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In Dark Zone, a race-to-the-finish thriller in the New York Times bestselling Tom Clancy's Op-Center series, the brutal murder of an undercover agent reveals a plot to incite a full-fledged war between Russia and Ukraine.
Former US Ambassador to the Ukraine Douglas Flannery meets with an old friend and former spy near New York's South Street Seaport. She is seeking his help to thwart a Russian plan to overrun her native Ukraine, but those for whom she is working propose an infinitely more dangerous scheme, one that could draw in NATO forces and possibly ignite World War III. Moments later, as she jogs along the East River, her throat is slashed.

Within hours, Op-Center learns of the killing and alarm bells go off. Director Chase Williams and his team have been following events as Ukraine, her NATO allies, and Russia rapidly deploy forces in a dangerous game of brinksmanship. But the secret that Flannery has learned threatens to take the looming battle to a whole new and very lethal level. Using cutting edge techniques of cyber warfare and spycraft, Op-Center must respond to the rapidly unfolding crisis before the U.S. is forced to take sides in a conflict that could change history.

350 pages, Paperback

First published May 30, 2017

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About the author

George Galdorisi

23 books26 followers
George Galdorisi is a career naval aviator and writer. His thirty years of active duty service included four command tours and five years as a carrier strike group chief of staff. He is the Director of Strategic Futures and Technical Assessments at the Navy's Information Warfare Center Pacific in San Diego, California. He has been writing for decades and it is the ultimate “flow” experience for him.

In addition to his recent Rick Holden thrillers published by Braveship Books (The Coronado Conspiracy and For Duty and Honor), he has written twelve books distributed by mainstream publishers, including several New York Times bestselling novels in the rebooted Tom Clancy’s Op-Center series, including Out of the Ashes, Into the Fire, Scorched Earth, and Dark Zone. With his longtime collaborator, Dick Couch, he coauthored the New York Times best seller, Tom Clancy Presents: Act of Valor, the novelization of the Relativity Media number-one rated movie. He is also the author of The Kissing Sailor, which proved the identity of the two principals in Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous photograph; as well as over 400 articles in professional journals and other media.

George has received a number of national and international writing awards, including: the Navy League of the United States Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement, the U.S. Naval Institute General Prize Essay Contest, the Surface Navy Association Literary Award, the Navy League of Australia's Annual Essay Competition, the Naval Helicopter Historical Association Literary Award, and the Military Writers Society of America Silver Medal Award, among others.

Other than writing thrillers, George likes nothing more than connecting with readers. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter, and learn more about his books, blogs and other writing on his website: http://www.georgegaldorisi.com/ - especially his “Writing Tips,” – which offer useful advice for all writers from established authors to future best-selling writers.

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5 stars
168 (23%)
4 stars
201 (28%)
3 stars
222 (30%)
2 stars
90 (12%)
1 star
36 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 56 reviews
Profile Image for Matt.
642 reviews
June 28, 2020
The Crimea has become one of the most dangerous places on the planet as it could spark a war that no one really wants, but for some that is exactly what they’re counting on. Dark Zone is the fourth book of the Op-Center reboot as original series author Jeff Rovin joins George Galdorisi as Op-Center is faced with rogue elements in Ukraine looking to start a war with Russia that will force NATO to join.

A female Ukrainian agent meets with the former U.S. ambassador in New York to get information about Russian military movements and is murdered by a Russian assassin then her fellow agent apart of the Ukrainian embassy is also murdered by the same assassin. The U.S. ambassador learning of his friend’s murder gets in contact with Op-Center about his conversation with her and that her apparent murderer keeps calling him with her phone. Director Williams sends a two-man team to meet the ambassador only for them to save his life from the assassin and his accomplice. Meanwhile in Russia, Putin appoints an ambitious yet cautious general to command an enlarged military base to project so much power against Ukraine that they will simply be defeated mentally. Unbeknownst to Russia is that a famous Ukrainian tank commander has set a trap for them which included the appearance online of a VR program of their huge military base which led to the murders in New York. Williams and Op-Center after finding the VR program come to the conclusion that a rogue faction in the Ukrainian military is planning to start a war between Russian and NATO with an attack on the base that will cause Russia to attack Ukraine. The Special Forces team is sent to the region to observe but in route they find the team that is to attack the base and send the force to intercept them. The Ukrainian commander leads a large assembly of tanks—out of nowhere—towards the border and the Russian commander response by leading his tanks to the border, leaving the base open for attack through the Op-Center Special Forces team is able to stop them just outside the Russian base though the Ukrainian team leader is killed by a sniper which causes a grenade explosion. The Russian commander is ordered back to the base, already relieved of command due to failing to secure his base; the retreat of the Russians from the border is a victory for the Ukrainian commander even though the attack on the base didn’t happen as his goal was to embarrass the big bad bear. Williams and Op-Center are happy to prevent a war, but they decide to prevent the next Russian assassin to take up station in New York by outing him to the NYPD who threaten to leave or die as a terrorist.

