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Clear and Presnt Danger was written in 1989 by Tom Clancy and is his fifth book. It is the fourth book in the Jack Ryan series following on from 'Hunt for Red October', 'Patriot Games' and the 'Cardinal of the Kremlin'. This book is takes a break from the Cold War which by 1989 was now at an end and shifts Ryan's focus to the Columbian Cartels and America's war on drugs. The title refers to a speech made by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr who argued about the rights of the individual vs those of the Governement in times of war. His belief was that Government must do whatever is necessary to protect itself in those times it faces adversity.
After the US Coast Gaurd stumbles across the murder of a man and his family aboard a private yacht by two Hispanic males, the American President is forced by a shcoked and appalled public into taking a harder line on the drugs trafficking operations of the Cali Cartels. His solution with the assistance of high ranking CIA officials is to instigate a covert war on Columnian soil and take out the drugs shipments at their source.
Early successes in the war and also in seizing drug money laundered by the victim of the yacht murder soon turn sour when the Escobedo Cartel strikes back. Ryan, recently promoted to the position of Deputy Director of Intelligence at CIA, stumbles accross the escalating conflict and is forced to go behind the back of his President and most of his senior staff in order to stop the escalation before it costs more lives.
The book marks the first time Ryan and John Clark directly interact in a partnership which will span many of the Ryan series and go beyond in to Clark's own stories. Also introduced is Domingo Chavez of Rainbow Six fame.
At nearly 700 pages long, it will keep even the most avid reader busy. It has multiple plot strands, most of which I have omitted from the above synopsis to avoid giving away how it plays out. Needless to say you'll need to be fully aware of who characters are and what they do. More than once characters who are introduced early on will reappear only later to fulfil their roles. This book is one of Clancy's lighter tech novels, which helps. Equally the lack of Cold War hostility means that is has aged better, although the military obsessives out there will probably note the use of older machines and tech.
It's probably fair to say that tis was the first point at which Clancy's start began to wane. This book doesn't need to be as long as it is and you can't help feeling that some of the characters could have been compressed or even removed altogether. Even with Clancy's easy narrative you may struggle to keep on going. As it is, it's not a bad book, but you will begin to feel it's a bit of a slog. If you are a fan, then you'll probably enjoy it. If not i'd suggest Hunt for Red October might be a better place to start.
After playing Rainbow 6 the game I bought the book and read it, I completely enjoyed it. I was describing the book to my father and he told me about the Characters of Clark and Chavez that appear in some of the other works by Clancy, so off into the attic I went to find the books and I am annoyed that I have not read this book before as it is a most excellent book that finds you gripped with anticipation in whether they survive or not. This book is set in America who is as always having some trouble with drugs and so they decide to do something about it by sending some soldiers over to Columbia, they also do some other things but to find out about them you will need to read this book and I would advise you to read it as once you start you will not be able to put it down. In this book you see Jack Ryan who works for the CIA and also played important parts in other Clancy titles, make some very hard decisions about right and wrong. Also as I mentioned earlier you see Clark and Chavez, who become very important people in Rainbow 6, start to work together. This book is full of action and suspense, which will leave you hungry for more of the same; there is plenty of gun totalling action with tragedy thrown in to keep you occupied with every turn of the page. If you have seen the film like I have then I would recommend that you read this book as there is so much more going on between these pages then the film shows.
Now that's what I'm talkin' about!! Although recently Tom Clancy has come under fire from critics, one cannot forget his earlier efforts, nor deny their merits. Clear and Present Danger is perhaps the best example of Mr. Clancy's abilities, which are formidable indeed. Whether it is espionage, military tactics, government conspiracy, or plausible, future scenarios you crave, you will be satisfied by this effort. It's length is not formidable (compared to some of Mr. Clancy's more recent tomes), and there are no real moral messages and expositions to wade through. Overall, Clancy at the top of his form, and highly recommended.
Clear and present Danger is the bok that clancy really lays the ground work for the rest of the series introducing two of the key players Mr Clark and Domingo Chavez that go to star in the rest of his books on the CIA agent Jack Ryan. The story revolves around the Americans problems involving the Columbian drugs cartel and is possibly losely connected to there involvement in El Salvadour. A presidential advisor takes it upon himself to aid the president by launching special forces into the jungle to tackle the drugs problem at source of course things go wrong and the advisor washes his hands of it leaving Jack Ryan, John Clark and later Chavez to pick up the pieces. All in all a well told story with plenty of high tech chicanary that Clancy is so good at but with plenty of twists and turns along the way.
I found with this book that the author is deep into detail and dedicated to giving you all the background information. This causes the stories to start off slowly and to be honest it was hard to staying going anfd not lose interest in the book.. As you continue on however, references become less and less explained and the story picks up faster. Even when he explains some of the military terms and procedures, if you're not familiar with (as I am not) , it can get pretty challenging. I was not too impressed with the beginning of the book but the end of the book has much suspense and many interesting twists.
I guess I'm not a great fan of Clancy. I loved Red Storm Rising though,because of it's abundance of military knowledge, action, suspense and plot. I mean that is a book that has a huge amount of content and justifies being 1000 pages long. But all of his other books, including CAPD are 250 page novels expanded with boring tedious detail. Someone should go to his books cut out all the needless blurb and release it. I would buy it as it's clear there is a good plot at work, but following it is like reading through treacle.
I read this book without any expectations at all. It is not a genre I would normally read, but there I was at the train station, with nothing to read on the train, and I had alredy read everything by my favourite, second favourite, and even slightly less than favourite authors. So I picked this up and began to read. It must be said the basic plot is actually ok, although nothing particularly out of the ordinary. But the masses of technical jargon you are expected to wade through is just completely unreasonable. I felt as though I had just read a catologue for guns, helicopters and other sundry military equipment. The impression the author gives is that he has done a heck of a lot of research, and you are darned well going to listen to it!! The characters are not developed in nearly the depth that the hardware descriptions are. Perhaps it is my fault for reading outside my own genres. Perhaps Mr. Clancy is catering to a readership who demand such lengthy descriptions. But actually I expect any book to be able to engage me, even if I have no technical expertise, and this one failed utterly
If you have the patience to skim through a bit of technical jargon, this is a great action novel! The facts behind this story are these: in the late '80's Colombian druglord Pablo Escobar blew up a plane with 3 American nationals aboard. He wasn't interested in them but in a Columbian who had crossed him! George Bush responded by creating a secret unit of Colombian commandos dedicated to taking out the druglords. Despite many casualties Escobar was finally cornered on the roof of his Bogata mansion and riddled with assault-rifle bullets. The squad went on to mop up the Medellin and Cali drug cartels - but of course, new narco-trafficers simply stepped in! Clancy gives us a fictional version with perhaps a few too many reasons to consider military intervention, and his commandos are U.S. Army Rangers, using satellite uplinks to call in laser-guided missile strikes - this is definitely a novel for techno-freaks! CIA agent Ryan's (almost) single-handed rescue of the survivors, and a U.S. Secretary of State flying down to hobnob with a rogue Cuban Colonel, are a bit hard to swallow; still, this is a ripping yarn!