Since the publication of The Hunt for Red October, Tom Clancy has established an unrivalled position as the world's leading thriller writer, with a string of million-selling novels and three major Hollywood films to his name. He is also the author of SSN and the non-fiction books Submarine, Armoured Warfare, Fighter Wing and Marine.
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. (Aug.)
From the reviews of The Sum of All Fears: 'Another classic Clancy. His most successful book . . . assures his place at the forefront of modern thriller writers.' Sunday Times 'Clancy's best book since The Hunt for Red October - a whiz-bang page-turner.' New York Times