Rainbow Six
Contemporary Literature


Book Report


Tom Clancy’s Rainbow six is a gripping novel of terrorism, environmentalist views taken too far, and differing viewpoints of the meaning of life. I chose this book essentially unaware of the presence of these subjects, more because I had never enjoyed a Tom Clancy book to date and I figured this was the book with which to change that opinion. I ended up reading it because it was interesting, because it involved counter-terror scenarios (which are entertaining to read) and because I had heard overwhelming praise for the book from peers and relatives.


This book follows John Clark and an anti-terrorist “SWAT” style group known as Rainbow. Clark’s designation, “Rainbow Six” denotes him as the team’s commander. Throughout the book, Clark and his team are called upon to regain control of dangerous situations involving terrorist groups around the world.


As the book begins, John and his son-in-law, Ding Chavez (Also a member of Team Rainbow) are taking a flight from the U.S. to Hereford, England, their new command center. Their plane is hijacked, and the two men are successful in thwarting the attack, setting the tone for the rest of the book.


They arrive in England and meet the rest of the team, on location. They spend their first training day sizing one another up, and they grudgingly learn to respect one another, as they are all at peak physical condition.


The setting of the book switches several times, early on, confusing the reader somewhat, but in the end it all cements together. There are three other main plots that simultaneously move with that of John Clark: Dmitry Popov is an ex-KGB agent who is now working for John Brightling, CEO of an international pharmaceuticals company, and his security advisor, ex-FBI agent Bill Henriksen in the United States; A team of scientists working inexplicably on a terrible manmade virus known as “Shiva”; and Carol Brightling, John’s ex-wife, is the science advisor at the White House, and as such, is privy to knowledge of the existence of Team Rainbow. Also present are several smaller side-stories involving the terrorists as they prepare for each of their respective missions.


Through Popov, John Brightling orchestrates the occurrence of several terrorist attacks: a bank robbery in Bern; a hostage situation involving an important international stock trader in Germany; and later, an IRA attack on the hospital where two of the Team Rainbow members’ wives work. Coincidentally, after Bern and Germany, there is also an unrelated hostage situation (to which Team Rainbow responds) at a fictitious amusement park in Spain, involving 30 children.


Clark begins to wonder at the frequency of the attacks, if perhaps there is not some malicious plan testing Team Rainbow. At the same time, Popov is carefully examining the video-recorded aftermaths of each of the terrorist attacks, and notes that in each case, a man of similar build lights a pipe. A flicker of recognition crosses his mind, and he realizes that these are not the native counter-terror teams of each country, but one team on call for all of Europe. This is unprecedented, and he contacts John Brightling with his new information, just as Brightling is hearing of the existence of Team Rainbow from his supposedly estranged ex-wife, Carol.


Throughout the book, Popov is unaware as to the reason for the attacks he is commissioning, and he tries to divulge from Brightling what purpose they are serving. Brightling is tightlipped, but Popov continues to serve him, earning a healthy wage in the process.


It turns out that Brightling and Henriksen want the world to become aware and alert to the threat of terrorism prevalent in today’s society; especially the government of Australia. Sydney will be playing host to the fast-approaching Olympic games, and Henriksen wants his security company to get a contract to take care of surveillance and security systems management at the games. It is, as they say, all part of their master plan.


It turns out that John Brightling, a brilliant physician in his own right, as well as Bill Henriksen AND Carol Brightling, are all extreme environmentalists. They plan to use “Shiva,” the virus their scientists have created, to wipe humanity off the face of the planet to save Mother Nature from pollution and the