Top positive review
Rapp races the clock to fight an Al Qaeda nuke plot
Reviewed in the United States on July 19, 2020
I liked this jihadis with a nuke story, both for Rapp’s usual bad-assedness and for the detail Flynn works in. A military raid in the early book is described in great detail - how different units raid a village containing some key Al Qaeda leaders, the assignments and tactics of each.
I thought some of Flynn’s treatment of Rapp was a little ham-handed, though. We, of course, want Rapp to read the riot act about what’s at stake to political jerks, the they-can’t-handle-the-truth crowd. But Rapp would be more effective sometimes using a razor instead of a sledgehammer. He’s kind of speechey in this book.
And Flynn’s treatment of Peggy Stealey - an assistant attorney general using feminine wiles in addition to professional chops to advance - a bit much. She’s such a femme fatale and jezebel. I’m divided on whether to enjoy her sexy, conniving rottenness as an entertaining diversion, or deem her unlikely in a job where a conniving, ambitious young woman would more likely be a sexless, workaholic yuppie.
When the CIA learns key AQs are hiding in Pakistan just over the border from Afghanistan (this written a few years before Bin Laden actually was located in Pakistan), Rapp convinces the president to let him lead a raid to clean them out.
And one reason the president gives the green light is Rapp’s boss, CIA Director Irene Kennedy, is picking up global hints of a terror plot brewing. On the raid Rapp seizes files suggesting a plot to detonate a nuke in, of course, Washington D.C.
Meanwhile a major terrorist is secretly making his way into the country and assembling the team. You know the drill. Nuke thrillers go in predictable directions but Flynn's resolution here is inventive. Plus there's always the guilty thrill of Rapp going unconstitutional on enemies with no limits of their own.