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American Assassin (Mitch Rapp Series #11)

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Vince Flynn introduces the young Mitch Rapp on his first assignment, a mission of vengeance that made him a CIA superagent.

Two decades after the Cold War, Islamic terrorism is on the rise, and CIA Operations Director Thomas Stansfield forms a new group of clandestine operatives—men who do not exist—to meet this burgeoning threat abroad before it reaches America’s shores. Stansfield’s protégée, Irene Kennedy, finds the ideal candidate in the ...

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New York, NY 2010 Hard cover First Printing, based on Printers key, stated first edition. New in new dust jacket. First edition. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 435 p. ... Audience: General/trade. #1 New York Times bestselling author Vince Flynn returns with yet another explosive thriller, introducing the young Mitch Rapp, as he takes on his first assignment. Before he was considered a CIA superagent, before he was thought of as a terroris's worst nightmare, and before he was both loathed and admired by the politicians on Capitol Hill, Mitch Rapp was a gifted college athlete without a care in the world...and then tragedy struck. Read more Show Less

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New York, NY 2010 Hard cover First Printing, based on Printers key, stated first edition. New in new dust jacket. First edition. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 435 p. ... Audience: General/trade. #1 New York Times bestselling author Vince Flynn returns with yet another explosive thriller, introducing the young Mitch Rapp, as he takes on his first assignment. Before he was considered a CIA superagent, before he was thought of as a terroris's worst nightmare, and before he was both loathed and admired by the politicians on Capitol Hill, Mitch Rapp was a gifted college athlete without a care in the world...and then tragedy struck. Read more Show Less

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American Assassin (Mitch Rapp Series #11)

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Overview

#1 New York Times bestselling author Vince Flynn introduces the young Mitch Rapp on his first assignment, a mission of vengeance that made him a CIA superagent.

Two decades after the Cold War, Islamic terrorism is on the rise, and CIA Operations Director Thomas Stansfield forms a new group of clandestine operatives—men who do not exist—to meet this burgeoning threat abroad before it reaches America’s shores. Stansfield’s protégée, Irene Kennedy, finds the ideal candidate in the wake of the Pan Am Lockerbie terrorist attack. Among the thousands grieving the victims is Mitch Rapp, a gifted college athlete, who wants only one thing: retribution. Six months of intense training prepares him to devastate the enemy with brutal efficiency, leaving a trail of bodies from Istanbul and across Europe, to Beirut. But there, the American assassin will need every ounce of skill and cunning to survive the war-ravaged city and its deadly terrorist factions.

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  • American Assassin
    American Assassin  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

This action-packed prequel sets the stage for the ten previous Mitch Rapp thrillers. American Assassin takes readers back to the event that changed the future operative's life, the 1988 Lockerbie Pan Am Flight 103 bombing that killed 270 people, including the woman he loved. This act of mass terror puts Rapp irrevocably on a death-defying path against evil extremist conspirators. A rousing work by a favorite of right-leaning media; now in mass market paperback and NOOK Book.

Publishers Weekly
With this 11th Mitch Rapp adventure, Flynn does something a little different. Taking a step back in time, he tells the story of how Rapp initially came to work for the CIA. As a young man, Rapp lost his fiancée in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am flight 103. Grief-stricken, he swears revenge on the terrorists. He's quickly recruited by the CIA and soon makes his first kill and is on his way to his first clandestine mission. George Guidall has a keen ear for dialogue, and his relaxed reading keeps Flynn's sometimes overheated prose and over-the-top plot grounded in a realm of believability. Still, he is more than capable of pulling out the stops when the action kicks in, keeping listeners on the edge of their seats once the bullets begin to fly. Flynn delivers his usual high-octane international thriller, but, in giving Rapp's backstory, he's infused it with more depth and heart than usual, and Guidall matches him beat for beat, proving himself a fine choice of storyteller. An Atria hardcover. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
“Mitch Rapp is still the best CIA-trained human weapon this side of Jason Bourne.” —Contra Costa Times (California)

