A little more than thirty years ago Tom Clancy was a Maryland insurance broker with a passion for naval history. Years before, he had been an English major at Baltimore's Loyola College and had always dreamed of writing a novel. His first effort, The Hunt for Red October--the first of the phenomenally successful Jack Ryan novels--sold briskly as a result of rave reviews, then catapulted onto the New York Times bestseller list after President Reagan pronounced it "the perfect yarn." From that day forward, Clancy established himself as an undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense. He passed away in October 2013.
In his fifth novel, the dean of techno-thrillers demonstrates once again his mastery of the genre. A president decides that drug smuggling has become a ``clear and present danger'' to national security. The response is a complex and covert military campaign against the ``Colombian Cartel.'' Clancy presents the technology of special operations and the details of light infantry warfare with his usual facility. Superior even to his descriptions of tools and techniques, however, is Clancy's analysis of the legal and moral problems of operating in a twilight zone, where the rules are ambiguous and an open society makes secrecy impossible. As the project unravels, Clancy's protagonist Jack Ryan tries to avert a total debacle and to rescue the men who have been hung out to dry. Clancy's scenario is plausible and its development compelling. His characters are nicely drawn--particularly a Cuban intelligence officer who has ``gone private'' and now works for the drug lords--and his conclusion is unusual and provocative. Clear and Pres ent Danger is, in short, the author's best work since The Hunt for Red October. BOMC main selection. (Aug.)
Praise for Clear and Present Danger
"The issues raised are real ones, and a jump ahead of the headlines."--The New York Times "Absorbing reading...You won't stop until you hit the last pages!"--The Wall Street Journal "Rousing adventure...A crackling good yarn!"--The Washington Post "Heavy-caliber excitement!"--St. Louis Post-Dispatch Praise for Tom Clancy "He constantly taps the current world situation for its imminent dangers and spins them into an engrossing tale."--The New York Times Book Review "A brilliant describer of events."--The Washington Post "No one can equal his talent for making military electronics and engineering intelligible and exciting...He remains the best!"--Houston Chronicle