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The Teeth of the Tiger
by Tom Clancy
ISBN 0399151362 / 9780399151361 / 0-399-15136-2
Publisher G.P. Putnam's Sons
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The Teeth of the Tiger answers, vigourously, the question of what a Tom Clancy thriller would look like in the post-9/11 era. A new generation of the Ryan family takes the field, operating with considerably more ruthlessness and fewer constraints against Islamic fundamentalist killers and the money men who fund them. Jack Ryan's nephews, a Marine and an FBI man, are the hit men and his son the controlling intelligence behind their choice of targets, as revenge is taken for a set of vicious assaults on American civilians. There is a lot of background knowledge at work here--Clancy knows his stuff when it comes to people-smuggling and financial transfers--and a certain understanding of what makes both kinds of killer tick. Both religion and the idea of America are things for which men are prepared to kill and die--Clancy is at times scarily certain politics give him insight into the modern world. You read him for the occasional flurries of exciting action, but he also has something interesting to tell us about the frame of mind of his more devoted fans. --Roz Kaveney [via]