I am a HUGE Clancy fan, and have read all of the Jack Ryan series and loved most of them. But to be honest, this is definitely not my favorite. It does provide some great background into a gap of Jack Ryans history that was referred to many times in the series. However it seems to drag sometimes with unexciting details of the spy business (which I normally enjoy), and government bureaucracy. The last 3rd is good if you can get to it. From what I heard, he came out with Teeth of the Tiger (an unusually short book for Clancy) so fast after this one to make up for the lackluster reviews and sales. After reading it, I can sort of understand.
Boring and repetitive. Is there anyone around who is more right wing than this guy? He's written some good stuff but this is just formula dashed off to make a buck.
Tom Clancy returns to Jack Ryan's early days - in an extraordinary novel of global political drama. . .
It's early 1980s and historian, teacher, and recent ex-Marine Jack Ryan is now a CIA officer on loan to the British SIS. On his very first day, an extraordinary document crosses his desk. Because of government repression in Poland, the new Pope, John Paul II, has threatened to resign his papacy.
In Moscow, another man is contemplating the very same document. Yuriy Andropov, the chairman of the KGB, does not like what he reads, does not like what it means for him or for his nation. All it takes is one man to cause everything he has worked for to crumble. All it takes is one man to stop him. The Pope is very powerful, but he is also mortal. . .
A very skillful blend of fiction and history!
This is the story of Jack Ryan before his involvement in the Hunt for Red October - sort of a background for him. A colonel deep in the KGB feels he must defect to get a terrible plot to the CIA before the Soviets succeed. He risks his life and that of his family to do so. Excellent story with background on the CIA and British Intelligence. A good read.