Clear and Present Danger

Tom Clancy, Author Putnam Adult $27.95 (656p) ISBN 978-0-399-13440-1
In his fifth novel, the dean of techno-thrillers demonstrates once again his mastery of the genre. A president decides that drug smuggling has become a ''clear and present danger'' to national security. The response is a complex and covert military campaign against the ''Colombian Cartel.'' Clancy presents the technology of special operations and the details of light infantry warfare with his usual facility. Superior even to his descriptions of tools and techniques, however, is Clancy's analysis of the legal and moral problems of operating in a twilight zone, where the rules are ambiguous and an open society makes secrecy impossible. As the project unravels, Clancy's protagonist Jack Ryan tries to avert a total debacle and to rescue the men who have been hung out to dry. Clancy's scenario is plausible and its development compelling. His characters are nicely drawn--particularly a Cuban intelligence officer who has ''gone private'' and now works for the drug lords--and his conclusion is unusual and provocative. Clear and Pres ent Danger is, in short, the author's best work since The Hunt for Red October. BOMC main selection. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
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