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Literature / Locked On

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The Campus is at work.

Locked On is a political thriller novel by Tom Clancy and co-authored by Mark Greaney. It was published on December 13, 2011, alongside the unabridged audio book version, read by Lou Diamond Phillips. The novel is set in the Jack Ryan universe and follows on from 2010's Dead or Alive and is based approximately a year after the events of that novel.

Privately training with special forces, he’s honing his combat skills to continue his work within the Campus, hunting down and eliminating terrorists wherever he can—even as Jack Ryan, Sr. campaigns to become President of the United States again.

But what neither father nor son knows is that the political and personal have just become equally dangerous. A devout enemy of Jack, Sr. launches a privately-funded vendetta to discredit him and connect him to a mysterious killing in his longtime ally John Clark’s past. All they have to do is catch him.


With Clark on the run, it’s up to Jack, Jr. to stop a growing threat emerging in the Middle East, where a corrupt Pakistani general has entered into a deadly pact with a fanatical terrorist to procure four nuclear warheads they can use to blackmail any world power into submission—or face annihilation.''

This novel contains examples of:

  • America Saves the Day: Russia and Pakistan both get saved by America this time around.
  • Big Bad: The Emir isn't quite done yet.
    • More of a Big Bad Ensemble with the coup leader Riaz Rehan as well as Laska also playing big roles.
  • Break the Haughty: Ed Keatly goes through a Humiliation Conga before finally being kicked out of office.
  • The Cavalry: The FSB, of all people, sorts out John Clark's imprisonment, torture, and pursuit by the law. All he has to do is help prevent them from being nuked.
  • Cassandra Truth: Melanie Kraft is raked over the coals for saying the Muslim Brotherhood is associating with terrorists, which, of course, is what they're doing in this novel.
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  • Clear My Name: John Clark decides to do this. Played with as John Clark is guilty of NUMEROUS illegal actions and unsanctioned murders but is interested in who squealed about one of them.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: John Clark suffers a bout of this with a hammer.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Paul Laska thinks he's the Big Good but does some truly despicable acts.
  • Expy: In addition to the Emir standing in for Osama Bin Ladin, Paul Laska is a transparent stand-in for leftist billionaire George Soros while Judith Cochrane is a stand-in for Lynne Stewart who passed on secrets from her terrorist client.
    • Ed Keatly, despite being a stand-in for Ted Kennedy, adopts most of Obama's policies in terms of wartime policy as well as counter-terrorism.
  • False Flag Operation: Rehan has armed the Dagesteni Muslims with a pair of nuclear weapons to help bring down the Pakistani government so he can take over.
  • Generation Xerox: Averted as Jack Ryan Junior wants nothing to do with politics but, instead, become more like his surrogate uncle John Clark.
  • Honey Trap: Melanie Kraft becomes one of these for The CIA
    • The Emir is willing to use his personal charisma to seduce Judith Cochrane, albeit there's no chance to consummate their relationship.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Judith Cochrane not only believes the Emir (again, an EXPY of Osama Bin Ladin), is a decent man at heart but he's also attracted to her. He is neither of these things.
  • Magnetic Hero: Jack Ryan Senior is a hero every American wants to vote for and his election is almost a foregone conclusion once he decides to run.
  • The Mole: In a stunning surprise Melanie Kraft turns out to be this.
  • Moral Myopia: Judith Cochrane and Paul Laska suffer a severe case of this.
  • My Death Is Only The Beginning: Rehan tries to pull this on Jack Ryan Junior. It doesn't really work until he realizes that Rehan's 2nd in Command escaped.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Mary Pat remains virtually the only one of these left in the US intelligence community. Until Jack Ryan Sr. becomes President again.
  • Refuge in Audacity: President Keatly uses the capture of the Emir to boost his sagging approval ratings, despite the fact it's the Campus which captured him—an organization he doesn't even know exists and was founded by his political opponent Jack Ryan.
  • Spy Fiction: The Campus pretends to be of the Stale Beer variety but is entirely a Martini flavored fantasy.
  • Straw Hypocrite: Paul Laska and Judith Cochrane are huge liberals but see no problem breaking the law to work against Jack Ryan—even if it aids terrorists.
  • Strawman Political: Ed Keatly is a Straw Liberal who is wrong about everything.
  • Take That!: Several are aimed at Obama's anti-terrorist policies by giving them to Strawman Political Ed Keatly.
  • Training from Hell: The Campus is trying to put Junior through this in order to make up for his general lack of experience in either military or intelligence operations.
  • Wrongful Accusation Insurance: John Clark has this in spades. It helps that his best friend gets elected President.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The Emir suffers one when he's dragged from Federal Prison to Guantanamo Bay.


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