Jack Ryan series

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Tom Clancy managed to combine old-time classic espionage writing, with fast paced military action supported by a thorough knowledge and understanding of the technical, strategical and tactical aspects. From the peak of the cold war, to a new world where alliances are being reconfigured and new enemies emerge, Clancy walks his main character, Jack Ryan, from the gifted analyst's desk in CIA to the supreme office of his country.

Out of the 14 books in this series, 13 are #1 New York Times bestselling novels and 4 of them have been turned into major motion pictures.

 

Books in the storyline's chronological order

 

Without Remorse

Two missions, two wars, one man -- and time running out.

Over the course of seven novels, Tom Clancy's "genius for big, compelling plots" and his "natural narrative gift" (The New York Times Magazine) have mesmerized tens of millions of readers and established him as one of the preeminent storytellers of our time. Without Remorse, however, goes beyond anything he has ever done.

Its hero is John Kelly, a man well familiar to Clancy's readers by his code name, Mr. Clark. In The Sum of All Fears, he hunted down nuclear terrorists. In Clear and Present Danger, he led aerial raids against drug lords. In The Cardinal of the Kremlin, he spirited away a KGB chief's family by submarine. But nothing will ever be as deadly -- or as personal -- as the danger he must face in Without Remorse. John Kelly, former Navy SEAL and Vietnam veteran, is still getting over the accidental death of his wife six months before, when he befriends a young woman with a decidedly checkered past. When that past reaches out for her in a particularly horrifying fashion, he vows revenge and, assembling all of his old skills, sets out to track down the men responsible, before it can happen again.

At the same time, the Pentagon is readying an operation to rescue a key group of prisoners in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp. One man, they find, knows the terrain around the camp better than anyone else they have: a certain former Navy SEAL named John Kelly. Kelly has his own mission. The Pentagon wants him for theirs. Attempting to juggle the two, Kelly (now code-named Mr. Clark) finds himself confronted by a vast array of enemies, both at home and abroad -- men so skillful that the slightest misstep means death. And the fate of dozens of people, including Kelly himself, rests on his making sure that misstep never happens. Men aren't born dangerous. They grow dangerous. And the most dangerous of all, Kelly learns, are the ones you least expect. . .

Originally published on 1993.

 

 

Patriot Games

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 leans 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.

Sweeping from England to Ireland to America with ever-growing momentum, its suspense steadily intensifying as Ryan must summon all the skills and knowledge at his command to battle back against his nemesis, Patriot Games gives us a remarkable set of characters in the most desperate struggle of their lives. As with Tom Clancy's two previous triumphs, it is both a marvel of the storyteller's art -- and, as the headlines attest, frighteningly real.

Originally published on 1987.

 

Red Rabbit

In the early 1980s, long before serving in higher offices, before he fought terrorist attacks on the Super Bowl or the White House, even before a submarine named Red October made its perilous way across the Atlantic, Jack Ryan was a historian, teacher, and recent ex-Marine temporarily living in England while researching a book. A series of deadly encounters with an IRA splinter group had brought him to the attention of the CIA's deputy director, Vice Admiral James Greer -- as well as his counterpart in the British SIS, Sir Basil Charleston -- and when Greer asked Jack if he wanted to come aboard as a freelance analyst, he was quick to accept. The opportunity was irresistible, and he was sure he could fit it in with the rest of his work.

And then Jack forgot all about the rest of his work, because on his very first day, and extraordinary document crossed his desk. The new Pope, John Paul II, had just delivered a private ultimatum to Warsaw: If the government persisted in its repression, he would feel compelled to resign the papacy and return to Poland. And in Moscow, another man was contemplating those very same consequences. Yuriy Andropov, the chairman of the KGB, did not like what he read, did not like what it meant for him or for his nation. All it took was one man to cause everything he had worked for to crumble. . . And all it took was one man to stop him. The Pope was very powerful -- but he was also mortal, wasn't he?

And so it begins, and almost unthinkable plot that quickly becomes much more -- a plan to bring down not just leaders, but nations. In the weeks to come, Ryan will find himself in the middle of a chain reaction he could not have imagined, a high-stakes game meant to shake the world. . . and in which a novice CIA analyst just might be out of his depth.

