I read a chapter of this book years ago, and I really want to read it now but can't remember the name or author (Tom Clancy maybe?). It started like this:

Two men (at least one is really high up in the military), drive to a meeting separately. They meet in a park or somewhere like that to avoid microphones or cameras recording them. They talk about possible plots against the US (I think the White House specifically) and one of them talks about how he would do it if he were a terrorist. Based on the ripples in a nearby harbor/body of water, he realizes that there are boats under the water (he was a sailor or something), and they both realize that the plot he thought of was occurring right then. They leave quickly in the non-military guy's car because they think the military guy's car will be sabotaged.

I know that was hard to follow but if anyone knows what this book is, please help!

  • I really want to say Clancy's Debt of Honor, but there is no similar scene. Oct 5, 2017 at 11:37

1 Answer 1


I'm almost certain this is Empire, by Orson Scott Card.

The only excerpts I can find online are from the first chapter, whereas the events you describe happen slightly later in the narrative. However, I clearly remember this occuring in the novel, and the Wikipedia summary backs this up:

...Major Malich works at the Pentagon, where he writes the plans to find holes in American security, having no idea that they will fall into the wrong hands. The plans call for a stealthy underwater entrance into Washington, D.C., followed by a rocket launcher attack on the White House, relying on an inside informant to give the location of the President. Malich and Coleman come upon the attack in progress, and, after acquiring rifles, attempt to prevent the attack....

An excerpt from a borrowable copy of the book from the Internet Archive:

"So let me put this together," said Coleman after a while. "You came up with practical workable plans to kill the President of the United States and turned them over to your superiors at the Pentagon. But you also fear that you're being observed even when you come out to the tip of Hain's Point, a city park where a bunch of schoolchildren climb all over a statue of a giant rising out of the earth."


"Do you sail?" asked Coleman.
"No," said Ruben. "I leave that to the SEALs."
"I grew up sailing. My dad loved it."


Coleman pointed toward the water only a few dozen yards from where they stood. "There's something under the water — there, there, there, and there. Maybe more farther out, but those four are the ones I can see."


"I always come here." Reuben started walking toward Coleman’s car. "Get your keys out," said Reuben. "You’re driving."
"I’ve watched the movies. I know how this plays out. My car is going to get shot up and wrecked and fall into the river, and your car will be fine."
"My guess is that my car won't start," said Reuben.

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