Top positive review
The Separation of Vince Flynn from all the other genre authors
Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2017
This is another superlative effort by the late Vince Flynn. Although each of these Mitch Rapp series novels purports to stand on their own (and to an extent they do), the reader really misses a vital flow and continuity by not experiencing them from the beginning. This, his forth novel and third in the Rapp series (although later he would re-number the storyline following his 2010 book American Assassin) picks up right where the previous, The Third Option, left off. Our hero, nearly killed in an Op in Germany, is now angry and determined to find out who sold him out. Back in the U.S., he is among his C.I.A. sponsors (the soon to be nominated new head of the Agency Dr. Irene Kennedy…this following the death of her and Mitch’s mentor, the previous head, Thomas Stansfield) to get as much intel as he can while also contemplating a life outside the agency with his true love Anna Reilly, the news reporter whom he’d saved in the previous episode when the White House was under siege by terrorists.
So as Rapp tries to determine where the leak has come from, another disturbing national emergency emerges…it seems that the Israeli Intelligence Group Mossad has uncovered the location of Saddam Hussein’s secret construction of nuclear weapons (this work was published in 2001, pre 9/11 and prior to the hunt, capture and execution of the Iraqi madman in 2006), directly under a hospital in Baghdad where the largest amount of collateral damage would ensue should the U.S. choose to strike.
With multiple and highly intriguing storylines that follow, it becomes amazing to the reader how Flynn balances each plotline: the Iraqi problem does in fact eventually converge with the plot to kill Mitch and of course Anna Reilly plays an important part, which adds another tone to the overall context of the story. The big thing that continues to impress me with Flynn’s novels is his ability to saturate the work with an amazingly high level of technical expertise that he’s clearly garnered from various sources while still making it fiendishly readable. I recall seeing Vince on a “Morning Joe” interview once for one of his later books and one of the commentators remarking that his books were “like crack cocaine!”
Whether it’s a criticism or not, the reader should be aware that this book ends very abruptly…all loose ends get tidied up efficiently which, of course, is the exact point of these series novels. This ending simply sets you up for the next work in the series, Executive Power, 2003, which I feel very challenged to engage upon completing this. My hesitation, of course, is that the next book will end just like this and It’ll put me on an unending course that won't end until I complete them all!
On a completely side note, I also realize what a tremendous loss the literary community suffered in 2013 with Vince’s passing. And with respect to Kyle Mills continuation of the Mitch Rapp series using Vince Flynn’s name, I was initially aghast that anyone would slander Vince or the Rapp character…my feeling, though, is that although I currently have no intention of reading anyone who would shamelessly exploit this brilliant author’s name, upon further review and as a proviso, when I near completion of the Vince series, I (who understands myself far too well) may very well find myself hopelessly addicted to Mitch's final outcome and I may very well fall into a shameful self-shallowness and pick up these objectifying efforts…all with tremendous guilt of course.
We shall see...in the meantime, though, I'm fairly satisfied that I've recognized the problem and I hope to rectify it one way or another before I confront the issue and have to face it again with the very same authorial exploiters of Tom Clancy's legacy. As for the actual Vince Flynn catalogue, I find them completely enjoyable and look forward to the next in the series.