In a rolling sea off the coast of South America, a target disappears in a puff of green light In the Soviet hills of Dushanbe near the Afghanistan border, an otherworldly array of pillars and domes rises into the night To the two greatest nations on earth, no contest is urgent than the race to build the first Star Wars missile defense system, and no one knows that than the two men charged with assessing the Soviets capabilities Colonel Mikhail Filitov of the Soviet Union, an old line warrior distrusted by the army s new inner circle of technocrats, and CIA analyst Jack Ryan, hero of the Red October affairEach must use all his craft to arrive at the truth, but Filitov gets there first and that s when all hell breaks loose Because Filitov, code named Cardinal, is America s highest agent in the Kremlin, and he is about to be betrayed to the KGB His rescue could spell the difference between peace and war, and it is up to Jack Ryan to accomplish it if he can as, in a breathtaking sequence of hunter and hunted, Filitov s life, and Ryan s and that of the world itself literally hang in the balance


10 thoughts on “The Cardinal of the Kremlin

  1. Igor Ljubuncic Igor Ljubuncic says:

    After writing my Clear and Present Danger review, I decided I ought to add a fewClancy opinionaires So let s continue with this one A very solid, entertaining book Le classique, as the French would say It s got the right dose of technology, warfare, sci fi hi tech stuff, espionage, bad Russians, good Russians, noble Russians, Afghanistan, satellites, LASERS, friggin lasers, narrate that Dr Evil style, everything you can expect from an 80s cocktail of Texas Ranger meets MIT postgrad m After writing my Clear and Present Danger review, I decided I ought to add a fewClancy opinionaires So let s continue with this one A very solid, entertaining book Le classique, as the French would say It s got the right dose of technology, warfare, sci fi hi tech stuff, espionage, bad Russians, good Russians, noble Russians, Afghanistan, satellites, LASERS, friggin lasers, narrate that Dr Evil style, everything you can expect from an 80s cocktail of Texas Ranger meets MIT postgrad meets someone who s read about Soviet interrogation methods and how women think on USENET.The book is quite good in that it lacks the later taint of too much White House politics that became Clancy s calling card, making him the favorite reading slash fapping material among politicians, ahead of Playboy and Good Housewives You enjoy the Janes Monthly expose plus John Wayne western like attitude to problem solving plus lesbians YES Clancy had a dirty mind once.We do need a limerick, now With cliche names as sharp as razor,Ryan wore a Navy blazer,Russian spies,Lesbians and lies,In the end, twas a friggin laser.Have much funski,Igor


  2. Stephen Stephen says:

    3.0 to 3.5 stars This was the first Tom Clancy book that I ever read and it turned out to be my least favorite On the good side, I loved the introduction of Mr Clark who is my favorite character of the Clancy novels However, the novel seemed to drag in places and I just found myself wanting the plot to move along Overall, it was still a god read and by other author s standards would have been a 4 star effort at least However, I hold Clancy to a higher standard based on his later efforts 3.0 to 3.5 stars This was the first Tom Clancy book that I ever read and it turned out to be my least favorite On the good side, I loved the introduction of Mr Clark who is my favorite character of the Clancy novels However, the novel seemed to drag in places and I just found myself wanting the plot to move along Overall, it was still a god read and by other author s standards would have been a 4 star effort at least However, I hold Clancy to a higher standard based on his later efforts so he has to live with 3 to 3.5 stars for this one


  3. Lena Lena says:

    Comrades, this was much better the second time around I got choked up at the end, a tear nearly escaped Complex, tense, and insightful, this story sees Ryan making bold moves I did speed through the Afghan parts because it was bitter and depressing That entire situation was, in hindsight, perhaps a facepalm in American foreign manipulation You can almost hear the Russians laughing How do like your Afghan comrades nowAudible note the narrator was irredeemably bad I read the ebook inst Comrades, this was much better the second time around I got choked up at the end, a tear nearly escaped Complex, tense, and insightful, this story sees Ryan making bold moves I did speed through the Afghan parts because it was bitter and depressing That entire situation was, in hindsight, perhaps a facepalm in American foreign manipulation You can almost hear the Russians laughing How do like your Afghan comrades nowAudible note the narrator was irredeemably bad I read the ebook instead


  4. Thomas Strömquist Thomas Strömquist says:

    Following the disappointing Patriot Games, Clancy redeemed himself in my eyes with a spy thriller with classical ingredients, i.e the extrication of a Soviet double agent by the Americans It s been a long while since I ve read any Clancy, so caveat lector is in place here But I would say that should I re read any of the books, it is this one and The Sum of All Fears Following the disappointing Patriot Games, Clancy redeemed himself in my eyes with a spy thriller with classical ingredients, i.e the extrication of a Soviet double agent by the Americans It s been a long while since I ve read any Clancy, so caveat lector is in place here But I would say that should I re read any of the books, it is this one and The Sum of All Fears


