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.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: The Dead Do Tell Tales

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 serious knife nut! He is one of PolitiCrossing’s roving correspondents, writing about politics, family, culture, and masculinity. He is the #1 International Best Selling Author of the book: Finish Line Thinking™: How to Think and Win Like a Champion, and The Thought Leader’s Journey: A Fable of Life. 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 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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News

The Dead Do Tell Tales

The words of Dr. William Maples, in describing typical suicide victims, are poignant

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It’s shame that the late Jeffrey Epstein, who allegedly hung himself, couldn’t have been examined by Dr. William R. Maples. Epstein’s body would have had a lot to say.

Poignant Words

Apart from the FBI subterfuge surrounding Epstein’s death, I found the words of Dr. Maples, in describing typical suicide victims to be poignant. Maples is a forensic researcher, diagnosing how and when people died. In his book, Dead Men Do Tell Tales, Dr. Maples, he writes, “Many of the skeletons that come into my laboratory belong to suicide victims who behaved like shy hermits in their final hours.”

“Usually they are found in remote places. People often go to some hidden place to kill themselves, whether from a desire to act alone and unhindered, or because they wish simply to disappear in solitude, spending their last moments in reflective silence.”

Would these people have killed themselves if they could’ve regularly attained reflective silence? Was their quest to die alone simply an ill-advised solution to the stresses they faced? How would their lives have been if they knew appropriate, reliable ways to find solace in the here and now, at home, at work, and everywhere in between?

Be True to Yourself

The masses take pills by the boatload. The masses race though their days. The masses, by and large, live lives of tension and turmoil. Stress has become the malady of the generation, and it’s better to not to follow the crowd.

Being true to yourself means doing what you need to do to stay healthy, balanced, and relaxed. It means having inner directedness. It requires drawing upon your knowledge, experience, and instinct to carve your own path; and to have less stress because you are less swayed by popular or prevailing norms. It is thinking and acting based on an ever-developing internal guidance system.

Being true to yourself means is learning what doesn’t work. You determine what is and is not relevant to you, and ultimately, what is and is not appropriate for you to stay in control of your day, every day, and of your life which could well extend for many decades.

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Education

‘Anti-Racists’ are Racist: Do Not Apologize for Being White

‘Anti-racists’ claim that whites, by virtue of their skin color, are detrimental to society

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Ibram X. Kendri, the bigoted professor from Boston University and director of their Center for Antiracist Research, says that whiteness is a problem for all of society, indeed for the entire globe. Who knew?!

Kendri, who was included in Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020, seemingly knows a lot about white people. In fact, he professes to know about every white person in America if not all over the world.

Me? I’m one of those people who merely gets up every day, brushes his teeth, gets dressed, eats a decent breakfast, and goes to work. I had no inkling that in the U.S. and other western nations white people like me had been “socialized to feel that they are inherently superior because they are white.” How naive I have been all these years!

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: The Dead Do Tell Tales

Now I discover that to be “less white” is a virtue! It requires one to be “less oppressive, less arrogant, less certain, less defensive, less ignorant,” and, more humble, more willing to listen, more willing to believe, and, get this, “to break with the apathy” that white people like me exhibit and “to break with white solidarity.”

Woke Institutions and Brainwashed Authors

White solidarity? Darn, nobody told me about this. Thank goodness it’s all become so clear thanks to enlightened (white) authors such as Robin DiAngelo, who wrote the thoroughly racist and condescending book White Fragility, and thanks to companies such as Coca-Cola which have the foresight to impose programs for its white employees, to be less white.

When there’s a challenge in front of me, I actually do strive to find the right answer, particularly something related to numbers. I will collaborate on occasion, but most of the time I prefer to figure out things for myself, aided by the “all-knowing” Internet.

Am I arrogant, oppressive,  defensive, or ignorant? No one has ever brought this up. Being white, however, I guess I can’t help it! I don’t seek to inhibit the success of others, but I’m now informed that by virtue of my skin color I am detrimental to society. Mea culpa!

The Anti-Racist Racists

With Coca-Cola and other organizations teaching white people to be less white, I’m wondering, will the sequel be how Asians can be less yellow and Indians can be less brown? In America, both groups seem to excel academically. Perhaps only domineering Caucasians, particularly 60+ white males like me, however, are the ones upsetting the apple cart all over society.

Was I given a free pass for the last 40 years? I mean, all the while nobody mentioned my whiteness as a social and cultural problem. My black friends from Little League, high school, various hiking groups, and other groups around town haven’t said squat. So, up ’til now, presumably, I was doing okay. Perhaps they’ve merely been nice to me while whispering behind my back.

Heeding the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I thought our common goal was to live in harmony and to reach a state of color blindness where people were judged by the content of their character and not by their skin color. Hmmm…  I guess that is no longer in play.

I’m wondering, what would MLK conclude about today? Would he speak up against the propensity of the Left to define everybody else by class, sex, or race? Would he be opposed to pitting young against old, rich against poor, black against white, rural against urban, male against female, and all the other phony dichotomies that the Left relentlessly promulgates each day?

Absurd From the Get-Go

Imagine the unending uproar if someone drew up a list of how hundreds of millions of black people all over the world could become “less black.” The  absurdity of regarding all white people, hundreds of millions of them, as having a general set of characteristics, let alone having those characteristics be detrimental to society, is the grand facade of the ages.

How long will “woke” organizations maintain this illusion? Have they been coerced to the point where they’re afraid to say, “This is ridiculous, and needs to stop now”? [Actually, they have been coerced.] Will decades pass before we see the end of this malarkey?

I do not apologize for being a white person, just as no person of color has to apologize for their ethnic background, skin color, race, or religion. If you’re a good citizen who respects the rights of others, that, my friend, is sufficient.

Morgan Freeman, who played God in the movie Bruce Almighty, wishes we would do away with Black History month and merely have history. Freeman also wants us to stop regarding individuals as black and white and simply let people be people. Amen to that.

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