Tom Clancy's Patriot Games is filled with the exceptional realism and authenticity that distinguished the author's two previous bestsellers, Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising. Patriot Games puts us on the cutting edge of another type of war — the international battle of terrorism.
It is fall. Years before the defection of a Soviet submarine will send him hurtling into confrontation with the Soviets, historian, ex-Marine and CIA analyst Jack Ryan is vacationing in London with his wife and young daughter, when a terrorist attack takes place before his eyes. Instinctively, he dives forward to break it up, and is shot. It is not until he wakes up in the hospital that he learns whose lives he has saved -- the Prince and Princess of Wales and their new young son -- and which enemies he has made -- the Ulster Liberation Army, an ultra-left-wing splinter of the IRA.
By his impulsive act, he has gained both the gratitude of a nation and then enmity of hits most dangerous men -- men who do not sit on their hate. And in the weeks and months to come, it is Jack Ryan, and his family, who will become the targets of that hate.
Introduced in The Hunt for Red October, Jack Ryan, the naval historian who freelances for the CIA, returns in this novel, in which Clancy demonstrates once again that he is a master of a genre he seems to have createdthe technico-military thriller. On a visit with his wife and daughter in London, Ryan stumbles onto an attempt by a new Irish revolutionary group to kidnap the Prince and Princess of Wales and their eldest son. Using his Marine Corps training, Ryan saves the royals (which leads to several visits between the Ryans and the residents of Buckingham Palace), but Ryan becomes the target of the surviving terrorists. Many familiar elements of the Clancy style are evident here: a fascination with machines and systems and procedures; thin characters; idealization of the soldier's life ("the discipline and the essential toughness that makes them different''); sarcastic humor; and a discordant sentimentality about family life. There are also some unintended ironies, particularly Clancy's praise of the CIA and the Marines, considering recent news from Washington and Moscow. Nonetheless, Clancy spins a marvelously tense yarn that will appeal to his legion of fans. First serial rights to Penthouse; Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, Military Book Club, Reader's Digest Condensed Books selections.