Book Review: Relentless, By Mark Greaney -- A Darn Good Yarn ⋆ Politicrossing
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Book Review: Relentless, By Mark Greaney — A Darn Good Yarn

Book Review: Mark Greaney’s Relentless is a fantastic thriller, one all Tom Clancy fans will love. Go buy it!

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Back in 1984, an insurance salesman from Maryland published a book and invented a new genre, the techno-thriller. That salesman was Tom Clancy, and his book was called The Hunt For Red October. The book was selling modestly, until one well-known fan declared in an interview that he had read it, and pronounced it “a darn good yarn.”

That fan was yours truly’s favourite President, Ronald Wilson Reagan. Sales took off, and Clancy’s career was launched. Tom Clancy became the undisputed king of the patriotic-themed techno-thriller, and sold tens of millions of copies of his books. Near the end of his life, Clancy began collaborating with some young, up-and-coming writers, whereby he would come up with the stories, and the writer would write them, and get co-credit for writing the book. One of these writers, and in my opinion the best of them, was Mark Greaney.

Mark wrote several books with Tom, and after he passed away, wrote a couple more under the Tom Clancy brand about the Jack Ryan Universe. But he also wrote some brilliant thrillers of his own, starting with the book The Gray Man. Greaney created the character of the Gray Man, a super-spy and assassin on the run from his former employers at the CIA, a man who was an assassin-for-hire with a conscience. The character is a unique one in the annals of thriller writers, and the books are very well-written, edge-of-your-seat, can’t-put-it-down type of books. I am a huge fan, and consider Greaney a worthy successor to the great Tom Clancy.

His latest instalment in the Gray Man series is called Relentless. It’s a story ripped from today’s headlines, about a shadowy private intelligence firm that is supposedly working as a deniable asset for Israeli Intelligence, but whose actions seem to be against the interests of Israel and the Unites Statesm and benefiting that of its enemies, most especially the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Courtland Gentry, aka The Gray Man, is convalescing from an infection and other serious injuries sustained during his last op, when he is called upon to get back into action.  Why? Because a former NSA operative seems to have gone rogues and the other CIA assets sent to find him are easily identified and neutralized. It seems like someone has hacked into the government intelligence personnel database and created a means of identifying any and all official assets of the CIA. Gentry is an off-books asset, and his boss at the CIA thinks that he is the only one he can send in to figure out what the heck is going on without having his cover blown

Complicating matters is that Gentry’s love interest, Zoya Zakharova, and ex-FSB assassin turned deniable CIA asset, has been tasked with penetrating the private intelligence firm on behalf of the CIA, and in such a way that her identity is blown. Her former employers at the Russian FSB are none too happy about her defection, and have found out where she is and are sending a hit team to neutralize her.

The story unfolds with Gentry fighting off his infection, doing his mission, and attempting to protect the woman he loves from the FSB killers.  The cast of characters include Gentry’s love interest, his boss the DDO Operations at the CIA, his former CIA SAB Commander, an ex-Stasi spymaster, a Russian FSB hit team, German intelligence operatives, a shadowy Intelligence chief from an allied Middle Eastern country, US special forces types gone rogue, actual Middle Eastern terrorists, and a US Ambassador to Germany who happens to be the President’s best friend.

There are plenty of twists and turns throughout the story to keep you guessing, and have you riveted to the book. The ending is both predictable and shocking, and that too, is a Greaney hallmark in the Gray Man series. I won’t give you any more details, because I don’t want to spoil the fun of the story for you. If you are a fan of techno-thrillers, you will love this one. Greaney knows his stuff.

And he does tell a darn good yarn.

 

 

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Nicky Billou is a Christian immigrant entrepreneur from Iran, whose family left after the Islamic Revolution. A passionate supporter of President Trump, he is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Georgetown University’s Masters Of Foreign Service Program, and political commentator for the conservative website Politicrossing.com. Nicky is a committed champion for freedom and an implacable foe of tyranny and the cult of cancel culture. He is a best-selling author of 9 books, including two with co-author Wayne Allyn Root. He hosts two top-rated podcasts and has been a guest on over 300 radio and TV shows and podcasts. He is known by the moniker “THE WORLD’S GREATEST PODCAST GUEST”, for his passion, knowledge and ability to deliver an incisive message in a very compelling way. He is also the host of the #1 podcast in the world on Thought Leadership, The Thought Leader Revolution (www.TheThoughtLeaderRevolution.com), featuring guests such as Wayne Allyn Root, Roger Simon, Kurt Schlichter, Chris Widener, Scott Adams, John Maxwell, Seth Godin, Marie Forleo, Barbara Corcoran and Mark Victor Hansen. He is an in-demand and highly inspirational speaker to corporate audiences such as RBC, Lululemon, Royal LePage, and TorStar Media. He is an advisor and confidante to some of the most successful and dynamic entrepreneurs in North America. He is the co-founder of eCircle Academy (www.eCircleAcademy.com) where he runs a yearlong Mastermind & Educational program working with successful Entrepreneurs, Coaches, Consultants, Corporate Trainers, Clinic Owners, Realtors, Mortgage Brokers and other service-based Entrepreneurs, positioning them as authorities in their niche. He is the creator of the Thought Leader/Heart Leader™ Designation.



