Transfer of Power (Mitch Rapp #3) by Vince Flynn
This post may contain spoilers.
I’ve only just found out that this is the third in a series of novels on the same character. Mitch Rapp is a CIA agent but not fully employed by the CIA – kind of a sub contracted agent. Not much of his back story is given and it now seems that there is more detail in the previous books.
The concept was quite good. Rapp is on the trail of a very intelligent and ruthless Middle Eastern terrorist who then takes over the White House taking hundreds of staff hostage and with the President holed up in an underground bunker. The terrorist has the White House locked down and booby trapped while he provides a list of demands to give him time to break into the bunker and take the President hostage also.
All communications with the White House are blocked so with the President unable to perform his duties the office is transferred to the inept Vice President and his manipulative political aide who handle the negotiations terribly.
Rapp is sent in to try and restore communications and gather intelligence. He is accompanied by an ex-military civilian who has an in depth knowledge of the building and they rescue a young female journalist who is being raped by one of the terrorists. The three of them then work to free the President and prepare the outside forces to rescue the hostages.
Overall it wasn’t a bad book. It started very well and finished well but got bogged down badly in the middle. There wasn’t enough material to keep the interest levels high while inside the White House with all the focus on Rapp and his small team. I also found the characters of the VP and his aide quite unbelievable in their behaviours and how they interacted with the military, FBI and CIA heads as they worked on the solution. My biggest struggle though was with the female journalist. I found the scenario in which she was rescued far too contrived especially as the rest of the terrorists simply gave up on finding her. Her further involvement in the operation was a bit ridiculous.
It’s more likely a 3.5 star rating for this book but if you are interested I would likely recommend going back to the first book in the series and starting there. It will probably fill in the back story at least.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
More on Goodreads and Amazon.
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The American (Ryan Kealey #1) by Andrew Britton
At thirty-three, Ryan Kealey has achieved more in his military and CIA career than most men can dream of in a lifetime. He’s also seen the worst life has to offer and is lucky to have survived it. But being left alone with his demons is no longer an option. The CIA needs him badly, because the enemy they’re facing is former U.S. soldier Jason March.
Ryan knows all about March–he trained him. He knows they’re dealing with one of the most ruthless assassins in the world, a master of many languages, an explosives expert, a superb sharpshooter who can disappear like a shadow and who is capable of crimes they cannot begin to imagine. And now, March has resurfaced on the global stage, aligning himself with a powerful Middle East terror network whose goal is nothing less than the total destruction of the United States.
Teaming up with beautiful and tenacious British-born agent Naomi Kharmai, Ryan intends to break every rule in order to hunt down his former pupil, whatever the cost to himself. As Ryan puts together the pieces of a terrifying puzzle, and as the elusive March taunts him, always staying one step ahead, he discovers the mad man’s crusade is personal as well as political and Ryan himself is an unwitting pawn.
With the clock ticking down and the fate of the country resting uneasily on his shoulders, Ryan is caught in a desperate game of cat-and-mouse with the most cunning opponent he’s ever faced, one who will never stop until he’s committed the ultimate act of evil a man who is all the more deadly for being one of our own.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
An interesting debut novel and pretty well written. It is heavily influenced by the many CIA novels set during the Cold War but set against the backdrop of modern terrorism and America’s conflicts with Middle Eastern states.
While it was well written I found it pretty unoriginal. It was like he was following a successful but predictable formula. Although there was nothing surprising in the plot I look forward to seeing how the author develops and how he develops the main character as the series progresses.
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Patriot Games (Jack Ryan #1) by Tom Clancy
It is fall. Years before the defection of a Soviet submarine will send him hurtling into confrontation with the Soviets, historian, ex-Marine and CIA analyst Jack Ryan is vacationing in London with his wife and young daughter, when a terrorist attack takes place before his eyes. Instinctively, he dives forward to break it up, and is shot. It is not until he wakes up in the hospital that he learns whose lives he has saved — the Prince and Princess of Wales and their new young son — and which enemies he has made — the Ulster Liberation Army, an ultra-left-wing splinter of the IRA.
By his impulsive act, he has gained both the gratitude of a nation and then enmity of hits most dangerous men — men who do not sit on their hate. And in the weeks and months to come, it is Jack Ryan, and his family, who will become the targets of that hate.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is the second Jack Ryan novel published by Tom Clancy but it’s the first chronologically and prior to “The Hunt for Red October” which was published first. This was confusing at first as Ryan is still a teacher and only starts working with the CIA during the story.
This is quite a long book. It’s split into three connected storylines that chronicle Jack Ryan’s interaction with a fictitious extremist Irish terrorist organisation that is trying to destroy and supplant the IRA who they feel is too moderate. It initially starts in London when Ryan prevents an attack on the Royal Family. It then moves to the USA when Ryan and his family return home and the main terrorist antagonist looks for revenge.
Overall it was a very enjoyable book. There is still quite a lot of military and intelligence terminology but nothing like Red October and much more readable. He also manages not to fall into the “Oirish” trap with the Irish characters. It’s written and set in the mid 80s so the technology and politics are definitely of its time.
Like Red October this book was also made into a very successful film starring Harrison Ford.
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