Originally published on 2002.

 

The hunt for Red October

Somewhere under the Atlantic, a Soviet sub commander has just made a fateful decision: the Red October is heading west. The Americans want her. The Russians want her back. And the most incredible chase in history is on....

The Hunt for Red October is the runaway bestseller that launched Tom Clancy's phenomenal career. A military thriller so accurate and convincing that the author was rumored to have been debriefed by the White House. Its theme: the greatest espionage coup in history. Its story: the chase for a runaway top secret Russian missile sub.

The book is loosely based on the failed mutiny on board the Krivak class frigate "Storozhevoy" in 1975. The military response depicted in the novel is likely from events surrounding the sinking and subsequent salvaging of K-129.

Originally published on 1984.

 

The Cardinal of the Kremlin

Two men possess vital data on Russia's Star Wars missile defense system. One of them is CARDINAL--America's highest agent in the Kremlin--and he's about to be terminated by the KGB. The other is the one American who can save CARDINAL and lead the world to the brink of peace--or war.

Jack Ryan steps in to investigate mysterious structures on the Soviet-Afghan border, the Soviets have struck again by zapping a satellite with a free electron laser. The cardinal leaks details of this secret activity to the United States.

In the backdrop of technological bravura, spiced by artful espionage and all-too-human mistakes, intelligence is transferred back and forth and there are attacks and counterattacks. It is a mark of Clancy's growing maturity as a writer that he can bring these subtleties into highly entertaining form.

Originally published on 1988.

 

Clear and present danger

The president, unsatisfied with the success of his "war on drugs," decides that he wants some immediate success. But after John Clark's covert strike team is deployed to Colombia for Operation Showboat, the drug lords strike back taking several civilian casualties. The chief executive's polls plummet. He orders Ritter to terminate their unofficial plan and leave no traces. Jack Ryan, who has just been named CIA deputy director of intelligence is enraged when he discovers that has been left out of the loop of Colombian operations. Several of America's most highly trained soldiers are stranded in an unfinished mission that, according to all records, never existed. Ryan decides to get the men out.

Ultimately, Clear and Present Danger is about good conscience, law, and politics, with Jack Ryan and CIA agent John Clark as its dual heroes. Ryan relentlessly pursues what he knows is right and legal, even if it means confronting the president of the United States. Clark is the perfect soldier, but a man who finally holds his men higher than the orders of any careless commander.

Originally published on 1989.

 

The sum of all fears

The center of conflict is the perpetual hot spot the Mideast, where a nuclear weapon falls into the hands of terrorists just as peace seems possible. Clancy realistically paints an almost unthinkable scenario--the bomb is planted on American soil in the midst of an escalation in tension with the Soviet Union; the terrorists hope to rekindle cold war animosity and prevent reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

Despite such a dramatic story line, Clancy doesn't neglect the individuals who drive his tale. Jack Ryan's problems are as much domestic as they are part of the international crisis that is the ostensible narrative: National Security Director Elizabeth Elliot has the president's ear, and she has convinced him that Ryan's ethics are questionable. She hints at marital infidelity and an insider-trading scandal. Of course, both accusations are false, but her arguments have enough evidence behind them (e.g. some photographs of an innocent embrace with a friend) to cause a strain in the Ryans' marriage and a flurry of media attention. While "Mr. Clark" tracks the terrorists, he also provides some needed intelligence to heal the Ryan family.

The Sum of All Fears is the stuff of nightmares but contains enough verisimilitude to terrify sober minds. Ryan has matured into a complex protagonist as Clancy's writing, too, has matured. Ryan is plagued by stress and self-doubts that test even his dauntless moral compass and make him a more interesting subject for readers' attention. Those fascinated by military hardware, from nuclear submarines to atomic weapons, will find almost enough here to start their own army. And Clancy's understanding of international politics seems chillingly correct.

Originally published on 1991.

