Mitch Rapp #11
By Vince Flynn
is a vintage Vince Flynn novel. Although all of his books are considered
“grade A” political thrillers, this novel is definitely
an “A +”. This latest book reverts back to the style
of his earlier novels, Transfer of Power and The Third
Option, every character and plot driven with much less political
The reader is taken on a whirlwind tour from the “CIA farm”
in Virginia to Turkey, Germany, Switzerland, and Lebanon. The book
starts off with a young 23 year old recruit, Mitch Rapp, being trained
for a special covert program within the CIA. Flynn goes into great
detail on the type of training and personality needed for this program.
As the plot thickens Rapp is sent to do special operations, assassinating
known terrorists, and climaxes in Beirut where all his skills and
intelligence are needed to help rescue himself and fellow CIA operatives.
Although there is much less political commentary in this novel
than in the last two. This book is not completely devoid of politics.
Flynn discusses the issue of torture, targeted assassinations, and
the need for America to take an aggressive stance in fighting America’s
enemies. He mentions how William Buckley, the Lebanon CIA Station
Chief, was kidnapped and through torture gave up to the terrorists’
valuable actionable intelligence. Flynn explores the issue and emphatically
points out to the reader that torture does work. He stated that
“torture done properly will always get you the information.
Talk to anybody in the US military, any special ops person, any
intelligence person and they will tell you if captured they will
break. The key is to not talk for twenty-four hours to allow time
to destroy the information and move the assets.”
The characters are very well developed. There is a definite distinction
between the good guys and bad guys. It was interesting how the enemy
was presented, moving from America’s old adversary, Russia
to America’s new adversary, the radical Islamists. Flynn showed
through the antagonists the tie in between the Cold War ending and
the new war, the War on Terror, beginning.
The protagonists of the book are Vince Flynn reader’s favorite
characters, Mitch Rapp, Irene Kennedy, and Thomas Stansfield. These
characters are young, not the powerful intelligence leaders the
fans have come to respect, but those whose personalities are being
developed. For example, Kennedy is seen in this book as emotional
at times and is chastised by Stansfield for not following his instructions
of being publicly stoic and unemotional as seen in later books.
Rapp is also not the self assured, independent worker but a raw
recruit that is learning and refining his skills. A somewhat new
likeable character is Stan Hurley who made a cameo appearance in
the previous book, Pursuit of Honor. Hurley has a gruff,
black and white view of the world and as Flynn states,”Stan
Hurley stands for a lot in this book. He is an old school guy who
feels like the world is going to hell around him.”
Vince Flynn waited over twelve years to write the prequel to the
Rapp-Kennedy series which he plans on continuing with two more books.
This book shows that the wait was well worth it. There are insightful
comments, characters whose personalities are clearly defined, and
a fast paced plot. If you are a fan of this series you will definitely
be happy with American Assassin and if you have never read Flynn,
this novel is a good start.
of other titles in this series:
and Defend #8
Last Man #13
Of The State #16
October 12th, 2010
141659518X / 978-1416595182