Formulaic MacLean story. Starts with Amsterdam airoport flooded, as a way of getting the readers' attention, moves to further floods (dikes blasted) in the Netherlands and threats of even more, as a way of drawing attention to the terrorists' demands. The hero is a typical MacLean hero, just a little too good, fluent in languages, explosives, criminal behaiviour, organisation, self-confidence, yet still not the top man in his organisation (the Amsterdam police force); a natural gentleman, concerned for and afraid of his sister. The ladies in the novel are simply the most beautiful available or imaginable; and perfect ladies. The government figures are, except for one, dolts and incapable of understanding a simple statement. The terrorists are, in this case, fighting for a worthy ulitmate cause, though their methods are to be despised and themselves destroyed. Just happens, though, that the leader is a son of an English earl and, in his own way, to be pitied also. It is as though MacLean got tired of writing, towards the end of his career, the original, inventive, and clever plots such as "H.M.S. Ulysses" and "The Guns of Navarone" and instead took the most successful portions of some of his other tales and fit them into a basic plot outline. Sad to say about MacLean, whom i loved at one stage in my life, reading everything i could find of his, but this is nowhere near his peak ability.