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The Teeth of the Tiger is a thriller novel by Tom Clancy. Published on August 1, 2003, it is a part of the Ryanverse, and follows the adventures of Jack Ryan Jr., son of the original Jack Ryan, set in a post-9/11 world.

Plot summary

A Mossad Station Chief is assassinated in Rome. This piques the interest of "The Campus", an "off-the-books" intelligence agency situated in direct line-of-sight between the CIA and NSA. The Campus, operated under the publicly known company Hendley Associates, funds itself via stock market trades influenced by the captured intelligence data, thus removing federal oversight and allowing free rein in its operations. Jack Ryan Jr., the son of former President Jack Ryan Sr., soon discovers the Campus' black operations. Wanting to serve his country in the post-9/11 world, he is hired as an analyst.

Brian Caruso is a U.S. Marine returning from Afghanistan to be decorated for his achievements. Dominic Caruso, his brother, is an FBI agent who, while investigating a kidnapping of a little girl, finds her in a tub raped and killed, and he intentionally kills the man who did it.

A strike team is soon recruited as well. The team is made up of FBI agent Dominic Caruso and U.S. Marine Corps Captain Brian Caruso, nephews of Jack Ryan, Sr. Both were chosen for their ability to kill enemies in cold blood. However, Brian is unsure of the morality of carrying out preemptive assassinations, even against terrorists. This changes when cells of Islamic fundamentalists cross the U.S.-Mexico border armed with MAC-10 submachine guns and attack several suburban malls. Brian and Dominic happen to be at one of the malls when the attack occurs, and although they efficiently find and dispatch all four shooters, dozens of people are killed. Similar slaughters occur at most of the other targeted sites. When a child he was holding in his arms dies in the mall, Brian's misgivings about eliminating those responsible die with him. The Campus decides the brothers are ready and implements a "reconnaissance-by-fire" strategy to flush out the terrorist leaders.

To carry out the assassinations, the brothers are issued a weapon utilizing succinylcholine, developed by a Columbia University professor whose brother died in the 9/11 attacks. The succinylcholine is delivered through a hypodermic needle disguised as a pen. Twisting the nib switches the tip from a normal tip to a sharp needle that delivers 7 milligrams of the substance. Only 5 milligrams are necessary for death. The substance causes complete paralysis at 30 to 50 seconds and death at 3 minutes, shutting down all the muscles within the victim, with the exception of the heart. However, it makes the murder look like a heart attack, thus raising no suspicion.

Disguised as tourists, the team travels across Europe, finding and eliminating several major players in the terrorist organization. The first three hits go off fairly routinely, the brothers are able to apply the syringe and quietly escape before the targets expire. For the fourth assassination, the brothers are joined by Jack Ryan Jr. Although originally present as an observer, Jack is forced to eliminate the target himself when a random accident spills wine on the brothers' suits, spoiling their anonymous appearance. After killing the terrorist, Jack uses his hotel key to gain access to his computer, and downloads the entire contents for later analysis.


The Campus

The Organization

  • "The Emir", an influential figure who heads the Organization; still at large.
  • Uda bin Sali, a terrorist banker/financier in the UK; killed by Brian.
  • Anas Ali Atef, terrorist recruiter in Germany; killed by Dominic.
  • Fa'ad Rahman Yasin, terrorist messenger in Austria; killed by Brian.
  • Mohammed Hassan al-Din, a high-level terrorist leader who varies his location, also is half-british which allows hims to disguise himself in any country in europe is the killer of Mossad agent David Greengold; killed by Jack Ryan Jr.
  • Muhmad, a terrorist of unknown rank, who witnessed the deaths of both Fa'ad and Mohammed.

The Cartel

  • Ernesto, the leader of the cartel, but most think he's part of a council, after giving permission to work with the terrorists, he and the cartel are not mentioned

Critical reception

Like Red Rabbit, The Teeth of the Tiger was poorly received by critics.[1] Reviews for The Teeth of the Tiger have been "tepid at best."[1] The Washington Post described it as a "bloated, boring, silly novel"[2] with "inane dialogue, gossamer characterizations, endless repetition and bumper-sticker politics."[2] The San Antonio Express-News described the novel as "an acceptable thriller"[3] that is "an obvious attempt to reinvent the franchise [Clancy] has created."[3] In contrast, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch praised The Teeth of the Tiger for being "mercifully briefer than its chronological predecessor in the Jack Ryan series."[3][4]