Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Review of "Debt of Honor," by Tom Clancy

Review of

Debt of Honor, by Tom Clancy ISBN 0399139540

Five out of five stars

 This book has been claimed to be prescient in that two major plot elements are a severe financial and securities meltdown and a commercial airliner being used as a political weapon of terror. The initial premise is that the leaders of Japan, China and India enter into a conspiracy to dramatically alter the territorial alignment of Asia. The leader of Japan is not the prime minister, but one of the leading figures of the Keiretsu, the business consortium that essentially ran Japan.

 When there are horrific accidents due to poorly constructed fuel tanks on Japanese-made automobiles, the reaction in the United States is to enact punitive legislation against Japan and Japanese products. They are so severe that there is the danger that the Japanese economy will collapse. Somewhat reminiscent of the situation between the U. S. and Japan in the years before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. There have been years of military reductions in the United States, so Japan thinks that they can invade Saipan and annex it with impunity. The Japanese leader also pays off an American programmer to execute a logic bomb that will collapse the American and European financial systems.

 Jack Ryan is the National Security advisor to the American President, so he is entrusted with planning the American response. It is also a time when the U. S. and Russia have destroyed their last nuclear weapons and in contravention to treaty, Japan has acquired nuclear weapons.

 Like all Clancy novels, it takes a great deal of time and ink to set up all of the premises needed to trigger the story. Many of the other regular characters of the Clancy stories are supporting characters, although some of them have risen in rank and stature. It is a great story with one of the most surprising endings of all action novels. It puts the reader in the position of begging for a sequel.

 The only downside is that all American technology and plans work to near perfection, which is contrary to the real world. That is a fairly easy leap of faith, so the result is an adventure story you get attached to.

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