Got to say it: I love the '24 Declassifed' series of tie-in novels. Not only do they present Jack in all his glory, but they also feature more innovation than the on-screen series at times ('Operation Hell Gate' had Jack running around New York... before season eight got on it). In carrying on the tradition of adding another bad day for Jack Bauer on the calendar (in spectacular fashion), the novels succeed with equally captivating plots from the authors - but without the bile. There's no struggle for ratings in this format, so there's no gratitious action in each hour, adding more plot twists to the mix at weird times, and forcing Jack to make incredibly impulsive decisions based on shaky legal ground. The White House element is also very toned down, virtually absent in 'Trinity', allowing for the novels to feel tighter and more focused overall. The result is a more sober '24' experience that's more in line with traditional law enforcement agency methods rather than straight up 'Bauer Power' all the time. We also get more facetime with Nina Myers, Tony Almeida, and Ryan Chappelle before... well, you know.
'Trinity' carries on this tradition gracefully. While all the novels are prequels to the first season, this is essentially the prequel to all that. That's right, this is Jack's very first day with CTU. Still employed the CIA, Jack clashes boundaries with the newly founded agency (with some of the equipment still encased in plastic wrapping and incredibly short-staffed) and meets some of his old friends (and enemies) for the first time. This time a whole lot of plastique is missing and with a lot of dark motivation involved, the clock winds back up for Jack and crew to find it before it goes off. It's not a mind-blowing plot by any means, but the author keeps you engaged with his knowledge of law enforcement and his spot-on characterization of Jack and the rest of the Bauer crew. And once the finale rolls around, all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place and make the book explode upon conclusion.
There are some slight continuity errors (such as CTU somehow being founded in 2000 rather than 1993, references from 'Hell Gate' to CTU being active in 1998, and Jack and Tony knowing each other since 1999 as noted by season seven). However, these are easily overlooked because the author simply knows what he's doing and respects the lore (author David Jacobs had trouble here in his books 'Storm Force', 'Head Shot', and 'Death Angel'). It's a ride still worth taking. Simply put: this is 24.