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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Tom Clancy's Power Plays
Tom Clancy's Power Plays series, launched with last year's Politika, is one of the guilty-pleasure reads for Clancy addicts and all who crave action, technothrills, and the magnificent Clancy touch. Created by Tom Clancy and Martin H. Greenberg, the Power Plays series has made a fetish of fast-paced narrative and larger-than-life heroes. You can't get much larger-than-life than Clancy's Power Plays hero Roger Gordian, a strong but tender giant of a man whose warfare usually involves business and the executive halls of corporate piracy — and his belief in playing fair-and-square, and keeping America number one.
In the future, keeping secrets will be the final frontier of power — information brokering will be the gold, and a brilliant and resilient human mind will be the best tool for mining that ore.
It's the year 2000, and the pirates of the new future not only deal in computer chips and stock trading, but also in human life. When a Chinese freighter called Kuan Yin departs Malaysia with a cargo of spices and oils meant for trading in Singapore, the crew on board has no idea what doom will soon befall them. Shortly after setting sail, a renegade bunch of brigands boards the ship, and soon the smell of death and destruction permeates the sea around it. Now, the vessel and its precious cargo are under pirate control.
Zoom over to Roger Gordian, who is reminiscing about his childhood with his old friends. Once when they were young, they built tree forts to keep an eye on the bad guys of the neighborhood;nowthey're into more high-tech forms of surveillance, and nothing as innocuous as spying on the neighbors, either. Gordian possesses an ultrasophisticated encryption coding system developed for high-tech military machines. He's an all-American boy in his 40s and has no desire to pass this precious secret on to the foreign markets where it one day may be used against the U.S. But Gordian's encryption-tech company is getting extreme pressure from outside forces, and it's up to him and his crew to find out who wants this technological breakthrough and why — and what it all means to the future security of the free world.
The threat is coming from Malaysia and other Asian countries that are also on top of the information business community — essentially corporately held dictatorships in this near-future dystopia. As Gordian tries to protect his software for the U.S. military, the international drug cartels and political monsters of the world are out to get a hold of it in a vicious attempt to wrest world power into their own malicious hands.
Tom Clancy's Power Plays: Ruthless.com is a rocket-ride of a book, shooting off past the speed of light as Gordian races to keep the world safe — and to make sure that military knowledge stays in the right hands. Clancy knows how to make the implausible seem very real; he's also a master of mixing solid character development with a napalm of action, which explodes in this wild ride of a story. Ruthless.com is an aggressive, deftly plotted superhighway thriller — better fasten your seatbelt before you take this one for a spin.
— Douglas Clegg, barnesandnoble.com
— Douglas Clegg, is the author of numerous horror and suspense novels, including The Halloween Man and Bad Karma, written under his pseudonym, Andrew Harper. His recent Bram Stoker-nominated short story "I Am Infinite, I Contain Multitudes" can be found in the anthology The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Volume 11.