“Captivating.” —Glenn Beck

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416595182
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publication date: 10/12/2010
  • Series: Mitch Rapp Series , #11
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Vince Flynn

#1 New York Times bestselling author Vince Flynn (1966-2013) created one of contemporary fiction’s most popular heroes: CIA counterterrorist agent Mitch Rapp, featured in thirteen of Flynn’s acclaimed political thrillers. All of his novels are New York Times bestsellers, including his stand-alone debut novel, Term Limits. The Mitch Rapp story begins with American Assassin, followed by Kill Shot, Transfer of Power, The Third Option, Separation of Power, Executive Power, Memorial Day, Consent to Kill, Act of Treason, Protect and Defend, Extreme Measures, Pursuit of Honor, and The Last Man.

His novels have been published in twenty countries worldwide, and have sold more than one million copies as ebooks. He was a native of Saint Paul, Minnesota, where his family lives. Visit his website at VinceFlynn.com.

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Read an Excerpt

American Assassin


  • MITCH Rapp removed the blindfold from his face and raised his seat back. The brown Ford Taurus sedan rocked its way down a rutted gravel road, twin plumes of dust corkscrewing into the hot August air. The blindfold was a precaution in case he failed, which Rapp had no intention of doing. He stared out the window at the thick wall of pines that bracketed the lane. Even with the bright sun he could see no more than thirty feet into the dark maze of trees and underbrush. As a child he’d always found the woods to be an inviting place, but on this particular afternoon it had a decidedly more ominous feel.

A foreboding premonition hijacked his thoughts and sent his mind careening into a place that he did not want to go. At least not this afternoon. Still, a frown creased his brow as Rapp wondered how many men had died in this particular forest, and he wasn’t thinking of the men who had fought in the Civil War all those years earlier. No, he thought, trying to be completely honest with himself. Death was too open-ended a word for it. It left the possibility that some accident had befallen the person, and that was a convenient way to skirt the seriousness of what he was getting himself into. Executed was a far more accurate word. The men he was thinking of had been marched into these very woods, shot in the back of the head, and dumped into freshly dug holes never to be heard from again. That was the world that Rapp was about to enter, and he was utterly and completely at peace with his decision.

Still, a sliver of doubt sliced through the curtains of his mind and caused a flash of hesitation. Rapp wrestled with it for a moment, and then stuffed it back into the deepest recesses of his brain. Now was not the time for second thoughts. He’d been over this, around it, and under it. He’d studied it from every conceivable angle since the day the mysterious woman had walked into his life. In a strange way, he knew where it was all headed from almost the first moment she’d looked at him with those discerning, penetrating eyes.

He had been waiting for someone to show up, though Rapp had never told her that. Or that the only way he could cope with the pain of losing the love of his life was to plot his revenge. That every single night before he went to sleep he thought of the network of faceless men who had plotted to bring down Pan Am Flight 103, that he saw himself on this very journey, headed to a remote place not dissimilar from the woods he now found himself in. It was all logical to him. Enemies needed to be killed, and Rapp was more than willing to become the person who would do that killing. He knew what was about to happen. He was to be trained, honed and forged into an ultimate precision weapon, and then he would begin to hunt them down. Every last one of the faceless men who had conspired to kill all those innocent civilians on that cold December night.

The car began to slow and Rapp looked up to see a rusted cattle gate with a heavy chain and padlock. His dark brow furrowed with suspicion.

The woman driving the vehicle glanced sideways at him and said, “You were expecting something a little more high-tech perhaps.”

Rapp nodded silently.

Irene Kennedy put the car in park and said, “Appearances can be very deceiving.” She opened her door and stepped from the vehicle. As she walked to the gate she listened. A moment later she heard the click of the passenger door, and she smiled. Without an ounce of training he had made the right decision. From their very first meeting it was apparent he was different. She had audited every detail of his life and watched him from afar for several months. Kennedy was exceedingly good at her job. She was methodical, organized, and patient. She also had a photographic memory.