  5. Peter Meredith Peter Meredith says:

    As an author, Clancy brings a workman like approach to The Cardinal of the Kremlin There is little in the way of fanciful prose, or endearing characters and the story is choppy, however this is far from unusual for him He relies a good deal on the technical aspects of cutting edge weaponry and good old fashioned spy vs spy action to keep readers turning the page.Yes, Jack Ryan is back, but even in his second book he is starting to wear thin and thankfully plays only a small, yet important role As an author, Clancy brings a workman like approach to The Cardinal of the Kremlin There is little in the way of fanciful prose, or endearing characters and the story is choppy, however this is far from unusual for him He relies a good deal on the technical aspects of cutting edge weaponry and good old fashioned spy vs spy action to keep readers turning the page.Yes, Jack Ryan is back, but even in his second book he is starting to wear thin and thankfully plays only a small, yet important role But there is a new hero in town We are introduced to one of my favorite characters ever and far from endearing it is the shadowy, Mr Clark As the ultimate anti James Bond spy, he makes the book worth it all by himself.Obviously, I recommend this to all Clancy fans If you haven t read him yet, start with The Hunt for Red October and then Red Storm Rising


  6. Rob Rob says:

    The short short version of what became my review A gripping spy thriller that brings back all that Cold War Nostalgia but Tom Clancy has obviously never met a lesbian before in his life Perhaps it goes without saying, but Tom Clancy s work is not high literature He will never rank up there with Ernest Hemingway 1 or David Foster Wallace or Angela Carter He ll be published long after his death as an historical literary study, a snapshot of late stage Cold War Paranoia but those are elec The short short version of what became my review A gripping spy thriller that brings back all that Cold War Nostalgia but Tom Clancy has obviously never met a lesbian before in his life Perhaps it goes without saying, but Tom Clancy s work is not high literature He will never rank up there with Ernest Hemingway 1 or David Foster Wallace or Angela Carter He ll be published long after his death as an historical literary study, a snapshot of late stage Cold War Paranoia but those are elective seminars in the History annex, and not part of the upper division English rubric That is totally fine though this is why we bother cracking the covers on a Tom Clancy novel for the thrill ride that is his particular flavor of military political techno thriller His schtick is to razzle dazzle his readers 2 with the nitty gritty details of this or that weapon real or hypothetical and to go on tangents that involve world history as told through the lens of the Military Industrial complex and or to speculate on then contemporary socio political machinations as told through the lens of world history as told through the lens of the Military Industrial complex We re not in it for the metaphors, we re in it for the bombs And the lasers.My first exposure to Clancy was in the late 80s or early 90s, starting withRed Storm Risingand working my way through his books At some point between ages 10 and 14, I read The Cardinal of the Kremlin 3 Having re read RSR back in 2006, I thought it might be worth re reading another Tom Clancy book A re read 20 years in the making, I thought to myself I had only two memories of this book, one vague 4 and one specific 5 , and thought that, if nothing else, at least it would be like reading a book for the first time.So I borrowed my Dad s paperback and queued it up for a January read 6 My vague recollection footnote 4, vide infra turned out to be pretty close so at least that much was memorable, but I d forgotten some of the other depth Though calling it depth is maybe too generous What Clancy does with this book is go bonkers with the espionage and counterintelligence business He goes out of his way to include every facet the analysis and speculation, the field operations, agents, double agents, counter agents, double counter agents, spy satellites, submarines, extractions, kidnapping, disguises, botched missions, and the kind of at the highest levels manifestations of what can only be boiled down to extortion It s all in there.And but I had completely forgotten about the whole sub plot with the Archer and all the Afghan mujahideen stuff The spy junk that makes up 70 80% of the book is great but it would have been a completely two dimensional arc It helps to be reminded that the conflicts between the super powers did not take place in a vacuum, and what was it that Archimedes said about long enough levers But there was also a huge let down here The big Act Two climax that bridges us into those closing chapters had a bizarre and almost nonsensical setup view spoiler Clancy presents us with Bea Taussig who works in the administrative staff at the Tea Clipper project and is a lesbian who has fallen in love with Candace Long, one of the scientists on the project who happens to be engaged to the brilliant lead scientist on the project, Alan Gregory On the surface, the whole secret unrequited love bit is not all together awful or implausible What s awful about it is that it seemed hastily tacked on to give her a motivation for her treason only it doesn t explain it all There is a bunch of narration in there about how Bea dislikes Alan Gregory, and how her friend Candace can do better but it s all framed pretty hetero normatively as though Bea were simply a prissy spoiled brat who looked down on the geek , and that same narration is lacking any sort of outward disdain for men in a general sense 7 But even if an outward disdain for men in a general sense were a good marker for us that Bea were a lesbian and I m saying that it s not then we still have the problem of motivation because why would she sell state military secrets to the Soviets to a totalitarian regime even one in the middle of liberalizing itself that had a history and an active policy of sending queers to labor camps Was it then just the money If she were motivated simply by the money, I could get by on that I could give Clancy a pass Now clearly Bea is not motivated by ideology because there is no evidence in the text for that, and because we re assuming that she is motivated first by the money and maybe just maybe she is motivated by the excitement that comes with the danger of spying there s some evidence in the text for that, too , but we still have that long last mile to bring us up to that final mark where she assists in Gregory s kidnapping Suddenly we go from spoiled materialistic chick with a mis guided sense of adventure to lovesick to the point of delusional lesbian accomplice kidnapper passing microfilm with state secrets in the dressing room is one thing, but assisting in a KGB sponsored kidnapping is quite another Especially since the follow on was for her to start awkwardly groping Candace with Federal agents right downstairs not 24 hours after Gregory is reported missing And even if you were still on board after that, you have to then accept that she would completely fold break down and spill everything to the Feds about her crimes Right the woman who was in it for the thrill, the woman who didn t bat an eyelash when the KGB proposed an on American soil kidnapping, was going to hastily and predatorily move in on her distraught friend, and then and thenjust spill everything hide spoiler I m sorry but I m just having too tough a time making that leap with you there, Tom.The whole Bea Candi Gregory not quite love triangle bit aside, the novel was a fun read and full of every kind of semi kinda sorta mostly realistics it could happen spy business you could want It certainly tickled my Cold War Nostalgia 1 And I don t even particularly like Hemingway 2 Largely males ages 18 65 Largely white Largely dudes who self report their favorite movies as Top Gun and or Rambo and or Red Dawn 3 Yes, I was effectively a child 4 I knew it was about spies, and SDI lasers 5 I remembered the scene where Mary Pat Foley scribbledLet s give these microphones a hard on6 I had to get throughNeanderthalandThe Untouchablebefore that, first 7 And but which would still not paint a picture of Bea as a lesbian, though that might have painted a picture of her as a lesbian as seen through the lens of the Conservative White Male Maybe


