American Assassin by Vince Flynn

When I was in high school, I read a trade paperback copy of Transfer of Power by Vince Flynn. I bought the copy from a garage sale for a quarter, and for the amount of entertainment it provided the book was quite a steal. Years later, I still buy way too many copies of used books, but I haven't kept up with Flynn's series about CIA agent Mitch Rapp. When I stumbled upon a copy of American Assassin, the chronological beginning to the character, I jumped at the chance to read another installment in the series that entertained me years ago.

The novel opens at a time before Mitch Rapp is the infamous agent that Flynn originally wrote about. Rapp has just been summoned by Irene Kennedy, an up and coming protege of the director of the CIA, to join a select group of potential recruits to a top secret clandestine force. The group functions to do the dirty work of the agency without any official directive or recognition from the government. Out of a deep pool of applicants, these are supposed to be the best of the best.

Rapp seems to be an unusual choice, especially to the man tasked with training and selecting the final members of the force. Stan Hurley dislikes Rapp from the start. He was a talented athlete and may have the physical capacity to do the job, but Mitch Rapp is an emotional mess. Rapp lost his father at a young age and his girlfriend lost her life in a terrorist attack. This has left Rapp with one thing on his mind: revenge. With the threat of future terrorist activity growing stronger each day, Rapp must face Hurley's opposition, the mounting pressure from Irene Kennedy, and most difficulty his inner demons to become one of the best agents in the history of the CIA.

American Assassin contains much of what I remembered liking about the first novel. Mitch Rapp is the kind of macho, all-American hero that is really easy to root for. Flynn writes with a breakneck pace that keeps the pages turning and the thrills coming. The supporting cast is equally well-rounded with Stan Hurley stealing nearly every scene he's in. As a prequel to the expansive series that Rapp is featured in, this book gives an adequate introduction to the character. Still, I found the development of Rapp from grieving youth to hardened special agent to be very rushed and under developed. One moment he is facing the doubts about taking on this job, the next he is ruthlessly executing terrorists. There isn't much in between. This book has certainly reinvigorated my enthusiasm for Flynn's books, but it doesn't delve much past the surface level emotions of its main character.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads.

(2017, 28)

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2 Responses to “American Assassin by Vince Flynn”

  1. Love the sound of the pacing which is something I love in a good thriller.

    1. Pacing really is vital to the success of a thriller.


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