The Cardinal of the Kremlin

by Tom Clancy

Hardcover, 1988



Fiction. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:Two men possess vital information on Russia's Star Wars missile defense system. One of them is Cardinal â?? America's highest agent in the Kremlin â?? and he's about to be terminated by the KGB. The other one is the American who can save Cardinal and lead the world to the brink of peace . . . or war. Here is author Tom Clancy's heart-stopping masterpiece â?? a riveting novel about one of the most intriguing issues of


½ (1067 ratings; 3.7)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Lynngood
The superpower arms negotiations appear to be making progress, but a US spy satellite reveals that the Soviets are building a massive laser-defence system.
LibraryThing member ctmscofr
Set near the end of the Cold War, The Cardinal of the Kremlin is a fast paced action adventure novel that I had a hard time putting down. Much like Clancy’s other novels, this story is told through multiple points of views, and stars Clancy’s famed protagonist, Jack Ryan. Mainly, it is about an
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undercover CIA agent, named Colonel Mikhail Semyonovich Filitov, who is hidden way high up in the ranks of the Soviet Army. When Filtrov sends information about the new Soviet laser defense system, all havoc breaks loose. A small slip on an exchange was witnessed by a KGB agent, and now the whole chain of CIA spies throughout Moscow is beginning to be uncovered. Jack Ryan and the rest of the CIA must find a way to get Filtrov and his information out of Moscow, while he is still alive.
The Cardinal of the Kremlin was another great masterpiece by Tom Clancy. Even though it may start off a bit dry and slow, Clancy’s meticulous writing skill leaves one satisfied and not begging for questions. I found that this book had one of the most intense few ending chapters of all time (even for Clancy standards), and I read the second half of the book in under three days, whereas the first half took several weeks. It was worth every second because The Cardinal of the Kremlin is a adrenaline fueled action espionage adventure which will make your hands tremble with anticipation with every turn of a page.
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LibraryThing member ianw
I'll do the same review for all Clancy's novels because they're all pretty much the same. Very long, very detailed, and after a while, very repetitive. If you stop after just a few of his books you'd probably give them 4 or 5 stars, but beyond that they start to grate. Especially where Jack Ryan is
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involved. I mean, Clancy spends hundreds of pages getting his details just right, the settings perfect etc., then he has Ryan dodging more bullets than James Bond! I finally threw my hands up and surrendered when Ryan becomes President. I can't remember what piece of crap that was in.

I've given three stars as a compromise between my reactions when reading my first Clancy (brilliant) and last Clancy (doorstop).
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LibraryThing member santhony
Jack Ryan stars in this Clancy thriller. The top CIA operative deep within the Kremlin must be rescued before he is identified and terminated by the KGB.
LibraryThing member mikedraper
Jack Ryan of the CIA is back in this Tom Clancy novel.

In a complicated plot, action takes place in Afghanistan where the U.S. is helping the Afghans resist the Russian invasion, in part, by providing missiles to destroy Russian helecopters.

The United States and Russia are competing to develop a
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Star Wars missile system capable of shooting down enemy satilites. This could be enough for the country possessing this system to control space.

Russian spy Colonel Mikaeil Filitov, "The Cardinal" has been providing U.S. with info about Russia's military for years but now, he must escape from Russia and Jack Ryan must help.

Interesting to re-read this novel and see the many characters who will be part of Clancy's future books.
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LibraryThing member Borg-mx5
Back when I read Clancy, I enjoyed this book. Less so now. I do miss the old evil empire and the political intrigue we all assumed was going on. Overall, not a bad book.
LibraryThing member whitesg
It always takes me halfway to get into a Clancy book but once I'm there I cannot put it down.
LibraryThing member dagwood
Read this while I was in mid-20's. Very good story line that kept me immersed in the pages for hours on end.
LibraryThing member tyroeternal
Enjoyable, as essentially all Clancy books are.
LibraryThing member Doondeck
The second best Clancy book
LibraryThing member Antbe
Cardinal of the Kremlin by Tom Clancy was boring. It was about Jack Ryan and his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Filitov. Filitov is an old Soviet turned American spy and Ryan is a CIA agent.
I thought the book was boring. Clancy goes into every little detail which is very boring. I think that’s a
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problem with Clancy’s books. I’d recommend it to someone who wants to suffer through a book.
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LibraryThing member christinejoseph
Spy novel - Misha, KGB - CIA very technical intrigue - okay

Two men possess vital data on Russia's Star Wars missile defense system. One of them is CARDINAL—America's highest agent in the Kremlin—and he's about to be terminated by the KGB. The other is the one American who can save CARDINAL and
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lead the world to the brink of peace…or war. Here is author Tom Clancy's heart-stopping masterpiece. A riveting novel of the most important issue of our time.
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LibraryThing member R.E.Stearns
Meandering but seriously entertaining. I don't know why everybody complained about the narrator over on Audible... He's fine!
LibraryThing member longhorndaniel
very good story
LibraryThing member Vivian_Metzger
This was a slow start, as far as Clancy books go. It was great in its usual fare, with good action, and great attention paid to spies and dirty politics. Not his best, but still a great Jack Ryan read!
LibraryThing member jpsnow
Classic Clancy about the race for superior defense.
LibraryThing member threadnsong
For all its detailed research into the weapons and technology of the time, this book did not hold up well for me. To read about the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 2022, and all the events that are going on just in the past year, is interesting from a historical perspective. Yet there is also
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the patina of the "noble savage" motivated by a Holy War that is jarring in a post-9/11 world. And confusing the authoritarian rule of the USSR with the economic thought of Marxism is just bad scholarship.

That said, the insights into Soviet machinations and a quest for absolute power for its own sake are fascinating. The passing of secrets, tiny little film cartridges and the great detail that Clancy put into every single hand-off are great. What the spies do to maintain their cover and how they are found out are also brilliant. But Clancy constantly trots out the "Marxist-Leninist doctrine" as motivation for the non-US characters in ways that don't fit either the characters or the overall story arch. The women who are mentioned by name at least have some depth or motivation: the good ones are mothers and are US citizens; the bad ones are single and Soviet citizens.

Unlike "A Perfect Spy," this book has just not held up well over the decades when it was written and the events that take place in it.
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New York, NY G.P. Putnam's Sons (1988)

Original publication date



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