In equatorial Africa as a small nation attempts to become a leader in the region through its offshore resources and becoming headquarters to information revolution for all of Africa, but who is in charge is suddenly up in the air. Cutting Edge is the sixth book of Tom Clancy’s Power Plays series written by Jerome Preisler, as Roger Gordian’s UpLink International takes over a pan-African fiberoptic network he unexpectedly finds himself against Harlan DeVane who’s attacked his company and tried to kill him already.
Offshore of Gabon two divers for a French technology company die after sabotaged by Harlan DeVane’s associates which leads to the company selling their fiberoptic network to UpLink and getting government approval even though DeVane bribed numerous politicians to stop it. Pete Nimec leads the Sword team as UpLink moves into the country as DeVane plans to strike at UpLink and Gordian himself. DeVane begins to harass UpLink’s buildup including an assault on a convoy, but as a distraction for his main strike against Gordian. DeVane activates his mercenary agent who activates his sleeper sell in the United States that stalks the Gordian family before finding a target, his daughter Julia. The DeVane’s crew abducts Julia from the greyhound rescue shelter she’s been volunteering at, killing one of the owners and her infant daughter in the process. After the police visit UpLink headquarters, Tom Ricci begins investigating her kidnapping skirting around the police to get evidence that quickly leads to the conclusion it’s the same man who he faced off in Ukraine and Ontario. DeVane sends Gordian a ransom message to dissolve his company immediately or his daughter dies, however before Gordian decides to do so Ricci finds where Julia is being kept and leads a Sword team that rescues her and kills the mercenary that’s trouble them for years. In the end, DeVane slinks away from Gabon.
Preisler emphasize characters and technology throughout the book, not at the expense the plot but the narrative was quickly transitioned from one time period to another until towards the end during Julia’s kidnapping. Though Preisler does a great job at exploring DeVane’s, Nimec’s, Ricci’s, and the mercenary’s characters in this book and keeps the reader hooked; yet the departures into technological explanations bogged the book down at times. This book was longer than the previous installment which resulted in a overall better book.
Cutting Edge is a return to the very good standard that Preisler established in this series after the substandard previous installment. With DeVane exit at the end of the book, the best subplot of the three of the last four books is finished with a bit of satisfaction for the reader that’s invested in the reading the series.