The Great Clancy Thriller Machine rumbles on, engines on full. This time out, the best-selling ace swivels his big guns away from his usual Russian targets (glasnost fallout?) and toward a nearly homegrown menace: the cocaine lords of Colombia and their deadly white powder. So complex, so intricately researched and detailed is Clancy's newest battle plan that his main hero--CIA-agent Jack Ryan, veteran of three past Clancy novels--doesn't appear until about 100 pages of this 500-page juggernaut have rolled by. That's no problem, though: the front of the novel, like the rest, is built of geared subplots, each of which has teeth enough to snag the reader. The stirring action begins in the White House, in a typical Clancy scene that not only sets up the premise--a radical American initiative against Colombian drug traffic--but also offers nifty inside-info: that the Oval Office's windows are made of light-distorting, bullet-resistant polycarbonate; that the President's chair is backed with bullet-proof DuPont Kevlar. Neither the detailing nor the action lets up as Clancy moves his focus to the high seas--where a Coast Guard skipper captures, tries, and mock-executes a pair of drug-smuggling pirates; to the Rockies--where an ace Ranger trains for a secret mission with other Hispanics under the gaze of dark-souled CIA-agent "Mr. Clark"; to Medellin--where a vile drug lord and his ex-KGB advisor counterplot against the Yanks; to Langley--where a newly promoted Ryan gets wind of the White House plan and its murderous excesses by the hand of a cruelly ambitious presidential advisor. Before the dust Clears, America will secretly invade Colombia; drug lords will assassinate the US attorney general; America will bomb Medellin; and many more will die as Ryan and Clark kill lots of drug lords and serfs to save American boys and honor. Dazzling macho-entertainment, and a rousing farewell present to his fans from the author--who now, as he has announced, caps (for how long?) his astonishingly popular pen.