 

Debt of honor

On the Pacific island of Saipan, a wealthy Japanese businessman regards his new-bought land with satisfaction. In the Indian Ocean off Sri Lanka, a foreign navy begins a series of highly unusual exercises. At the headquarters of America's major stock-clearing corporation, an engineer brings a customized computer program on-line for the first time, and smiles at his own private joke. Three seemingly unrelated incidents, but all jus the first links in a chain of events that will stun the world.

alled out of retirement to serve as the new President's National Security Advisor, Jack Ryan quickly realizes that the problems of peace hare fully as complex as those of war. Enemies have become friends, friends enemies, and even the form of conflict has changed. What he cannot realize, however, is just how close the next conflict is. And when one of those new enemies readies a strike not only at America's territory, but at the heart of her economy, it is Ryan, with the help of CIA officers John Clark and Domingo Chavez, who must prepare an untested President to meet the challenge, if Ryan can only figure out how. For there is a debt of honor to be paid -- and the price will be terrifyingly high.

Originally published on 1994.

 

 

Executive orders

The President is dead -- and the weight, literally, of the world falls on Jack Ryan's shoulders, in Tom Clancy's most extraordinary novel. A joint session of Congress destroyed, the President dead, most of the Cabinet and the Congress dead, the Supreme Court and Joint Chiefs likewise. Dazed and confused, the man who only minutes before had been confirmed as the new Vice-President of the United States is told that he is now President. President John Patrick Ryan.

And that is where Executive Orders begins. Ryan had agreed to accept the vice-presidency only as caretaker for a year, and now, suddenly, an incalculable weight has fallen on his shoulders. How do you run a government without a government? Where do you even begin? With stunning force, Ryan's responsibilities crush in on him. He must calm an anxious and grieving nation, allay the skepticism of the world's leaders, conduct a swift investigation of the tragedy, and arrange a massive state funeral -- all while attempting to reconstitute a Cabinet and a Congress with the greatest possible speed.

But that is not all. Many eyes are on him now, and many of them are unfriendly. In Beijing, Tehran, and other world capitals, including Washington, D.C., there are those eager to take advantage where they may, some of whom bear a deep animus toward the United States -- some of whom, from Ryan's past, harbor intense animosity toward the new President himself. Soon they will begin to move on their opportunities; soon they will present Jack Ryan with a crisis so great even he cannot imagine it.

Originally published on 1996.

 

 

Rainbow Six

Ex-Navy SEAL John Clark is the newly named head of Rainbow, an international task force dedicated to combating terrorism. Clark is looking forward to getting his teeth into a new mission, but the opportunities start coming thicker and faster than anyone could have expected: an incident at a Swiss bank, the kidnapping of an international trader in Germany, a terrible raid on an amusement park in Spain.

Each episode seems separate, discrete, yet the timing disturbs Clark. Is there a connection? Is he being tested? With the help of his close associates, executive officer Alistair Stanley and strike team leaders Domingo Chavez and Peter Covington, Clark tries to figure out where all this activity is heading, but there is no way to predict the real threat: a group of terrorists like none the world has ever encountered, a band of men and women so extreme that their success could literally mean the end of life on this earth as we know it.

It is Tom Clancy's most shocking story to date -- and closer to reality than any government would care to admit.

Originally published on 1998.

 

 

The Bear and the Dragon

Newly elected in his own right, Jack Ryan has found that being President has gotten no easier. Domestic pitfalls await him at every turn, there's a revolution in Liberia, the Asian economy is going down the tubes, and now, in Moscow, someone may have tried to take out the chairman of the SVR - the former KGB - with a rocket-propelled grenade.

Things are unstable enough in Russia without high-level assassination, but even more disturbing may be the identities of the assassins. Were they political enemies, the Russian Mafia, disaffected former KGB? Or, Ryan wonders, is something far more dangerous at work here.

Ryan is right. For even while he dispatches his most trusted eyes and ears, including black ops specialist John Clark, to find out the truth of the matter, forces in China are moving ahead with a plan of truly audacious proportions. If they succeed, the world as we know it will never look the same. If they fail--the consequences will be unspeakable.

Originally published on 2000.