Kennedy had grown up in the business. Her father had worked for the State Department, and the vast majority of her education had taken place overseas in countries where an American was not always welcome. Vigilance was a part of her daily routine from the age of five. While other parents worried about their kids’ wandering out into the street and getting hit by a car, Kennedy’s parents worried about her finding a bomb under their car. It was drilled into her to always be aware of her surroundings.

When Kennedy finally introduced herself to Rapp, he studied her for a long second and then asked why she had been following him. At the time Rapp was only twenty-two, with no formal training. If Kennedy had a weakness it was with improvisation. She liked things plotted out well in advance, and being so thorough, she had gone in assuming the novice would have no idea that she had been running surveillance on him. She had recruited dozens of people and this was a first. Kennedy was caught off guard to the point of stammering for an answer. The recruit was supposed to be the one struggling to understand what was going on. Rapp’s recognizing her was not part of the script.

Later, in her motel room outside Syracuse, she retraced her every move over the past eight months and tried to figure out where she had slipped. After three hours and seventeen pages of notes, she still couldn’t pinpoint her mistake. With frustration, and grudging admiration, she had concluded that Rapp had extremely acute situational awareness. She moved his file to the top of her stack and made a bold decision. Rather than use the normal people, she contacted a firm run by some retired spooks. They were old friends of her father’s, who specialized in handling jobs without creating a paper trail. She asked them to take an objective look at Rapp, just in case she had missed something. Two weeks later they came back with a summary that sent chills up Kennedy’s spine.

Kennedy took that report straight to her boss, Thomas Stansfield. Midway through reading the file he suspected what she was up to. When he finished, he slowly closed the two-inch-thick biography of the young Mitch Rapp and made her plead her case. She was concise and to the point, but still Stansfield pointed out the potential pitfalls and obvious dangers of leapfrogging the initial phase of training. She countered perfectly. The game was changing. He had said it himself many times. They could not sit back and play defense, and in this ever more interconnected world they needed a weapon more surgical than any guided bomb or cruise missile. Having spent many years in the field himself, Stansfield also knew this person would have to be uniquely autonomous. Someone who conveniently had no official record.

Kennedy ticked off eight additional reasons why she felt this young man was the perfect candidate. Her logic was sound, but beyond that there was the simple fact that they had to begin somewhere. By Stansfield’s reckoning this was an endeavor they should have started a good five years earlier, so it was with a heavy sigh and a leap of faith that he decided to proceed. He told Kennedy to forgo the normal training and take him to the only man they knew who was crazy enough to try to mold a green recruit into what they needed. If Rapp could survive six months of schooling at the hands of Stan Hurley, he might indeed be the weapon they were looking for. Before she left, Stansfield told her to eliminate any connection: Every last file, surveillance photo, and recording that could ever tie them to Rapp was to be destroyed.

Kennedy pulled the car through the gate and asked Rapp to close and lock it behind them. Rapp did as he was asked and then got back in the car. One hundred yards later Kennedy slowed the vehicle to a crawl and maneuvered diagonally in an effort to avoid a large pothole.

“Why no security on the perimeter?” Rapp asked.

“The high-tech systems . . . more often than not . . . they draw too much unwanted attention. They also give a lot of false alarms, which in turn requires a lot of manpower. That’s not what this place is about.”

“What about dogs?” Rapp asked.

She liked the way he was thinking. As if on cue, two hounds came galloping around the bend. The dogs charged straight at the vehicle. Kennedy stopped and waited for them to get out of her way. A moment later, after baring their teeth, they turned and bolted back in the direction they’d just come from.

Kennedy took her foot off the brake and proceeded up the lane. “This man,” Kennedy said. “The one who will be training you.”

“The crazy little guy who is going to try to kill me,” Rapp said without smiling.

“I didn’t say he was going to try to kill you . . . I said he is going to try to make you think he’s trying to kill you.”

“Very comforting,” Rapp said sarcastically. “Why do you keep bringing him up?”

“I want you to be prepared.”

Rapp thought about that for a moment and said, “I am, or at least as prepared as you can be for something like this.”

