A Mitch Rapp Mystery by Vince Flynn
Review: Vince Flynn provides an introduction to his popular series character, CIA counter-terrorism operative Mitch Rapp, in American Assassin, a prequel set in the late 1980s.
As a young, athletic and intelligent, Mitch Rapp awaits the arrival of his fiancÚ home from Europe, he's stunned to learn the flight she's on, Pan Am 103, has fallen from the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland, the result of a terrorist bomb placed aboard the plane. Angry, he's open to an opportunity presented by the CIA to become an undercover agent for their Special Operations Group. When Irene Kennedy, an agent working for Director Thomas Stansfield, met the twenty-two year old Rapp, it was apparent to her that he was the one they were seeking for a unique project. His potential immediately recognized, he was stripped of his identity — a person with no official record, a person who doesn't exist. He would be trained, honed and forged into a ultimate precision weapon and he would begin to hunt down every faceless person who had conspired or would conspire to harm innocent civilians. Although he had never killed a man before, when his training is over, under the leadership of cantankerous Stan Hurley, he is ready to kill … and kill again. He no longer sees a youthful college student in the mirror; rather, he sees the face of a killer. With Stansfield acting as judge and jury, Rapp is the executioner, his assignments taking him to Istanbul; then on to Hamburg and all across Europe, where he leaves a trail of bodies in his wake. Rapp has no way of knowing that the enemy has become aware of his existence — he has no official existence. But it isn't long before the hunter becomes the hunted.
American Assassin is a pulse-pounding thriller, one not easily put down, but it is also a dark, at times deeply disturbing one. Graphic scenes of torture, for example, are included that, while not gratuitous, are nonetheless gruesome. Still, this book is mostly about character: Mitch Rapp, a strong, natural leader who is given a task and sets out to accomplish it. Yet there are limits to what he can and should do, and these are explored here from several perspectives. Rapp's joining the CIA was not altruistic; he wanted revenge. But personal revenge can cloud professional judgment, and by the end of his training, Rapp knows — or at least is aware of — the difference. American Assassin is certainly an exciting novel, one that now provides a foundation for all that follows in Rapp's life (or, in this case, the ten novels that precede it and, undoubtedly, the many more to come).
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of American Assassin.
Acknowledgment: Simon & Schuster provided a copy of American Assassin for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Atria Books (Hardcover), February 2012
ISBN-13: 9781416595205; ISBN-10: 1416595201
Location(s) referenced in American Assassin: Washington DC
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American Assassin by Vince Flynn — A Mitch Rapp Mystery
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: October 2010
List Price: $27.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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