Peace may finally be at hand in the Middle East--as Deputy Director of the CIA Jack Ryan lays the groundwork for a peace plan that could end centuries of conflict. But ruthless terrorists have a final, desperate card to play: they have their hands on a nuclear weapon and have placed it on American soil in the midst of an escalation in tension with the Soviet Union. The terrorists hope to rekindle cold war animosity and prevent reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. With one terrible act, distrust mounts, forces collide, and the floundering U.S. president seems unable to cope with the crisis. With the world on the verge of nuclear disaster, Ryan must frantically seek a solution--before the chiefs of state lose control of themselves and the world.
Clancy evolves from storyteller to novelist in his latest techno-thriller, as gadgets take second place to politics and personalities. In the late 1990s the world is cautiously emerging from the Cold War; even the Arab-Israeli conflict is being resolved, thanks to the cleverness of Clancy's hero Jack Ryan. But as confrontation yields to cooperation, what becomes of displaced terrorists? Palestinians without a cause and East Germans without a country seek to rekindle U.S.-U.S.S.R. animosity. A small nuclear device is exploded at the Super Bowl; in Berlin American and Russian troops are tricked into firing on each other; residual suspicions carry the action from there. After the solution of the Middle East crisis serves as an exciting preliminary to the main plot, the novel's middle parts seem a recycling of situations and characters from Red October and Cardinal of the Kremlin. But in the last third of the book Clancy integrates story lines, taking readers on a nonstop roller-coaster ride to a nail-biting finish. Fundamentally, Clancy is writing about a vital and elusive quality: grace under pressure. Whether terrorists or statesmen, Clancy's characters face a common challenge--situations that break down pretensions of rank, power and ideology. Their responses, carefully and empathetically constructed, make this book compelling instead of merely ingenious.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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May 05, 2002
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