 

 

The teeth of the tiger

A man named Mohammed sits in a café in Vienna, about to propose a deal to a Colombian. Mohammed has a strong network of agents and sympathizers throughout Europe and the Middle East, and the Colombian has an equally strong drug network throughout America. What if they were to form an alliance, to combine all their assets and connections? The potential for profits would be enormous -- and the potential for destruction unimaginable.

In the Brave New World of terrorism, where anybody with a spare AK-47, a knowledge of kitchen chemistry, or simply the will to die can become a player, the old rules no longer apply. No matter what new governmental organizations come into being, the only ones that could be truly effective are those that are quick and agile, free of oversight and restrictions. . . and outside the system.

In a nondescript office building in suburban Maryland, a firm named Hendley Associates does a profitable business in stocks, bonds, and international currencies, but its real mission is quite different: to identify and locate terrorist threats, and then deal with them, in whatever manner necessary. Set up with the knowledge of President John Patrick Ryan, "The Campus" is always on the lookout for promising new talent, its recruiters scattered throughout the armed forces and government agencies -- and there men are about to cross its radar.

The first of them is Dominic Caruso, a rookie FBI agent, barely a year out of Quantico, whose decisive actions resolve a particularly brutal kidnap/murder case. The second is Caruso's brother, Brian, a Marine captain just back from his first combat action, in Afghanistan, and already a man to watch. And the third is their cousin. . . a young man named Jack Ryan, Jr.

Jack has grown up around intrigue. As his father rose through the ranks of the CIA and then to the White House, Jack received a life course in the world and the way it works, from agents, statesmen, analysts, Secret Servicemen, and black-ops specialists such as John Clark and Ding Chavez. He wants to put it all to work now -- but when he knocks on the front door of "The Campus," he finds that nothing has prepared him for what he is about to encounter. For it is indeed a different world out there, and in here. . . and it is about to become a lot more dangerous.

Originally published on 2003.

 

Dead or Alive

It is called the Campus. Secretly created under the administration of President Jack Ryan, its sole purpose is to hunt down, locate, and eliminate terrorists and those who protect them at will, without sanction or oversight. A self-sufficient entity, it has no official connection to the American government—a necessity in a time when those in power consider themselves above such arcane ideals as loyalty, justice, and right or wrong.

Covert intelligence expert Jack Ryan Jr. and his compatriots at the Campus have waged this silent war in every corner of the world. Now joined by two of his father's closest allies—black ops warriors John Clark and "Ding" Chavez, as well as Brian and Dominic Caruso and Mary Pat Foley—the Campus has come up against its greatest foe: a sadistic killer known as the Emir. The mastermind of countless horrific attacks, the Emir has eluded capture by every law enforcement agency in the world—a fact which the Campus is determined to change. But his greatest devastation is yet to be unleashed, as he plans a monumental single strike that will destroy the heart of America, unless the Campus can take him Dead or Alive. On the trail of the Emir, Jack Ryan Jr. will find himself following in his legendary father's footsteps on a deadly manhunt that will take him and his allies across the globe, into the shadowy arenas of political gamesmanship, and back onto U.S. soil—in a battle to prevent the fall of the West...

Together for the first time, an all-star cast of Tom Clancy's characters race to ensure the nation's survival and to complete their mission: the desperate search for a madman who may be hiding in plain sight.

Originally published on 2009.

 

 

Locked on

Jack Ryan, Sr. has made a momentous choice. He's running for President of the United States again and thus giving up a peaceful retirement to help his country in its darkest hour. But he doesn't anticipate the treachery of his opponent, who uses trumped up charges to attack one of Ryan's closest comrades, John Clark.

Now, Clark is in a race against time and must travel the world, staying one step ahead of his adversaries, including a shadowy organization tasked to bring him in, all while trying to find who is behind this.

Meanwhile, Jack Ryan, Jr., Ding Chavez, Dominick Caruso and other members of the Campus—the top secret off-the-books intelligence agency founded by Jack Ryan during his first term in the White House—deal with a question of their own: Why is a Pakistani military officer meeting with Dagestani terrorists? The answer will ultimately lead to a desperate struggle, with nothing short of the fate of the world at stake.

Originally published on 2011.

 

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