Title:                      Aftermath

Author:                  Peter Telep

Telep, Peter (2013). Tom Clancy’s Aftermath. New York: Berkley Books

ISBN:     978-0425266304

PS3570.E447 T66 2013

Date Posted:      February 25, 2014

In the aftermath of conspiracy, corruption, and betrayal a reconstructed Splinter Cell team designated “Fourth Echelon” emerges under the command of Sam Fisher and answerable only to the President. We join the team during their current assignment: find and steal back one hundred pounds of highly enriched uranium (HEU) stolen from Russia and hidden somewhere inside Iran.

But, when Igor Kasperov, Russia’s equivalent to America’s Bill Gates vanishes, the President orders Fisher to abort the HEU mission and find him. How is Kasperov more important—or dangerous—than weapon grade uranium in the hands of Islamic radicals?

President Caldwell dispatches the 4E team to learn the answers. Meanwhile, the Russians order their elite operative, Major Viktoria Kolosov, the Snow Maiden, to bring the missing software genius back to Moscow. Smells like a showdown between the Snow Maiden and Sam to me.

There’s more here between the book covers than the usual over-the-top action adventure scenes and sequences. Telep shares some of the geopolitical underpinnings driving his story. I like that a lot. It puts meat on the bones. It shows respect for the reader and demonstrates a keen awareness of current events. Two examples: The permanent stationing of U.S. Navy missile equipped ships in European ports to circumvent Russia’s “no land missiles” prohibition is nothing short of brilliant and U.S. natural gas sales that undercut Russian pricing in the European marketplace is akin to dropping an economic bomb. Such actions by the U.S. are viewed as a direct assault on the economic stability of the Russian government and a threat to its homeland security. The Russians have long considered Europe as their exclusive gas and oil customer and missile platforms that can sail from port to port yet remain on target is enough to make any country nervous.

It’s no surprise that the Russians feel compelled to retaliate against such threats. Is Kasperov’s disappearance a part of their scheme? The author sets it all up, turns Sam and his team loose, and dares us to follow.

Did you forget about that missing HEU? Telep doesn’t. You can bet your lead vest it’s going to arrive, uninvited, in a crucial place, at an awkward time, ticking like a, you-know-what!

I finished reading this February 24, 2014.

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