Just finished the “Cardinal of the Kremlin”. Even though “Red October” is my personal favorite, (see my comment under the previous Clancy post), I have to admit—this one is even better written. The novel moves at a brisk pace. The details of espionage, political intrigue and technical warfare are amazing in their detail and scope and as convincing today as they were in 1988 when the book came out. He uses the advantages of omniscient voice fully.
To me, the amazing part is his development of the characters. In this novel, Clancy has overcome the limitations of omniscient voice and a plot-driven structure. The characters are fully fleshed out. The reader is placed deeply into the minds of these people. I really felt the emotions behind every action, every decision.
This novel reads even better for me today than it did 22 years ago. It has stood the test of time. It forces me to re-think my own assumptions. I realize that all the books in the series can’t be expected to equal this, but “The Cardinal of the Kremlin” is a story I am particularly glad to have taken up a second time.