) know agent John Kelly, code-named Mr. Clark, as Jack Ryan's ``dark side.'' Here, in 1970, Vietnam vet Kelly gets involved in a secret operation to rescue 20 American pilots from a North Vietnamese prison camp. Betrayed by someone in Washington, the mission ends in apparent failure. Clancy balances the military movements with a dark narrative of Kelly's tragic personal life. While mourning the death of his pregnant wife in a traffic accident, Kelly picks up a young hitchhiker named Pam, a prostitute and drug ``mule'' fleeing her cruel masters. The pair fall in love and set out to bring down the drug lords, but an error on Kelly's part leads to Pam's horrible demise at the hands of the vengeful criminals. After his own recovery from a shotgun blast, Kelly begins methodically to murder his way through the drug ring. Clancy attempts to rationalize this amoral crusade with passages of introspection by characters who are either noble warriors or human scum, but the technique doesn't wash. Although full of failings of style and moral judgment, this overlong, often melodramatic novel seems destined to follow its predecessors to the top of the bestseller lists. BOMC selection. (Aug.)
School Library Journal
YA-Casualties mount as bloodshed continues in Vietnam and ruthless drug pushers attack the unsuspecting on the streets at home. Enter John Kelly, hero of prior Clancy novels, who will wage war on both fronts. In Vietnam he leads a team, but in Baltimore, he works alone, illegally and violently, killing one after another of those responsible for the death of someone he loved. The author is a master builder, creating a cohesive novel with two separate plot lines and a central hero. He pieces together seemingly unrelated scenes and characters much like one constructs a jigsaw puzzle. This technique can be confusing, but good readers will stick with it and get hooked. Kelly is a well developed, complex character-ruthless but tender; confident and nervous; calculating and precise, but occasionally careless, too. The action is fast paced, especially the climax. There is some technical military jargon, but less than in The Hunt for Red October (Naval Inst., 1984). Readers who have previously met Kelly will want to see him through this personal crisis, but beware, Without Remorse is not for the squeamish.-Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Denise Perry Donavin
John Kelly, an ex-Navy SEAL in torment over the recent, accidental death of his wife and the murder of a friend (who was mixed up with a drug ring) takes on two free-lance jobs. First, he sets out to eliminate the man or men responsible for the murder by becoming judge and executioner (skip the jury) of any and all drug dealers who can lead him to the responsible party. Second, he agrees to return to Vietnam (this is 1970), where he has already earned three Purple Hearts. He leads a raid into the north where U.S. officers are being held for interrogation by the Soviets. Clancy could have jettisoned 400 pages and still have retained his complicated plot and his marked hero. There is a good deal of extraneous staging and excuse-making for this commando-turned-vigilante. Once he gets the military action rolling, though, Clancy is in top form; his portrayal of the brutality of street life--while far more graphic--is not nearly so gripping. Clancy is guaranteed to be in high demand, of course, but this one is off the mark just a bit.
Kirkus Reviews
Superultramegatechnothriller bestseller Clancy drops the technobits for a story about a beached SEAL who—with nothing but low-tech knives and home-modified artillery—takes on the drug traders of Baltimore and the North Vietnamese Army at the same time. During the first Nixon term, recently widowed Vietnam vet and underwater-demolition expert John Kelly picks up a pretty pedestrian named Pam on his way to the diesel-powered yacht where he's been licking his wounds since the accidental death of his pregnant wife. Pam, a prostitute, is on the lam from her sadistic pimp Henry, an ambitious and rising drug-dealer. Even as Kelly is feeding a grateful Pam, Henry's henchmen are just down the Chesapeake Bay feeding an associate to the crabs. Out fishing the next day, Pam and Kelly have a cute-meet with physicians Sam and Sarah Rosen, who kindly clean up Pam's sexually transmitted diseases and drug addiction after Kelly fixes their corroded screws. Meanwhile, in North Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh's fiends have locked up 20 downed and reportedly dead American flyers in a secret prison to be interrogated by a Soviet colonel about American air strategy. The US government knows about the prisoners but is willing to sacrifice them for the good of the Paris peace talks. Back in Baltimore, Kelly takes the rebuilt Pam back to her old haunts so he can punish her wrongdoers, but they themselves are the victims. Pam dies a cruel death, and Kelly takes a shotgun blast in the neck. Weeks later, a brokenhearted Kelly resolves to wipe out the drug-dealing dirt who did in his sweetheart, accepting at the same time a commission to rescue the flyers. He'll have to hurry. Henry has linked up with the mob, and itwon't be long before the pilots outlive their usefulness. Among the countless complications: a pair of dope-smoking Ivy League draft evaders, and some commendably persistent detectives from the Baltimore police force. Twice as long as the two rather creaky storylines can bear, but the millions of midlevel, desk-bound, action-loving bureaucrats whose adventurous wishes Clancy so faithfully fulfills are unlikely to complain. (Book-of-the-Month Main Selection for September)

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Jack Ryan Series , #6
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

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