Reading Corner | Retired CIA agent churns out fifth novel in series, this one focused on ISIS

Barry Kelly (right) with President Ronald Reagan.
Barry Kelly (right) with President Ronald Reagan. Courtesy photo

In his fifth novel featuring action hero Jack Brandon, author Barry Kelly takes his readers behind the latest news headlines. He uses his imagination, along with his years of experience working with the Central Intelligence Agency and in other government positions, to weave an intriguing story.

“ISIS: Quiet Justice” presents a leading man who finds answers to current questions the U.S. is facing today, such as what should be done with Americans who go off to train with ISIS and return to the U.S. with intentions of doing harm to its people?

Working with the CIA to try to stop some of those new terrorists from completing their missions, Jack Brandon does not always present solutions that comply with all the rules, but he and his team do provide solutions.

They take the reader into a world of spies, terrorism and terrorists inside the U.S. and at the headquarters of a terrorist known as “The Fist” near Fallujah, Iraq.

The characters are well developed, exhibiting a variety of traits that make them good at what they do, including killing the enemy.

Brandon’s team, as always, includes a highly trained canine member, a Bouvier des Flandres, the author’s favorite breed. A photo on the back cover of the book shows Kelly training his dog, Rip, the inspiration for Gideon in the latest book.

In the preface to “ISIS: Quiet Justice,” Kelly said that he enjoyed writing this book more than any of the others. He writes, “The subject is very current. The rapid pace with which ISIS captures territory, changes the map and alliances in the Middle East, and spreads the battlefield to our homeland provides the backdrop for many stories.”

For me, one of the most important facts behind Kelly’s stimulating stories, including all of the ones that are woven together to create “ISIS: Quiet Justice,” is his many years of experience that allows him to write without researching. Because of that experience, readers might find themselves wondering how much of it is truth and how much is fiction.

It was somewhat exhilarating to read about a team that is unleashed on the enemy and unrestricted by rules as they fight to overcome a ruthless terrorist and his anxious trainees returning to places such as Charleston to do harm.

Every book Kelly writes is reviewed by the Central Intelligence Agency to prevent the disclosure of classified information.

After serving in the Navy, Kelly earned degrees from two universities and then began his career with the CIA. He retired after serving in different positions and in locations around the world. He then accepted a position as special assistant to President Ronald Reagan on his National Security Staff. He received numerous awards for his work with those agencies, and enough varied experiences to keep him writing for a long time.

Other novels by Barry Kelly are “Justice Beyond Law,” “Justice without Mercy,” “Shades of Justice,” “The Justice Trilogy” and “Run to Freedom.” All of them, including “ISIS: Quiet Justice,” were published by Prose Press of Pawleys Island.

In addition to his five novels, Kelly has also written two non-fiction books. “Insights: Transforming America – Is This What We Fought For?” and “Insights: Stepping Stones to Tyranny” both deal with the strategy and tactics being used to change America.

Kelly also writes a blog titled “Eight Decades of Insights,” which can be found at www.factsand, on his author’s page at Amazon and on his Facebook page.

His books are available in print and digital formats at, and from the Barnes & Noble location at The Market Common, where Kelly recently held a book signing.

Peggy Mishoe, For The Sun News

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