Adventures in storytelling by Bob Rector


After twenty years of black-ops for the CIA, Jack McDuff settled into a simpler life as a contract agent known only to his Langley contact. The new, routine-collection of intel for his handler allowed Jack and Mary Conlan to live the ‘good life’ in their Lake Como villa, but not for long.


His Vienna meeting, scheduled with an unknown contact, pulls Jack back into the dark world of murder and terrorism. Survival from assassins and the discovery of a secret Jihadist plot unknown to our intelligence services thrusts Jack into an unsanctioned mission, which ultimately takes him to our nation’s Capital.

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My 5-star review of The Saladin Strategy by Norm Clark

Be sure you’re seated and your belt fastened before you start reading Norm Clark’s “The Saladin Strategy.” You don’t even get a countdown from ten before this high-energy spy story blasts off the launch pad and the G-forces start pushing you back in your seat. Oh, and make sure your passport is up to date for all the globetrotting you’ll be doing.

The Saladin in the title refers to the Muslim leader who defeated King Richard in the Crusades, thus driving the ‘infidels’ out of the Middle East. Now a new jihad is being hatched to do the same thing today, with the possibility for devastating loss of life and a major shift in the world’s power structure.

CIA contract agent Jack McDuff, functioning out of Europe, gets scent of the plot and the race is on. He assembles a covert team of professional but deadly players to confront the threat, not only in Europe and the Middle East, but in Washington, too. It’s difficult for Jack to tell the good guys from the bad guys in this multi-tentacled plot that extends to the highest levels of U.S. Government. If he’s wrong, he’ll not only lose all credibility as an operative, he’ll lose his life. Failure to uncover and thwart the terrorist plot is not an option. And if that’s not enough pressure, the bad guys have also targeted Jack’s wife.

This is a slam-bang adventure story that moves at the speed of a Hellfire missile and the results are just as explosive. Mr. Clark obviously is well versed in the workings of international espionage. It makes his story seem as real as today’s headlines. Jack McDuff is deadly with gun or fist but the secret weapon that gives him his greatest advantage is his cool, quick intelligence. He’s a hero we love to root for. A thoroughly entertaining read and highly recommended.


Norm Clark has two action packed thriller novels available (“Resurrected” and the recently published “The Saladin Strategy”) in the Jack McDuff series in ebook and print formats. Work has begun on number three.

The genre and writing style of his work was dictated by his upbringing and choice of friends through the years. He was born and raised in a military environment, which, to a large degree, set the tone for the genre. Input and stories from friends (a couple of Navy Seals, a Force Recon marine, and a Viet Nam era Air America pilot) greatly influenced the plot-lines and writing style.

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