“The Teeth of the Tiger” by Tom Clancy

Brian and Dominic Caruso happened to be in the wrong place at the right time, although an argument could be made for the reverse statement. As a Marine Captain, Brian is diligent about his P.T. and knows the importance of decent footwear. He and his CIA-rookie twin were in the Seattle mall when the shooting started because Brian had insisted Dominic needed to replace his ready-for-the-garbage-heap running shoes. The terrorists opened fire, shooting indiscriminately with their AK-47s. Although many lives were lost, the Caruso brothers’ actions took down the terrorists. What they didn’t know at the time was that a coordinated effort was underway in other cities across the U.S.

International Intrigue

This was not an attack by a single cell of Middle Eastern terrorists. It was a full on show of force by someone much higher up the food chain. And while all the alphabet soup agencies were chasing their tails trying to get a handle on who, what, where, etc. the Campus was born as a new idea for dealing directly with the problem, independent of any Congressional oversight. Its first two recruits were the Caruso brothers, quickly followed by their cousin, Jack Ryan, Jr.

The twins were dispatched to ‘eliminate’ some key players who’d been identified by the Campus’ illicit snooping systems that picked up wayward electronic signals. Jack Jr. grew up in the White House and had a store of knowledge gleaned from his Secret Service details. Using that knowledge got his foot in the door as an analyst at the Campus and then his instincts took it from there. Jack’s instincts were spot on but the danger might’ve been a bit more than he’d bargained for.

“The Teeth of the Tiger” first published in 2003, is Tom Clancy’s first book in the Jack Ryan, Jr. series and the 12th in the Jack Ryan Universe series. The technological advances alone over almost 20 years is staggering but perhaps more mind-boggling is the realization that we’re still fighting the same war on terrorism. So I’ll leave that nugget alone and concentrate on this review.

Tom Clancy always took great pains to assemble all the moving parts as he began to spin a yarn and to that end, he succeeded with this book. However, I grew weary of the long philosophical discussions that took up far too many pages for my tastes. I always looked to Clancy for some good old-fashioned ass-kicking action, of which there is very little in “The Teeth of the Tiger”. The plot using a Middle Eastern trope is overdone and consequently doesn’t pack as much of a punch as I expected. Oh, and the ending is jarringly abrupt. Three stars.

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