Frederick Forsyth is one of those authors I keep coming back to. His early novels remain his best ("Jackal" and "Odessa" in particular), but this one comes in close behind them.
The kidnapping of the US president's son overlays a burgeoning crisis in fuel supplies on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Prominent Russian commanders and wealthy US oil traders are both trying to secretly force the hands of their governments towards seizing land in the Middle East. Onto the scene comes Quinn, a veteran soldier and ace hostage negotiator, charged with uncovering the hostage takers and returning the President's son to him. He has no idea just how far and how dark his journey will be before it's all over.
This novel was written in the late 1980's, just as Gorbachev was making steps to reform his nation and end the Cold War. Ronald Reagan is not his counterpart, rather it is the fictional President Cormack, ensuring that there is no conjecture about the key figures in the drama. This time is long past, and yet it has echoes of the Allies' response to 9/11 and the protest chant "no blood for oil", which followed more than ten years later.
The characters in the novel are well-developed, even if most of them are somewhat typical for this sort of fare. Quinn is the standout character; determined, mysterious, intelligent and very much his own man. Funnily enough the nastier characters are the ones who are most convincing, particularly an aged Texan oil mogul who claims his orders come from God and bears more than a passing resemblance to a certain Mr Ewing. Twists in the plot are Frederick Forsyth's trademark and in this novel there are several. The emotions are (mostly) believable and as is often the case in Forsyth's novels, the pace of events seems like an oncoming train wreck that it seems only a miracle can stop. But stop they do.
I'm sure adventure and espionage fans will enjoy it, but it would be best to start with The Odessa File if you're new to Forsyth.