  7. Ken Hammond Ken Hammond says:

    The Cardinal of the Kremlin by Tom Clancy Colonel Mikhail Semyonovich Misha 3 time winner of the medal Hero of the Soviet Union during WW2 By the 60s he had become disillusioned with everything incompetent leaders and wasteful loss of lives CIA Recruited Misha after the deaths of his wife and 2 sons becoming its most valuable asset in the upper echelons of Soviet power After a bungled effort to get information regarding USSR Star Wars program the much vaunted anti nuclear bal istic missile The Cardinal of the Kremlin by Tom Clancy Colonel Mikhail Semyonovich Misha 3 time winner of the medal Hero of the Soviet Union during WW2 By the 60s he had become disillusioned with everything incompetent leaders and wasteful loss of lives CIA Recruited Misha after the deaths of his wife and 2 sons becoming its most valuable asset in the upper echelons of Soviet power After a bungled effort to get information regarding USSR Star Wars program the much vaunted anti nuclear bal istic missile program to shoot down missiles with lasers Misha captured tortured but unbroken but for how long Realising this the CIA go with Jack Ryan s rescue plan What follows is intrigue and dastardly acts sneaking behind and full on frontal attacks What I thought were side stories like the Archer cleverly Clancy has intricately interwoven and meshed together several side plots Battle tactics and best laid plans laid to waste and even believable if or unbelievable technologies were created however some fantastic ideas and possibilities abounds Anyway a long story but very worthwhile


