Like a proper military operation, nine-tenths of the plot of this novel is preparation, and the remaining tenth is execution. The novel starts off slowly, opening many detailed sub-plots showing off a lot of technical detail about the US economy, CIA, US defence and military hardware. The book alternates between these different sub-plots, some of which are concluded during the novel, while others are woven together in an enjoyable military climax.
This is a "Ryanverse" novel featuring the usual characters from other Clancy novels, such as Ryan, Murray, Clark and Chavez, and also the resurfacing of some submarine officers from "The Hunt for Red October" .
As with many Clancy novels, the story is thought-provoking and semi-educational due to it's philosophical reflection and accurate technical detail. I thoroughly enjoyed it, although was somewhat disappointed with the sensationalist ending, described in the last five pages or so. I felt this to be an unnecessary and far fetched addition to an otherwise plausible novel, although in one sense it was a chilling premonition of a real event that happened just a few years later...
Fortunately the story carries on directly from the aftermath of this disaster in the sequal "Executive Orders", which I am looking forward to reading next.
Like many Clancy novels, this could be scripted into an excellent TV mini-series, but is in my opinion, too long to be made into a feature film.