This was a great military-political thriller for anything connected with Ukraine and Russia, but Op-Center and their Special Forces team are just around. Honestly if this book did not have anything connected with Op-Center written in it this would have been a great exciting read, but because of the Op-Center stuff in it this is a middling book. Everything connected with Op-Center just felt like it was put in there because this was an Op-Center book, not that anything was particularly bad but as I got further into the book I cared less about what was happening in and around Op-Center or what they were going to do and see if the Ukrainian plan would work in anyway. I guess Rovin and Galdorisi were showing that sometimes Op-Center is blind to the realities on the ground and can sometimes only do little things to protect U.S. interests but that would effectively undermine the organization from a reader’s viewpoint so, I’m just confused as to the structure of this book.

Dark Zone is a mishmash book with one great story element and one that was just meh, unfortunately it was the series titular organization and their personnel that were the meh story element not that they were bad but because they weren’t interesting. Jeff Rovin in his return to the Op-Center series and George Galdorisi is what appears to be his last effort created a Ukrainian-Russian mini-conflict but totally failed to be relevance to Op-Center existence in a book in its own series.
Profile Image for Ron.
698 reviews5 followers
September 5, 2017
After 2 weeks of trying to force my self to read this book and being bored to tears... I gave up on it.

In my opinion, the poorest written one in the series.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
965 reviews
December 30, 2019
The military jargon was a bit over my head, and it didn’t help that I hadn’t read any of the other books in this series. It’s just not for me.
1,942 reviews16 followers
Want to read
June 29, 2022
Listening to the audio he picked up from the library sale room...krb 5/15/22
It's not clicking with Jacob right now, he is going back to listening to Mitford books...krb 6/29/22
415 reviews
September 15, 2020
I am really confused after finishing this book. I don't know what I just read. The last one was entertaining, intriguing, and good. This book in the series was a mess. I can't point to anything that was significant in this book. Maybe I'll take a break from op-center books for a while.
76 reviews1 follower
December 10, 2018
This was one of the most boring books I have ever read.
Bring back the old story line and authors. Did any of the new authors read the old series?
Profile Image for Carl.
387 reviews1 follower
March 10, 2020
Had to be the worst Tom Clancy book I have ever read to date. Too much dialogue and not enough action. A painful, laborious read.
Profile Image for Will.
616 reviews
July 4, 2017

I somehow missed the first three Op Center series instalments, but I can assure you the fourth, 'Dark Zone,' is a fix for action adventure thriller junkies. This book reads like a flash, as the action is fast and the pace is furious. Two and a half day read for me, but it's not Tom Clancy epic long either. And what a timely, relevant storyline--Russian encroachment on Ukraine. This book's most 'rah rah' aspect might be the David vs Goliath story of Ukrainian Army tank commander Captain Taras Klimovich using superior intellect, tactics and terrain knowledge to humiliate the Russians when they came across the border to attack in 2014. Well, as things are heating up again in 2017, Klimovich comes out of hiding to torment the Russians once again.

I wasn't aware that that the Dnieper River basically demarcated political leanings, but in general the parts of Ukraine west of the Dnieper are West leaning, loyal to Kiev. Those to the east, tend to be pro-Russian, hence they are conquest targets for Vlad Putin. Of course this eastern part includes the Crimean Peninsula with its long shoreline fronting the Black Sea. Known as the Soviet's only warm water port, Sevastopol is the prize that Putin so desires if the Russian Federation is ever to regain their Cold War status as the evil empire. Only problem is that the new boss is the same as the old boss. Russian can't generate a positive trade balance in spite of itself, so Putin can't afford to rebuild the superpower. He can, however, aggravate the fire out of the former Soviet republics, NATO and the US with his brinksmanship.

