How many times can I claim that some book is the worst book I ever read before I'm pegged as always crying wolf? Well, this one is a contender. You will be dumber for having read it.
Clancy has never been a talented writer, but his earlier books at least had imaginative or entertaining plots. His last few efforts have been catastrophes, and this one is the worst of the worst. See if you can stomach this: two twin brothers, nicknamed Aldo and Enzo, are assassins working for a quasi-governmental organization (the Campus) that is accountable to no one. Jack Ryan, who is supposed to be governed by some kind of principles, has issued them pre-emptive pardons. This strikes me as legally questionable. Oh yeah, and the brothers are Jack Ryan Jr.'s cousins.
The Campus is funded by insider trading. The people that work there unilaterally decide which foreigners deserve to be killed by undercover US agents. Jack Ryan Jr. works there as well and cannot shut up for one second about what his dad did once upon a time. Though the actual Jack Ryan is not in the novel technically, his son is constantly talking about him. The assassinations ordered by the Campus are carried out by the brothers with a syringe that is disguised to look like a pen. They stick people in the butt with it and it looks like they had a heart attack. It is cowardly and stupid and the people taking this action are murderers, though you are supposed to believe they are heroes.
As you can imagine, Jack Ryan Jr. ends up going overseas and has to help commit one these crimes. I ask you to imagine for a moment how realistic it would be that Chelsea Clinton or one of the Bush twins would be hired by a secretive organization and then asked to undercover assassinate an enemy of the US on foreign soil. Do you think that would work out well? In addition, Aldo and Enzo drive around Europe in a Porsche, dress in extremely expensive suits, and check into the same hotel as their target at one point. Great spies, these two. They also kill one target without even being sure it's the right guy.
This was published in 2003, the height of rah-rah nonsense that overtook our nation for a while. Most Americans with functional value systems had an awful hard time handling this, even in that environment. If you check out the amazon ratings, it has something like 800 reviews and a rating of about two stars. That is nearly unheard of from a major author. This is a disgraceful ending to the Jack Ryan series that never should have seen the light of day.