Patriot Games: Jack Ryan, an ex-Marine and CIA analyst, is the hero of this fictional work.
Years before the defection of a Russian submarine plunges him into confrontation with the Soviets, Ryan is in London for a vacation with his wife and four-year-old daughter when a terrorist ambush takes place before his eyes on the Mall at St. James’ Park. Ryan instinctively dives in and breaks it up, getting shot in the process.
Upon waking in a hospital bed, Jack finds himself being hailed as an international hero and learns that his selfless actions saved the lives of the Prince and Princess of Wales and their new baby.
Though Ryan’s fearlessness has earned him many new friends, including the Queen who confers honorary knighthood upon him, it has also made him some fierce and unrelenting enemies. The Ulster Liberation Army, the fanatical ultra-leftist outcast schism of the IRA who staged the thwarted attack on the royals, is determined to seek its revenge.
Not long after Ryan returns to his Maryland home, he learns that Sean Miller, a ULA member captured during the St. James incident, has been sprung from prison by his cohorts.
Despite reassurances that terrorists operate out of political rather than personal motives and that no Irish terrorist group has ever operated successfully inside the U.S., Ryan receives permission from CIA headquarters to peruse what sketchy intelligence has been collected on the Ulster Liberation Army.
Taking every precaution, Jack also brushes up on his shooting at the Naval Institute where he teaches, installs an elaborate alarm system in his home and cautions his pregnant wife, Cathy, to take different routes to work each day.
Just when the Ryans begin to relax their guard, the ULA makes its move. Jack’s wife and daughter are targeted for assassination and narrowly escape death, and the ULA succeeds in making the public believe it was their IRA brethren who were responsible. Consumed with grief and rage, Ryan knows he will never rest until he brings his adversaries to justice.
In the months to come everyone from Ryan and his CIA colleagues to the FBI to Scotland Yard to British and even French intelligence personnel dedicate themselves to cracking the mysterious and ruthless ULA ring. But Miller and his elusive band, which happens to include a high-ranking British government official, manage to keep one step ahead of the game.
When the Prince and Princess of Wales decide to pay the Ryan family a visit during a goodwill tour of America, the stage is set for a horrifying and unforgettable showdown between people who play by the rules and those who hold nothing sacred except their cause. By the time it’s all over, however, a major battle in the struggle against terrorism is won.
Patriot Games Conclusion
Filled with the excitement, suspense and the sense of authenticity, Patriot Games portrays compelling characters in the most desperate straits of their lives.
It puts readers on the cutting edge not of a war between nations, but of a more insidious danger—for terrorism, as headlines unfortunately attest, is the kind of war that may be waged in our own backyards.