Clark_Desaix1 Clark_Desaix2
Full Name: Desaix Clark
Nationality: American
Organization: State Department
Occupation Troubleshooter

Creator: Steve Pieczenik
Time Span: 1992 - 1995


Desaix Clark is international crisis manager employed by the State Department.

More of a political thriller series than spy fiction, this series nevertheless belongs because it pushes the hero into the realm of international intrigue and highly dangerous situations. This is somewhat verified with the first thoughts that Clark has in the series, "the first rule of crisis management is that there are no rules."

At 48 when the series begins, Clark is a noted psychiatrist who uses this training and his keen intellect to help defuse situations. The resume he has built over the many years of his practicing life shows why he currently holds the position of Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

He is described as having "swarthy good looks and dark, penetrating eyes" but this is a bit countered by the fact that there was "something about him that looked dissipated, even unsavory." His look is referred to as "licentious" at times, something he has to guard against but might have come from an upbringing in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It is interesting that it is noted his unusual first name Desaix rhymes with betray.

A very intelligent man, Clark knows that sometimes situations cannot be solved through negotiations; action is often needed and that usually means putting your life on the line. He is willing to do so, but battling the nation's enemies is often made harder when you have to battle your own side as well. His survival often relies on Clark's second, third, and fourth rules of crisis management, which are "control, control, and control."


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1992
Last Appearance:1995

1 Maximum Vigilance Maximum Vigilance
Written by Steve Pieczenik
Copyright: 1992

While handling an international crisis, Clark is summoned by the President who stuns with with news of an imminent coup. Then evidence comes that points to an insane President who plotting against himself. Clark is in the middle.

2 Pax Pacifica Pax Pacifica
Written by Steve Pieczenik
Copyright: 1995

Tensions are incredibly tight between the U.S. and China when now Assistant Secretary of State Clark is sent to Beijing to find out what is really the agenda. He quickly finds his life in danger as is any chance of peace.
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Mr. Pieczenik's qualifications to write about the events in this series are incredible: a Captain in the Navy, a medical doctor, another doctorate from MIT on international relations, a long and distinguished career in the State Department advising several Secretaries of State. That's impressive!

Add a darned good writer to the list. He walks the walk and talks the talk and takes you along with him for a heckuva ride!

The two adventures that Mr. Pieczenik gives us have two things in common: they are both far out there and both are frighteningly plausible, especially as this author presents them. Especially the first one. I got shivers in parts. That's good writing.


My Grade: A-


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