Amazon.com Review No one would have blamed David Dukes if he had declined reading for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six. Not only is "Rainbow" a melting pot of secret-agent patois, but the 700-page-plus book version runs at a rampant pace--this despite the usual wealth of Clancy detail. But actor and audio pro Dukes (and the editor responsible for condensing the script onto six hours of tape) handles this daunting task admirably, applying a steady--but not urgent--Everyman's tone and imparting a sense that we're hearing the whole story. Listeners may want more, but will be satiated with this abridged rendition. Dukes also bounces seamlessly among dialects, giving distinct but easy-to-understand voices to Rainbow, a colorful cast of international good guys assembled to save the world from terrorism. The group is led by a sometimes violent but justice-minded ex-CIA agent, John Clark, who is proof that Clancy can paint a dark protagonist as vividly as his good knight, Jack Ryan. But Rainbow Six is an equally bright showcase for reader Dukes, who, like Clark, is bent on providing justice. Dukes's reading gives justice to the abridged form. (Running time: six hours, four cassettes) --Rob McDonald From Publishers Weekly Two years ago, Executive Orders, which thrust Jack Ryan into the Oval Office, raised the bar for its immensely popular author. This first Clancy hardcover since then, though a ripping read, matches its predecessor neither in complexity nor intensity nor even, at 752 pages, length, despite a strong premise and some world-class action sequences. Instead of everyman Ryan, its lead is the more shadowed John Clark, the ex-Navy SEAL vigilante of Without Remorse who has appeared in several Ryan adventures. Clark now heads Rainbow Six, an international special-ops anti-terrorist strike force?and, despite the novelty of the conceit, that's a problem, as the profusion of protagonists, though sharply drawn (including, most notably, "Ding" Chavez, Clark's longtime protege), deprives the book of the sort of strong central character that has given Clancy's previous novels such heart. The story opens vigorously if arbitrarily, with an attempted airline hijacking foiled by Clark and Chavez, who happen to be on the plane. After that action sequence, the duo and others train at Rainbow Headquarters outside London, then leap into the fray against terrorists who have seized a bank in Bern, Switzerland. And so the pattern of the narrative is set: action sequence, interlude, action sequence, interlude, etc., giving it the structure and pace of a computer game. A major subplot involving bioterrorism that evolves into an overarching plotline syncopates that pattern, though Clancy's choice of environmentalists as his prime villains will strike some readers as odd. All of Clancy's fans, however, will revel in the writer's continued mastery at action writing; Rainbow's engagements, which occupy the bulk of the novel, are immensely suspenseful, breathtaking combos of expertly detailed combat and primal emotion. While not Clancy's best, then, his 10th hardcover will catapult to the top of bestseller lists?and for good reason. Two million first printing; $1 million ad/promo; simultaneous Random Audio and Red Storm Entertainment computer game; author tour. Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.