Debt of Honor

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Tom Clancy burst onto the scene in 1984 with his first novel THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. He has since published a number of best-selling thrillers, including PATRIOT GAMES (1987), CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER (1989), and WITHOUT REMORSE (1993). In DEBT OF HONOR, Jack Ryan—Clancy’s remarkable superhero—must come to America’s rescue once again. The post-Cold War world is far more complicated. In years past, it was the struggle with the Soviet Union for world supremacy that kept the military industrial complex occupied. Clancy wrote some of his most compelling thrillers pitting the two world powers against each other. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the world of espionage has changed drastically. In the 1990’s, national economic policy has become as crucial to national security as is the size of the weapons arsenal. Because the threat to America’s security could come from any direction, Clancy argues quite forcefully that the defense establishment should not be downsized.

In DEBT OF HONOR, Ryan has come out of retirement to serve as National Security Advisor to President Roger Durling. The United States must construct a cohesive policy to defuse various dangerous situations, including an aggressive Indian navy and some power-hungry Japanese businessmen. Clancy slowly weaves his intricate plot strands. In addition to spinning a wild tale of intrigue, Clancy spends a necessary amount of time instructing the reader in the inner workings of various business and governmental patterns of etiquette. Although the plot is too complicated at times, the attentive reader will be rewarded many times over, especially with a dramatic and jolting ending.