 
 
 

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Life

21 Ways That People with Work-life Balance Are Different from Others (Part 3)

Even in our fast-paced society, slowing down is continually attainable

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Here is the final set of seven ways the people who have attained work-life balance set themselves apart from the rest:

15) The typical person is easily distracted by daily noise and interruptions. Those with work-life balance monitor and manage their personal space to minimize distractions.
* carry ear plugs
* sound proof your workspace
* find alternative work locations and spaces, such as a picnic table or park bench * visit www.yogasleep.com

16) The typical person focuses on finishing the workday in order to drop back and relax. Those with work-life balance are productive at work and have a life for the rest of the day after work.
* leave work at a reasonable hour
* reduce TV watching and web surfing
* employ your den as a mini-gym
* engage in invigorating leisure

17) The typical person engages in inactive leisure, i.e. watching TV, web surfing. Those with work-life balance employ leisure for novel experiences, learning, and physical activity.
* live closer, not farther from work
* rediscover hobbies
* join group activities
* peruse local event notices and attend

18) The typical person intermittently invests in his or her own well-being. Those with work-life balance strategically purchase goods and services that support their well-being.
* buy in multiples when all supplies will eventually be used up
* make strategic purchases…
* if it saves one hour a week
* if it takes up little space, is portable, expandable, flexible, can be traded in

19) The typical person longs for the good old days when the pace of life was slower. Those with work-life balance recognize that even in our fast-paced society, slowing down is continually attainable.
* acknowledge and accept the world as it is
* seek to change aspects of your personal environment over which you have control
* consider the 80-20 rule and ignore low-payoff tasks and activities
* emulate the role models in your industry, organization, or profession

20) The typical person over-collects work-life balance tips hoping that such information will rub off on them. Those who have work-life balance ingest the insights of others, and ultimately follow the beat of their own drum.
* put what you learn into motion
* adopt new behaviors until they become habits
* establish new personal systems
* develop rewarding rituals

21) The typical parent passes their hectic lifestyle on to their children. Those who have it teach their children what is needed to continually experience work-life balance
* remember: children learn most from observation
* exhibit behaviors that you want them to emulate
* include them in activities, ask for their opinion
* act accordingly: actions speak louder than words

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Life

21 Ways That People with Work-life Balance Are Different from Others (Part 2)

Those with work-life balance regard periodic breaks as vital to their high productivity

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Here are the middle seven tip as to how people with Work-life Balance are different from others:

8) The typical person is resigned to a state of “too much to do, not enough time to do it.” Those with work-life balance establish clear priorities, support them, and assemble resources to accomplish their objectives.
* establish life priorities and pursue them daily
* devise goals – quantified, reachable, and written down – that support your priorities
* tap unused staff skills by re-reading resumes and job applications
* retain extra help for domestic and professional tasks via Craigslist, neighborhood flyers

9) The typical person multitasks, thinking that this is essential to get more done in less time. Those with work-life balance focus on the task at hand and accomplish more in less time.
* avoid articles that imply multitasking is okay and even preferable
* secure the quiet space needed to do your best work
* master the art of doing one thing at a time
* concentrate on the current task and take appropriate breaks at timed intervals

10) The typical person thinks achieving work-life balance requires complex tools and sophisticated techniques. Those with work-life balance find that simple approaches work best.
* employ a few, selected apps that are useful for you
* place post-it pads, and reminders in key locations
* benefit in many ways from using clock timers
* hang wall charts

11) The typical person believes that greater responsibilities diminish the chances of achieving work-life balance. Those who have it do not allow such thoughts to impede their progress.
* recognize that greater responsibility merits greater leisure investment
* re-invest some of your new found earnings
* anticipate the challenges, and
* strategize accordingly

12) The typical person worries that taking periodic breaks might be seen as shirking their work. Those with work-life balance regard periodic breaks as vital to their high productivity.
* rise from your seat at least every 20 minutes, which is required for good health * stand, walk, or stretch whenever you feel the need
* refocus your vision with the 20-20-20 technique
* drink water and head-off hydration problems

13) The typical person, when falling behind, wants to catch up all at once. Those with work-life balance seldom fall behind and, if they do, they avoid crash catch-up efforts.
* practice checkbook management
* watch your weight
* sleep, shower, and renew
* get help with yard work or whatever you prefer to not do

14) The typical person feels driven by external forces to race through the day. Those with work-life balance acknowledge that their own habits are the primary force in achieving WLB.

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