Threat Vector (novel)
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (September 2013)|
|Author||Tom Clancy, with Mark Greaney|
|Series||Jack Ryan universe|
|Genre||Political thriller novel|
|Publisher||G. P. Putnam's Sons|
|Publication date||December 4, 2012|
|Media type||Print (Hardback)|
|Pages||868 pp (hardback edition) |
|Preceded by||Locked On|
|Followed by||Command Authority|
Abridged and unabridged audiobooks were released on CD in 2012 and both are read by Lou Diamond Phillips.
On assignment in Istanbul to take down a group of Libyan ex-intelligence operatives that led to the death of Brian Caruso, Campus paramilitary operatives John Clark, Domingo Chavez, Dominic Caruso, Sam Driscoll, and Jack Ryan Jr. are individually assigned specific individuals to assassinate. While the first four assassinations go off without a hitch, Jack Jr. discovers that the identities of the Campus operatives have been discovered and seeks to destroy the trace by taking his target's computer hard drive and regrouping with the rest of the operatives.
Meanwhile, in China, President Wei Zhen Lin is facing mounting political opposition due to an economic recession and is facing the possibility of being utilized as a political scapegoat by the top echelon of the Central Committee for the country's economic problems. Wei was close to suicide until his inevitable arrest is prevented by General Su Ke Qiang, the leader of the Central Military Commission of China. Qiang's rescue of Wei comes with one condition: the retaking and total Chinese control of the South China Sea by military force. Knowing that a direct incursion into the South China Sea will bring in the military might of the United States, Qiang also has the help of Dr. Tong Kwok Kwan, the head of China's cyberespionage and cyberwarfare militia, codenamed Ghost Ship and located in Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, former Russian foreign intelligence operative Valentin Kovalenko is abruptly sprung out of prison and offered a choice: Work for a mysterious organization or be returned to prison where he will be killed. Kovalenko chooses to work for the organization and his death is faked. In China, American sales manager Todd Wicks is blackmailed into working for the Guoanbu by means of a honeypot operation. In exchange for handing over a disk drive with a RAT embedded into it to Hendley Associates, Todd will not be charged with solicitation of a prostitute by the Chinese. In Washington, CIA analyst Melanie Kraft, the girlfriend of Jack Ryan Jr, is blackmailed into helping FBI Senior Special Agent Darren Lipton into spying on Jack Jr in exchange for covering up the fact that her father, a former USAF colonel and military attache, leaked intelligence to Pakistan.
John Clark decides to retire from the Campus on the account of his age and that his shooting hand has still not fully recovered. Meanwhile, Campus technology director Gavin Biery discovers from the hard drive seized by Jack Jr. that the intelligence operatives were working for the Chinese and finds the work of a hacker with the handle FastByte22. After President Wei publicly declares his plan to take the South China Sea by military force if necessary, President Jack Ryan decides to send a Virginia-class submarine to Subic Bay to send a message to the Chinese that the United States will not sit idly by regarding the South China Sea.
In Hong Kong, CIA agent Adam Yao is tailing a counterfeit computer chip manufacturer who is affiliated with the Triads when he spots Zha Shu Hai, a wanted hacker in the US going by the hacker handle FastByte22. After a US Reaper drone on a mission in Pakistan is hacked and attacks friendly forces, President Ryan orders all UAVs to be locked on base. In Hong Kong, Adam's request to Langley to more assets to be assigned to monitoring Zha is denied, but his request catches the eye of Jack Jr, who goes to Hong Kong with Domingo and Gavin under the guise of hiring Adam to investigate FastByte22 for theft of Intellectual Property.
After the Chinese invade the Scarborough Shoal with the sinking of a Philippine patrol boat, President Ryan orders a carrier strike group to be moved from the East China Sea towards the coast of Taiwan in order to defend Taiwan. While monitoring FastByte22 in Hong Kong, Ding, Jack Jr, and Adam are caught in an ambush and brief gunfight and car chase between Triads and a unit of SEAL Team Six, sent by the DOD to capture Zha and bring him back to the United States. Jack Jr, Ding, and Gavin then return to the States. Tong, upon learning that Zha had been captured by the US, declares the Ghost Ship location to be compromised and relocates the office to Guangzhou. Adam's neighbor is killed in a car bombing intended for Adam, after which he vanishes off the radar and is presumed dead.
Meanwhile, after US negotiations with the PRC are unsuccessful and the threat of a military invasion of Taiwan seems imminent, an Indian Sea King helicopter is shot down by a Chinese submarine, resulting in the Chinese navy sinking an Indian aircraft carrier called The Virrat. The Chinese then warn President Ryan to pull back the USS Ronald Reagan three hundred nautical miles from China, a distance that would render the US Navy incapable of defending Taiwan. President Ryan then decides to pull back the USS Ronald Reagan, but not before covertly sending a contingent of Marines fighter pilots to reinforce the Taiwanese and sending in a Nimitz class submarine to reinforce the Taiwanese. While in a CIA safe house under the guard of five CIA agents in Georgetown, Zha, along with the CIA agents, are assassinated by a Chinese hit squad on the orders of Center.
Meanwhile, Junior and Gavin pick up intelligence that Center has a data center located in Miami. Defying orders from Operations Director Sam Granger, Junior and Dominic go to Miami to check it out, only to be nearly killed by a Russian hit squad on Center's orders. After a brief gunfight and a hasty exit, Junior is put on suspension and begins to investigate how Center knew of his intentions to go to Miami. Upon realizing that Melanie had accessed his phone when he was not around, Junior came to the conclusion that Melanie was a spy for the Chinese.