That's what 'Dark Zone' is all about; brinksmanship. Trouble is Vlad ain't no military genius, and neither are his lead men in the Defense Ministry. So you get 342 pages to see how the Op Center ignores all forbidden practices and saves the US in spite of itself. The parallels to Henley Associates in the Jack Ryan series is apparent, although the Op Center's hidden inside the bowels of the NGA palace at Fort Belvoir. The Ops Center also has a direct tie-in to the SPECOPS folks at Bragg, hence they aren't hamstrung by staff specialties. All in all, a great read, and I know you're gonna enjoy reading 'Dark Zone." Will
5 reviews
April 12, 2022
I read about two-dozen reviews here, and I clearly had a different experience. This was my first Op-Center novel, so I had nothing to compare it to, in terms of the 15 books that came before it. For being the 16th novel, I felt every character was perfectly introduced and explained, so I was not left bewildered by cryptic references to character history, experiences, etc. Whereas many other reviewers felt overwhelmed and confused by the technical jargon, I found it very interesting, and presented in a way that I found very accessible. The other thing I appreciated: Too often, when there are long passages/pages of “information dump”, I usually skip over because it is written in such a way that it stops the plot dead in its tracks, and comes across as the author vainly showing off how much research he/she did. I loathe that. This book was different…I didn’t skip any of it, as it was always presented by characters I cared about, in situations that were interesting, and came across as genuine discussions by real characters, in an authentic way, not merely paragraphs presented by the author to “brag” about how smart he/she is.

With Russia having invaded Ukraine a little over a month ago (as I write this review), I found the story had an extra level of interest and relevance, in spite of being written in 2017. Overall, I found it a quick read, with interesting characters, an interesting plot, and written in an easily-accessible way, if it’s your first taste of this series, as it was for me. I will agree with other reviewers that it is light on action, and is focused more on the human intel aspect, but that didn’t bother me. I definitely would recommend the book.
41 reviews
October 8, 2017
I really, really badly want to like this series, because I loved the first Op-Center series so much. I chalked my issues with the first one up to a new writing team and getting used to new characters getting. The second one was frustrating. The third one lost one of the authors and got marginally better. And this one picked up the author of the original Op-Center books (Jeff Rovin) as a co-author. The dialogue is better, the pacing and structure are better, but it’s still not there.

The first round of Op-Center books were ambitious and, in the Tom Clancy model, realistic enough to be in the realm of the 1-percent possible while far-fetched enough to be exciting. The team faced Neo-Nazis in Europe. The possible break-up of Spain. An attack on the United Nations.

The new series feels more like policy seminars. Yes, there’s some action, and yes, there’s still some stretching of the likely. But they are so far on this side of plausible, and so steeped in the prevention dialogue of actual bureaucrats, that the fun quotient is way down. It sometimes feels like a Tom Clancy book written by the Brookings Institution.

I feel like I keep going on the “the last one was a bit better, so I’ll give it one more try” theory — and it’s always just a bit better. But it will take a long time for these books to actually get good at the current rate. (If any more are written, which seems dicey.)

At this point, the best move would probably be to give the series completely back to Rovin for good or just to let it go. I want to read more Op-Center books, but not if they aren’t enjoyable
507 reviews2 followers
June 7, 2020
Normally, I find Tom Clancy's Op-Center books a quick, entertaining read. Well, you can tell that the master is gone because so is the magic that came with him.

Dark Zone has a bit of a convoluted premise - that the Americans have to do something to keep Ukraine from doing something that will enflame relations and possibly cause a war with Russia. Okay. The book then spends 361 pages rolling around in the dark (hence the title?) and light trying to find the team and stop them.

I won't spoil it for you, but the plot seemed to peter out, rather than come to a climatic conclusion.

It had been a while since I last read an Op-Center novel. With Dark Zone, it came back to me why it had been so long.

Parts of the book, such as the assassin and hunt for him, are interesting, but the rest left me a bit confused. I read this book at home, as opposed to during my daily commute on the subway, so I shouldn't have had a hard as time of figuring out whose is talking or doing what as reading in short stints would make it.

Overall, it was an okay book, but I finished it unsatisfied, rather than entertained. Read it if you are fan of the series, otherwise try one of the earlier books. Sort of worth the time spent reading.
Profile Image for Nancy Cook  Lauer.
779 reviews5 followers
August 20, 2018
2/5. They talk about mission creep in military operations. Unfortunately, what started as a solid Clancyesque spinoff series is suffering from mediocrity creep. Please don't do that to the memory of one of my favorite authors. This could have been a good book, timely, headline-fresh Ukraine vs. Russia espionage, top-shelf tech toys, all that good stuff. I read these stories to train my logic brain. Unfortunately, this one didn't do it.
Profile Image for Cesar Hugo.
11 reviews
December 9, 2020
Outstanding reading

As usual, the saga continues! Tom Clancy’s writers are a special kind of people. They strive to prolong readers interest into plot so close to up to date events and surprises with unsuspecting rap up. Well done
I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in action
Only sad to see previous characters like original old Op Center’s Gen Rodgers, Paul Hood, etc replaced but oh well
Profile Image for Monzenn Mallari.
361 reviews1 follower
January 19, 2023
Recent Op-Centers haven't been as thrilling for me as the old ones. And it's not just about reboot vs OG: the second book in the reboot (the one with the rescue mission) was great for me too. A surprise that they used Putin as an actual talking character (though I am not surprised that he became the "xx person told me" kind of character by the end). Otherwise this is Ukraine-Russia relations, no surprises here. First part was great, middle part was a bit dull, and last part recovered a bit.
Profile Image for Perry Reed.
71 reviews
June 8, 2017
Not that good.