  8. Rob Rob says:

    Executive Summary I found this one a bit uneven The start was pretty slow, but the pace picked up as it went on Good, but not great.Audiobook Michael Prichard did a decent job narrating He spoke clearly with good inflection and volume, but didn t really add anything to the book Audio a good option, but definitely not a must listen Full Review I mostly read SFF, so it s always nice to take a break with another genre I hadn t exactly planned to listen to this one, but I had put a hold in Executive Summary I found this one a bit uneven The start was pretty slow, but the pace picked up as it went on Good, but not great.Audiobook Michael Prichard did a decent job narrating He spoke clearly with good inflection and volume, but didn t really add anything to the book Audio a good option, but definitely not a must listen Full Review I mostly read SFF, so it s always nice to take a break with another genre I hadn t exactly planned to listen to this one, but I had put a hold in for this awhile back because the wait list was pretty long The timing on my hold worked out pretty well to fit this into my schedule.When I was younger I probably read thrillersthan any other genre, but I never read and Tom Clancy apart from Net Force and in writing this review I discovered he didn t even write that I had watched all the Jack Ryan movies however I m still working my way slowly through the entire series in publication order, and this one was up next It certainly doesn t have the name recognition of several of the other Jack Ryan books, but it was a fairly solid entry I found it slow in the early going, and wasn t really getting into it There were a few different subplots, including a random Afghani mujahideen whose name we never learn, and is simply referred to as the Archer I had no idea how that was supposed to tie in with everything else going on.As someone who was born in the 80 s, I didn t learn about our involvement with helping the mujahideen, until much later I must admit it seemed a bit strange to me reading this after we ve been fighting in Afghanistan ourselves for so many years That aside, it took quite some time for the relevance of Archer s storyline to fit into the larger picture.Jack Ryan is once again at the center of the story, but one could argue not the most important character That may be the titular character the Cardinal himself, or possibly one of the other players in Russia That doesn t mean he isn t a key player, but there is a lot of time spent away from Jack and his actions in this one.This book certainly had a lotespionage than the previous books I liked how Mr Clancy presented both the American and Soviet sides At times I felt he was a bit too eager to paint the Americans as lagging behind the Soviets This isn t from any sense of superiority as an American, but simply that it felt like he was doing it try to ratchet up the stakes a bit too much In the end though, I thought it was a pretty well balanced, with people on both sides of the conflict who simply wished to avoid further escalation of conflict between the US and the Soviet Union Both sides made mistakes, and both sides took advantage of their adversaries mistakes.There wasn t a whole lot of action in this one Most of the tension comes from the various spy plots Don t get me wrong, there are still a few gunfights, explosions and a car chase, but I felt like they aren t as prevalent as other Jack Ryan stories.I thought the end of the book really picked up the pacing, likely because the early part spent so much time moving the pieces into place and setting up the stakes of the book.I enjoyed the book, but I didn t love it I m glad my library seems to have the whole series in digital audio now, so I can simply borrow these books rather than buying anyof them I suspect most of them will be in the fun, but not spectacular category that I d place this book


  9. Ed Ed says:

    One of the best stories by one of my favorite authors, which I first read in 1992 Whenever one of Tom Clancy s novels deals with any subject I know a little something about, it always strikes me as being well written and true to life This novel deals with spies and counter intelligence, subjects about which I know very little however, based upon what Clancy has written about on other topics, I am left with the strong impression that this story rings true to life, as well It is based upon the One of the best stories by one of my favorite authors, which I first read in 1992 Whenever one of Tom Clancy s novels deals with any subject I know a little something about, it always strikes me as being well written and true to life This novel deals with spies and counter intelligence, subjects about which I know very little however, based upon what Clancy has written about on other topics, I am left with the strong impression that this story rings true to life, as well It is based upon the premise that the American CIA has had a deep cover agent operating in the Soviet Union s Ministry of Defense for thirty years The spy, code named Cardinal, has recently come under suspicion by the KGB, but his high position in the ministry, as well as his status as a war hero, makes him as near to untouchable as it is possible to be in the U.S.S.R As the KGB agent works to develop his evidence into the airtight case that he needs in order to arrest and expose Cardinal, the CIA learns of the investigation, and it becomes a race against time as the Americans develop a plan to rescue Cardinal and get him out before the KGB can arrest him, and very likely execute him This story is a sequel to The Hunt for Red October and features Jack Ryan, the CIA analyst who spearheaded the Red October mission It is Clancy at his very best


  10. Brian Eshleman Brian Eshleman says:

    One would not think the author could build an exciting story around something as predictable and scripted as an international summit, but when Tom Clancy s hero Jack Ryan is the aide charged with helping to write the script of the summit, the excitement will follow him Indeed, international political currents co mingle with individual rooting interests as those in high positions of the US government must decide how much risk repaying one man s loyalty is worth.Clancy s storytelling continues to One would not think the author could build an exciting story around something as predictable and scripted as an international summit, but when Tom Clancy s hero Jack Ryan is the aide charged with helping to write the script of the summit, the excitement will follow him Indeed, international political currents co mingle with individual rooting interests as those in high positions of the US government must decide how much risk repaying one man s loyalty is worth.Clancy s storytelling continues to be engaging This is true in part because he refuses to tip the scales in favor of the United States, portraying professionals on both sides of the Cold War making realistic decisions within the realm of the adjacent possible Along the way, Clancy makes cogent observations about human character as played out in his cast and particularly engaging observations about American and Soviet character Jack Ryan is clearly a man developing the set of experiences and the temperament for higher office, and getting to see that up close in fiction is enough to keep me reading at the times when Tom Clancy seems to get lost in his love for weapons and technology