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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Tom Clancy has scored a big hit with his new blockbuster, Rainbow Six. Clancy is known for his epic techno-thrillers, often about a larger-than-life hero against a larger-than-life threat to humanity or, at the very least, the American way. The Hunt for Red October established him as one of the best-selling writers of the century and soon made his major hero, Jack Ryan, a household name among Clancy enthusiasts. But also appearing in some of the Ryan books is John Clark. John is a more ambiguous hero of Clancy's, a haunted man who delves into an even darker side of humanity than Jack Ryan does.
Clark is at the center of Rainbow Six, a complex, multi-layered story of an elite team of international antiterrorists. Clark and his buddies do not shy away from using violence as a means of resolving issues with terrorists, and this gives Six something of a dark edge to it. Clancy handles all this superbly, and crosses over into the horror-thriller area with his various subplots. There are a ton of subplots, but by the end of this novel, they're all interwoven like lost strands of some grand tapestry.
The story opens with a terrorist hijacking. Clark is an ex-Navy SEAL, a man who is quick to make decisions and to take the toughest but quickest road to success. He and a couple of his men are onboard the jet as the terrorists redirect the plane to an area of Spain. The terrorists want the Spanish ambassador, who was supposed to be on board, but it turns out that only his wife is there. They are doomed from the start, as they are far too amateurish forJohnClark and the men of Rainbow Six. In short order, Clark and his men have the jet back in the hands of its rightful pilot and are heading for their next destination, the Rainbow Six headquarters in England. Rainbow Six is a top-secret group that works internationally and consists of highly skilled men in excellent physical and mental shape who are up to the task of being superheroes of sorts. Clark's son-in-law, Ding Chavez, is also part of the crew.
Meanwhile, someone is taking in homeless drunks and giving them a comfortable setting in which to live, as well as all the expensive liquor they could desire. But something is in the booze, something that might just be a key to unveiling a terrifying experiment. A Russian assassin is also on the loose, overseeing presumed terrorist operations that seem to involve huge superpowers. When the next international incident occurs, Clark and his men are ready to go in.
This time, it's a Swiss bank. Several men are holding hostages at the bank, and Rainbow Six gets in despite all obstacles. To protect the lives of the hostages, the good guys kill the robbers. But are they really robbers? Did whoever is behind the scenes of these terrorist activities intend for Rainbow Six to eliminate these men? The questions and complexities grow when we learn of top-secret experiments with drugs that may just break the genetic code.
As Clark and his team get closer to what may be an international terrorist conspiracy, they learn that even the highest-placed officials in the halls of Washington, D.C., and the lowliest of assassins have more in common than at first meets the eye. Good and evil cross over into each other for Clark as he struggles to set right the imbalance of the world of terrorism.
Clancy has penned a thrilling novel, full of paranoia, intrigue, terror, and tension that you can cut with a knife. His millions of fans, as well as newcomers to the genre, will eat this one up, and deservedly so! Highly recommended.