- For the film see Patriot Games (Film)
|Series:||Jack Ryan Series|
Jack Ryan saves the Prince and Princess of Wales, along with their newborn (firstborn) son, from a breakaway Irish freedom fighting group, the Ulster Liberation Army. This group later goes after Ryan and his family, partially as an act of revenge, but primarily because they seek to undermine public (and specifically American) support for their rivals, the Provisional IRA. The ULA plans a strike against Jack Ryan and his family. The assassin sent to kill Ryan is intercepted before he manages to complete his task, but Ryan's wife, Cathy, and daughter, Sally, are attacked by the terrorists who spray the car with gunfire, causing it to crash. Cathy escapes with minor injuries but Sally is gravely wounded and lies near death.
This determines Jack to take an offer the CIA had given him, to start working as an analyst in Langley, Virginia. Later, the Prince and Princess of Wales come to visit Ryan in America. This gives the ULA another opportunity to conduct another operation to weaken the support for the PIRA. They plan an operation, involving the killing of Jack Ryan and his family, kidnapping the Royal Family, and assassinating senior PIRA leaders—so the leader of the ULA could take over. The attack ultimately fails, and Jack and the Prince, with the help of Naval Academy midshipmen, coast guard and local police, arrest the terrorists on a freighter they had planned to use for their escape. Jack Ryan is particularly gratified that Miller ( who he almost executes with a Browning hi Power), who had incidentally killed a Maryland cop after attacking Ryan's wife and daughter, had been arrested after committing murder in a state with the death penalty: in the attack on the Royal Family, Miller had committed murder, but the U.K. had already abolished the death penalty, so he had been sentenced to life in prison. Presumably, The U.K. would not object to his trial and execution in the U.S. for a more recent crime committed there: they would not insist on his extradition to serve a life sentence in the U.K. before his execution in Maryland by gas chamber.
The novel ends with Cathy going into labor in the Naval Academy Dispensary, delivering Jack Ryan, Jr. This child will have two very different sets of godparents: Robby and Cecilia Jackson; and the Prince and Princess of Wales.