I expected more from an OpCenter book. More action, more suspense. I didn't get it from this book. There was almost zero action in it at all, and it was mostly about the inner dialog of people sending others into possible action. Frankly, although the premise was interesting, the book was boring.
June 9, 2017

Too many mistakes in this book language usage facts and just plain stupidity
I'm 79 been a cowboy and rodeos for my living also grew up in the forties and fifties and know as well as anyone of that day that back in the saddle again was gene tarts theme song not Roy Rogers and they did not get along
If they can't get that right what else is wrong
Profile Image for batya7.
282 reviews1 follower
September 12, 2017

This genre is not my usual cup of tea, but I was willing to try it again because of the Tom Clancy name. It is rare that I put a book down before finishing it. Having said that, I couldn't get past Chapter Five. I closed the book and put it into the "return to library" pile.

Too much impenetrable international intrigue.
Profile Image for Thomas Myers.
Author 3 books1 follower
November 19, 2017
This book does more for the Tom Clancy brand than the mainstream Jack Ryan books. It brings back the old geopolitical themes and updates them for today's climate. It is easy to believe that what the authors put in here can actually be happening out there, right now.

It does suffer from some pacing issues - the ending in particular is rushed.
Profile Image for Marian Bron.
Author 3 books3 followers
July 24, 2018
I picked up this book wanting to give another genre a try. I was hoping it was was like the Jason Bourne series. It wasn't. Despite being advertised as a "race-to-the-finish thriller", it was not. Perhaps it was because there were too many characters involved and I couldn't invest in any of them and that may be the genre. Whatever, it was a bit of a slog to finish it.
287 reviews3 followers
September 18, 2020

As always Jeff and George did an excellent job with the plot. Chase went out on limb by sending the JSOC team over after the death of Rodriguez. But excellent way to put Putin in place. The whole Opt-Center series is excellent. Will be getting on to next. Great 👍 !!!!!Thanks, Carl Clause
10 reviews
August 29, 2017
Not quite Clancy

Ok character development. Convoluted plot, plausible, difficult to follow. Most likely an informed look inside Putin's motives. Missing the grand sweep of Clancy.
Profile Image for Rick Cobb.
2 reviews
September 18, 2017
Had a hard time finishing this book. Expected more action. I guess Tom Clancy's name is beginning to have less relevance with the passage of time. My advice is to save your money and look for another book to read.
20 reviews
January 29, 2018
This not my favourite Op-Center book. Started with some very sloppy writing, which improved as the book went along. However, the worst part about the story is the characters were mostly boring and there was very little action. At the end, I was left wondering what the point of this book was.
Profile Image for Mike Grady.
251 reviews2 followers
October 21, 2020
What a dramatic change from the immediate 2-3 preceding books. The series reboot went from “couldn’t put it down“ to “having to force myself to stay interested” with this book. On the plus side, it started quickly, then unfortunately never seemed to pick up the pace.
Profile Image for Batu.
227 reviews1 follower
August 23, 2021
If you're a Clancy fan, you'll probably love it. Being an occasional reader of his work, I found the story line enjoyable, but reading was a bit tedious because of the frequent time/date/place updates and detailed descriptions of weapons in use.
159 reviews2 followers
September 16, 2021
Really not worth the time. Even with four writers’ names attached to the cover, it still does not come close to one book written solely by Tom Clancy. This will be the last book I read written by someone trying to keep the money flowing in using Tom Clancy’s name.
Profile Image for Bill Beck.
137 reviews2 followers
April 18, 2022
Interesting super-position of this story on the current Russian invasion of the Ukraine. Reads well, but is a bit fantastical to think about...might have only gone 3 stars without the super-positioning onto current events.
27 reviews
June 16, 2022
dark zone

Good, could be real contemporary read re Ukraine v Putin. “Confirmation” that USA is involved in this atrocity. Enjoy the read. Best read long periods, rather than many short times.
306 reviews5 followers
June 7, 2017
Talk about out of the Headlines

Some of the shifts were a little hard for me to follow, but the subject matter was fascinating so it kept me entranced.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 56 reviews

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