Book Review: Patriot Games by Tom Clancy

This 1987 thriller takes readers on a heart-pounding ride through the world of espionage, terrorism, and one man’s unwavering determination to protect his family and country. As a fan of Clancy’s work, I was eager to see if this novel lived up to its reputation, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint.

Patriot Games by Tom Clancy

TitlePatriot Games
AuthorTom Clancy
GenreAction, Adventure, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Publication DateAugust 4, 1987
Length800 pages

Where to Purchase

Book Summary

“Patriot Games” introduces us to Jack Ryan, a former marine and intelligence analyst who finds himself caught in a web of international intrigue when he thwarts an IRA terrorist attack on the British royal family. While on vacation in London with his family, Ryan courageously intervenes in the attempted kidnapping of Lord Holmes, a member of the royal family, and ends up foiling the terrorists’ plans. In the process, he earns the enmity of Sean Miller, one of the IRA’s most dangerous and vengeful operatives.

The story then takes us on a rollercoaster ride as Ryan and his family return to the United States, only to find themselves relentlessly pursued by Miller and his band of ruthless terrorists. Jack Ryan becomes a reluctant hero, and his actions put his own life, as well as the lives of his loved ones, in grave danger.

As the novel unfolds, we are thrust into a world of covert operations, political maneuvering, and pulse-pounding action. Clancy’s meticulous attention to detail and his ability to create realistic and complex characters make “Patriot Games” an immersive and believable thriller.

Book Review

Now, let me dive into my thoughts on “Patriot Games.” Tom Clancy is known for his ability to craft intricate and realistic plots, and this book is no exception. The story is a fast-paced and adrenaline-fueled ride from start to finish. Clancy’s deep understanding of military and intelligence operations shines through in every page, and it’s evident that he did his homework to provide readers with a gripping and authentic experience.

One of the aspects I particularly enjoyed in this novel was the character of Jack Ryan. He’s not your typical action hero. He’s an ordinary man with a remarkable sense of duty and a strong moral compass. Ryan’s commitment to protecting his family and his country is both admirable and relatable. Unlike many other protagonists in the thriller genre, he’s not a superhuman; he’s a family man caught up in extraordinary circumstances. This vulnerability and authenticity make Ryan a compelling and likable character, and you can’t help but root for him throughout the story.

On the flip side, we have Sean Miller, the chillingly malevolent antagonist. Clancy paints a vivid portrait of a man consumed by hatred and revenge. Miller’s relentless pursuit of Ryan and his family keeps the tension high throughout the novel. His character serves as a stark reminder of the real-world threats that intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies face daily.

What struck me as remarkable in “Patriot Games” is the exploration of the theme of family. The novel delves into the sacrifices and choices that individuals must make to protect their loved ones. Jack Ryan’s determination to shield his family from harm adds depth to the story and makes the emotional stakes all the more real.

As with any novel, “Patriot Games” is not without its flaws. Some readers might find Clancy’s detailed descriptions of military equipment and procedures overwhelming at times. While I appreciated the authenticity, I can understand how some might find these sections a bit dense. Additionally, the pacing of the novel is not always consistent, with some parts moving slower than others. However, these minor quibbles do not detract significantly from the overall enjoyment of the book.

Another aspect that stood out to me was the geopolitical backdrop of the novel. “Patriot Games” was published during the height of the Cold War, and it reflects the tensions and politics of that era. Clancy’s exploration of international relations and the intelligence community’s role in shaping them adds a layer of complexity to the story.

Patriot Games by Tom Clancy is a gripping and thrilling read that lives up to its reputation as a classic in the thriller genre. With its well-crafted characters, realistic plot, and exploration of themes like family and duty, it’s a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. While it may not be for everyone due to its detailed technical aspects, I found it to be an engaging and thought-provoking read. If you’re a fan of espionage thrillers and haven’t yet delved into the world of Jack Ryan, I highly recommend giving “Patriot Games” a shot. It’s a pulse-pounding journey into the world of international intrigue that you won’t want to miss.


  • Paula Davis

    Paula Davis is a dedicated and seasoned content writer for Dreaming and Reading, where she brings her extensive knowledge and passion for literature to a wide audience of fellow book enthusiasts. With the heart of a true bookworm, Paula has immersed herself in the literary world, devouring approximately 50 books annually for the last 15 years. This impressive reading habit has not only provided her with immense joy but has also significantly honed her expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness in the realm of book reviews. Her insightful and well-crafted reviews reflect her deep understanding and appreciation of various genres, offering valuable guidance to readers in search of their next great read. With a finger always on the pulse of the latest literary releases, Paula Davis is a trusted voice and a go-to source for book recommendations and reviews.

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