All the elements you have come to know in Tom Clancy's novels ---
big conspiracy, spies, and lots of technical detail --- are back in
RAINBOW SIX. This time the enemy conspirator is a lot closer to
The protagonist in RAINBOW SIX is John Clark, Clancy's favorite
spook, whom we already know from WITHOUT REMORSE, DEBT OF HONOR and
EXECUTIVE ORDERS. In this latest adventure, Clark is the head of a
newly-formed multinational anti-terrorist group called Rainbow. He
teams up again with Domingo "Ding" Chavez, his trusty sidekick from
DEBT OF HONOR and EXECUTIVE ORDERS.
Forgoing his typical story backdrops --- the Cold War and
international espionage --- Clancy instead employs the preeminent
fear of the 90's --- the threat of a biological catastrophe.
Terrorist activity is linked to a plan launched by the founder of
Horizon Corporation, a large bio-medical company that takes its
research into communicable diseases a little too far and decides to
play God with humanity as we know it. If John Clark is not
successful in deterring this outbreak, the resulting pandemic will
exterminate most of mankind.
Clark and Chavez run to the rescue of banks, financiers, and theme
parks being held hostage by terrorists. What is the
common thread connecting these events? As usual Clancy feeds the
reader a stream of seemingly unrelated tidbitsand then weaves these
tidbits together later in the novel causing us to gasp "AH-HA" and
flip the page, eager for the new plot twist. All the while we
implore the heroes to see that to which we already have been given
insight. It is like being at the movies and yelling at the screen
warning the hero to "Watch out!"
As one would expect from Tom Clancy, the technical information
about the inner workings of all the events is top notch. In the
same way that Clancy turned his readers into amateur submariners
(THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER), he now now makes us privvy to the inner
workings of a hostage rescue team. Everything from explosives to
sniper rifles to high tech surveillance gear is now made as
familiar to the reader as the chair he is sitting on. Clancy's
attention to technical detail makes this story believable and
allows the message to hit home.
This story is Clancy at his best --- as one TBR reader said, there
is only one Tom. You will be surprised by the plot twist at the
end. I closed the book shaking my head at the resolution as it was
not what I expected.
Reviewed by Pat O'Toole on January 23, 2011