Book Review: Relentless, By Mark Greaney -- A Darn Good Yarn ⋆ Politicrossing
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Society & Culture

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.

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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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Society & Culture

Prevailing in Turbulent Times

You can remain confident despite the chaos all around you.

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Everywhere you look, proud and patriotic Americans are feeling forlorn over the worsening conditions in our society. Concurrently, many life-long career professionals are losing confidence in their ability to stay competitive in our rapidly changing world amidst a rocky economy.

In actuality, no one in society has a long-term lock on any market or inside niche, and no “body of information” affords a strategic competitive advantage for very long. The reality of our times is that everyone is feeling at least a little unsure of themselves, and in that sense everyone is in the same boat.

Besieged by information and communication overload, it is easy to feel anything but confident. After all, your ability to keep pace is all but impossible.

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Professionally, you can remain confident, however, despite the pace of change.

Taking Command

What do confident people do to maintain confidence, independent of the rate of change to which they’re exposed? And. how do they maintain a sense of breathing space along the way? Here are variety of approaches:

* Jump Starting: Initiating a small part of a project or activity in advance (getting a sneak preview) to gain familiarity just before the project or activity actually begins.

* Total Immersion: Surrounding yourself with everything you need to fully engage in the project. This could involve assembling resources, people, and equipment, as well as ensuring that you have a quiet, secure environment, free of distractions.

* Managing the Beforehand: Living with the ever-present realization that change is continually forthcoming and, thus, preparing for activities or events in advance.

* Leapfrogging: Recognizing that while you can’t keep up with every little thing that happens in your industry or profession, periodically you can leapfrog over the developments of the last several months and “catch up,” in a manner of speaking.

* Picking Your Spots: Related to leapfrogging, pick your spots in the future, say six months, whereby you want to have a new product or service introduced, or have some new technology fully integrated into your operations, and so forth.

* Go Cold Turkey: Simply suspend operations and engage in whatever it takes to incorporate a new way of doing things. This is enhanced by ensuring that you’ll have no disturbances, by bringing in outside experts, and by assembling any other resources you need to succeed.

* Days of Grace: After deciding to tackle a new project or to implement major change, build in “days of grace” and allow yourself to proceed at half to three-quarters speed. Acknowledge that assimilating the new challenges and changes will take time, and will likely involve some disruption. So, don’t expect to achieve your normal productivity or effectiveness… for now.

Small Victories

Finally, and this is vital, in all cases recognize the importance of continually seeking small victories.

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Faith

This is Why the Left Hates You

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” Jesus

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It is obvious that the left has become a venomous mob, attacking anyone and anything in their path toward progressivism. Those who loudly proclaim themselves against hate, are indeed the worst perpetrators of it. There is a reason why. It is a Cosmic Conflict at its core. PolitiCrossing Founder Chris Widener takes five minutes to explain the following bible verses (Video below):

John 15:18-21 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.”

Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

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