Clancy (Carrier, 1999, etc.) weighs in with his latest doorstop/thriller about international intrigue. This time out, our old friend Jack Ryan (of Executive Orders, 1996, etc.) is now in the White House and trying to straighten out the Social Security system when he’s distracted from his efforts by big trouble in Moscow. The head of the SVR (a.k.a. the KGB) is nearly killed in a rocket-grenade hit. The Mafia? Communist hardliners? No one is sure, so the FBI and CIA offer to lend a hand. Some of the evidence points east, so there is plenty of action in China. Much of the intelligence is garnered from the Vatican’s Diplomatic Corps, which means a fair amount of ecclesiastical drag. When it becomes necessary for the US and the Soviets to launch a joint military effort, however, the real action begins—in the classic Clancy mode, with plenty of hardware lovingly deployed.
Standard Clancy overkill, with the usual strengths and weaknesses.