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Patriot Games


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YA Jack Ryan is back with a vengeanceliterally. The hero of Hunt for Red October (Naval Institute Pr., 1984) stars here in a prequel to Clancy's first novel, with page-turning results. Years before Hunt. . ., Ryan, vacationing with his family in England, thwarts an assassination attempt on the Prince of Wales, his wife, and child. The terrorists responsible do not take such interference with their plans lightly, and Ryan and his family are in great danger from their new enemies. All of Ryan's considerable talents and courage are put to the ultimate test of saving those he loves from terrorist vengeance. There is greater emphasis in this novel on plot and characterization, less on military tactics and hardware, so that Clancy has fashioned a more old-fashionedand first-classthriller than in his first two novels. Patriot Games establishes that Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising (Putnam, 1986) were no mere trendy flukes, and that Clancy is an action writer of considerable talent. Karl Penny, Houston Public Library

In Clancy's landmark first novel, The Hunt for Red October, there is a reference to the hero, Annapolis history instructor Jack Ryan, singlehandedly foiling a terrorist attack on members of the British royal family. Patriot Games starts there and follows Ryan's attempt (assisted by police, armed forces, the FBI, CIA, and MI5) to locate and destroy an unknown unit of Irish terrorists in the United States. Despite magnificent action scenes, this book lacks the sustained tension of the previous novels. The suspense is broken several times by redundant background matter, and loose ends abound in the plot. Although not up to other Clancy novels, this is a cut above the average thriller, and likely to be in high demand in public libraries. Literary Guild, Military Book Club, and Doubleday Book Club selections. John North, L . R . C . , Ryerson Polytechnical Inst., Toronto

Introduced in The Hunt for Red October, Jack Ryan, the naval historian who freelances for the CIA, returns in this novel, in which Clancy demonstrates once again that he is a master of a genre he seems to have createdthe technico-military thriller. On a visit with his wife and daughter in London, Ryan stumbles onto an attempt by a new Irish revolutionary group to kidnap the Prince and Princess of Wales and their eldest son. Using his Marine Corps training, Ryan saves the royals (which leads to several visits between the Ryans and the residents of Buckingham Palace), but Ryan becomes the target of the surviving terrorists. Many familiar elements of the Clancy style are evident here: a fascination with machines and systems and procedures; thin characters; idealization of the soldier's life (``the discipline and the essential toughness that makes them different''); sarcastic humor; and a discordant sentimentality about family life. There are also some unintended ironies, particularly Clancy's praise of the CIA and the Marines, considering recent news from Washington and Moscow. Nonetheless, Clancy spins a marvelously tense yarn that will appeal to his legion of fans. First serial rights to Penthouse; Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, Military Book Club, Reader's Digest Condensed Books selections. (August 7)

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