My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Kelly is a Navy Seal back in the states as Vietnam rages half way across the globe. He’s done is service, and well, and is now working as an underwater demolitions expert.
Of course, that all changes when his pregnant wife is accidentally killed. Several months pass. Then on a wimhe picks up a female hitch hiker while he is on the way to his boat. (he lives on an island somewhere off the coast of MD that used to be a military site).
The hitch hiker has a horrendous past, she’s running from some very bad people, and is addicted to drugs. That is where the book really takes off.
-Kelly is a very likable character. He’s tough, but the very same things that make him so resiliant also show his humanity.
-The love story between Kelly and Pam is very sweet. There is something touching about the two of them finding each other.
-Pam dies. That sucked. I like happy endings.
-The way that Pam dies. The retelling of that tale is just to brutal. I actually debated about giving the book a lower rating because I found it disturbing. But then I argued with myself that if it was giving my nightmares, I guess it was effective.
-The cross story about the POW’s and how they were off the books was interesting, but I think it could have been done quicker. It was a lot of subplot for what I felt was little return. Kelly needed the out at the end, but I don’t think the story needed that much detail to make it happen.
-In the end, Henry got it too quick. He should have been the one in the high pressure chamber.
A very good read, and the overall happy ending with Nurse O’Toole in the end was a nice touch. I liked that Kelly was as peace by the last page. And while Jack Ryan is just barely in this book, it is considered the first in the series. Looking forward to reading the next one, although I think Kelly becomes a side character from here on in.