Starting in "The Cardinal of the Kremlin", readers of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan novels were always treated to a visit from recurring character John Clark, the mystery man from the CIA that is sent in to do the dirtiest of dirty work and always comes out ahead. The question that lingered was, "Who is John Clark and where did he come from?". Clancy brought us this book to answer those questions.
The book's setting is enough to intrigue me, seeing as it was set in 1970 and I wasn't born until 12 years later! It reflects a different time period than the rest of the Clancy novels, which means a much smaller reliance on technology and more attention given to the personal aspect of the story (much like "Patriot Games"). At this point, John Clark isn't John Clark...he's John Kelly, the ex-Navy SEAL, an honest, hard-working man who has just lost his wife in a car accident. I won't go into what happens in the actual plot, but at times Kelly is forced to cross the lines of law to take necessary action, and even rejoins the service of his country.
Later in the book, John Kelly assumes the moniker and the identity that Clancy readers have come to love...John Clark. There are times in the book that you can't believe some of the things that the 'good guy' is doing, but you're still rooting for him because it's part of the story and it's what HAS to happen. The character, and the plot, is extremely well written.
Besides Clark, several other familiar Clancy characters are found in WITHOUT REMORSE. James Greer, Robert Ritter (from Clear and Present Danger), and a few others. Minor, yet recurring, character development is something that Clancy is an absolute master at.
Even at 750 pages, WITHOUT REMORSE flies by with its furious pace and non-stop action. For an avid reader like myself it's tough for new books to be called one of my favorites, but WITHOUT REMORSE has managed to do just that.