She considered that for a moment. “The physical part is assumed. We know you’re in good shape, and that’s important, but I want you to know that you will be pushed in ways you never imagined. It’s a game. One that’s designed to make you quit. Your greatest asset will be mental discipline, not physical strength.”

Rapp disagreed with her but kept his mouth shut and his face a mask of neutrality. To be the best required equal doses of both. He knew the game. He’d been through plenty of grueling football and lacrosse practices in the humid August heat of Virginia, and back then it was only a simple desire to play that kept him going. Now his motivation to succeed was much deeper. Far more personal.

“Just try to remember... none of it is personal,” Kennedy said.

Rapp smiled inwardly. That’s where you’re wrong, he thought. It’s all personal. When he responded, however, he was compliant. “I know,” Rapp said in an easy tone. “What about these other guys?” If there was one thing that made him a little nervous it was this. The other recruits had been down here for two days. Rapp didn’t like getting a late start. They would have already begun the bonding process and were likely to resent his showing up late. He didn’t understand the delay, but she wasn’t exactly forthright with information.

“There are six of them.” Kennedy scrolled through the photos in her mind’s eye. She had read their jackets. They all had military experience and shared, at least on paper, many of Rapp’s qualities. They were all dark-featured, athletic, capable of violence, or at least not afraid of it, and they had all to one degree or another passed the extensive psychological exams. They had all showed a facility for foreign languages. In terms of a sense of right and wrong, they all hovered near that critical six o’clock position on the mental health pie chart. That thin line that separated law enforcement officers from career criminals.

Around the next bend the landscape opened up before them. A freshly mowed lawn roughly the size of a football field ran along both sides of the lane all the way to a white barn and two-story house with a wraparound porch. This was not what Rapp had expected. The place looked like a rural postcard complete with a set of rocking chairs on the big white porch.

A man appeared from inside the house. He was holding a cup of coffee in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Rapp watched him move across the porch. The man swiveled his head to the left and then right in a casual manner. Most people would have missed it, but Rapp’s senses had been opened to the reality that the world was divided between those who were part of the herd and those who liked to hunt. The man was checking his flanks. He stopped at the top of the porch steps and looked down at them from behind a pair of aviator sunglasses. Rapp smiled ever so slightly at the realization that this was the man who was going to try to break him. It was a challenge he had been looking forward to for some time.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2342 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 2360 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a refreshing Rapp tale as Vince Flynn tells the story of how he became the CIA superagent

    CIA Operations Director Thomas Stansfield understands the Cold War is over as the economic chaos begins to implode the Soviet empire. However, On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 explodes over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all on board and several in the town; Stansfield realizes a new adversary has taken its first visible strike.

    Islamic terrorism has begun so to take the fight overseas, Stansfield orders Irene Kennedy and Stan Hurley to create a team who do not exist so that they can work outside the cage of politicians. Kennedy recruits twenty two year old college athlete Mitch Rapp who shows a propensity for stealth; however, the kid has no interest in working for the incompetent Feds as he only wants to murder those who murdered the Lockerbie victims. Soon he and Hurley go at it to see if he has the right stuff. Six months later, Rapp is in Istanbul to bring the war to the east starting with the efficient assassination of the Turkish arms dealer who sold the explosives. Soon after the first kill, bodies are left on two continents with Rapp knowing Beirut awaits him, but unaware his adversary plans to greet him as an honored dead man.

    This is a refreshing Rapp tale as Vince Flynn tells the story of how he became the CIA superagent. Fast-paced throughout, Mr. Flynn uses the Lockerbie tragedy as the impetus for converting Rapp. Fans of the saga will relish the hero's tyro days starting with the bruising first nutcracker battle in the Virginia barn between Rapp and Hurley, his killing of the murderers and their associates and culminating in his escapades to survive the hells of Beirut. This is a great entry in a strong series.

