Tom Clancy, born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1947, was the son of a mail carrier and a credit employee. He graduated from Loyola College in Baltimore in 1969. After marrying Wanda Thomas, an insurance agency manager, Clancy became an insurance agent. Later, in 1973, he joined the O. F. Bowen Agency in Owings, Maryland. He became an owner there in 1980. Although he was very interested in the military, his poor eyesight made him ineligible for a military career. However, he kept his interest and researched various aspects of the armed forces and military technology.
In the late 1970s he formed ideas for several novels which were later written in the 1980s. Clancy wrote in his spare time, while still working to raise a family. In 1984 the Naval Institute Press, a noncommercial publisher, published his first novel, The Hunt for Red October. This book was noticed by President Reagan, who praised the book and helped boost it to bestseller lists. Clancy continued to use plots based on political issues of the world. All of his novels were on bestseller lists. Clear and Present Danger sold more copies than any other novel that was published in the 1980s.
Clancy has been called the creator of the “techno-thriller” genre. He uses extremely detailed descriptions of military technology and weapons to create realism. Occasionally, his descriptions, which were derived from declassified information and interviews, were so accurate that military officials disapproved of them because they found the descriptions of weapons and tactics to be very close to reality. Today Clancy continues to write successful novels. One of Clancys most popular books is Rainbow Six.
This book starts with a prologue that introduces us to the main character, John Clark, an ex-Navy SEAL. Clark is the commander in charge of starting a new European anti-terrorist group called Rainbow Six. Rainbow Six is split into two teams: Team 1 and Team 2. They are based in Hereford, England, but any European country can call on them at any time. In the first 6 months of being in operation they are called on three times which seems unusual. The first incident happens in a Swiss bank where terrorists have taken control and have hostages.
Team 2 successfully takes them out, losing only one hostage, who was killed before they arrived. The second mission is in Germany. An international trader is taken hostage in his mansion/castle. This mission goes well too, thanks to the snipers. No hostage deaths, but all the terrorists are killed. The last mission that they are called on in the book is in Spain, in a huge amusement park. Earlier on in the book we hear a conversation in a french high security jail, with the Jackal and his lawyer.
The Jackal tells his lawyer he is sick of being in jail and to call his friends and they would know what to do. The terrorists at the amusement park are well prepared, but not well enough to take on the Rainbow Six team. They take 30 children hostage, and demand for the Jackal and several other prisoners release. One of the major things that problems for the terrorists is that the Rainbow team has the technology to disable all cellular phones. This keeps the terrorists from being able to communicate, with each other.
Once this is accomplished, the team easily takes them out one by one. They then take out the large group. Only one child is killed. The terrorists do this killing to show they are serious. Eventually, the most unimaginable terrorist act is attempted. Using the cooling system at the Olympics, the terrorists will launch a deadly virus. They are immunized against the virus, but within a few years, the rest of the world will be killed. The Rainbow team manages to stop this and find the base where they were going to hide and manage to defeat the terrorists.
Red Storm Rising follows the attempt of the Soviet Union to overtake the Atlantic Ocean. They wish to accomplish this because it would give them the ability to launch an offensive on the United States. It begins with the destruction of a Soviet oil refinery. The Russian army makes a push on Iraq to try to gain control of precious oil fields. They also attack Iceland, because it would allow them to reach further into the Atlantic. The Russians become so power-hungry that they decide the only way to gain the power they want is to cripple NATO, then start a huge war.
Clancy makes use of technical details in all of his novels. This adds to the realism. Most technical details are explained well so you do not get confused easily. He develops the characters well. When reading, you understand what each character is thinking and why they do what they do. His work is so popular because he makes his stories so interesting and suspenseful. By doing this he keeps the readers attention, and makes them want to read his other novels. They also appeal to a large audience because they include many different elements.