    Harriet Klausner

    17 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 21, 2010

    Flynn disappointment

    Not even close to the prior 11 great Flynn novels. Rapp is an automaton not a rookie. No background information such as Islamic terrorism or PanAm Lockerbie provided which could have been in this setting. Flynn phoned this one in. Read like a publisher's merry-go-round assignment to produce 150,000 words a year. If you've never read Flynn, don't start here! If you have, skip it.

    13 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2010

    Story great, editing horrible

    Been reading Vince since the beginning. Good story and up to par. Some serious editing issues in this one though. This one was the only time the typos were out of control and interrupted my reading. Get a new copy editor guys. A few technical errors as well which usually aren't there in Vince's books- one quick example- the safety on Beretta 92 series pistols moves down for safe and up for fire- the "red is dead" shows when the lever is up- not the other way around.

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2010

    Editorial change needed!

    I have never read a book that had so many errors in a first edition! Transposing names of characters, horrid grammar that truly interferes with scenes and much more. Using "with increasing rapidly" jars the reader and that was the first, on page 4! It should have been either "rapidly increasing" or with increasing rapidity". If that was all it could easily be overlooked, but page after page of errors continually interfere with the flow of the plot. I would have rated it higher, but just cannot. I'd love a job as proofreader for him and even without a massive number of college degrees I'm sure I'd do a better job of it!

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2010

    What happened? Not up to par

    I love the Mitch Rapp series and usually read them in two days. I've had American Assassin for a month and have only gotten to the middle and don't care to finish! It's plodding and uninteresting - too much time spent on day by day accounts of Rapp's training at The Farm, too much time spent on Stan Hurley coming to grips with Rapp's talent...dull, dull, dull. Would have been better with some interaction between Mitch and his girlfriend and develop that relationship so readers can understand why Rapp was so moved to avenge her death - instead she's a passing reference. Also all the typos are distracting. Overall, very disappointing and I want to return it.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2010

    Not worth $27.99. Can I get a refund?

    I was really let down with this one. It was interesting in the beginning, but just DRAGGED on. And there were so many typos including switching of main character names in one chapter. I was confused and then disappointed. I also need to add that American Assassin takes us back to the beginning of Mitch Rapp's spook career. If this book would have been first in the series, I would not have picked up another.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2010

    Disappointing, too many errors

    The story became un-enjoyable because of the many (24 that I counted) errors in the writing, either grammatically or reference to the wrong character. Looked like the book was coming of an assembly line. Wasted my money this time.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 20, 2010

    Entertaining

    The first Rapp novel I read several years ago was the first time since high school I actually read an entire book. I have been hooked since and have always wondered when the story of Rapp's recruitment would be told. I enjoyed the book but there was many mistakes and sometimes I wondered if someone actually proof-read it before publication. I love the characters, but where does he go now with the series?

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2010

    Don't bother

    Terrible editing--too many typos; grammatic errors; inconsistent segues; characters' names mixed up (e.g. "Mark" instead of "John" Cummins). At times I felt as if a "protege" of Flynn's was writing it. Took me two weeks to finish because it was so uninteresting--normally I would stay up half the night to finish one of books. Boring, boring, boring.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2010

    Bogie

    Sadly, after reading all of Mr. Flynn's novels, I don't feel that American Assassin is up to his usual standards. This one is a bogie.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Retribution Rules, Mitch Rapp's Origins

    American Assassin by Vince Flynn This is a prequel to the Mitch Rapp series. This book provides the details of what made Mitch Rapp into the man he is and what motivates his behavior. There is distinct political commentary on how we should be addressing terrorists. Vince Flynn will never be criticized for lack of action. The book just jumps! Once gain Mitch Rapp shows his mettle. I really enjoyed the fleshing out of the details as to how Mitch became a government agent and the reasons behind that decision. The plot is right out of the daily paper. (or web) Flynn creates memorable characters. Stan Hurley is unforgettable. The violence is graphic and not for the faint of heart. I loved the book and I do lean in the direction of Old Testament justice which is epitomized by Mitch Rapp. I highly recommend this book and anything else Vince Flynn writes.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2011

    I liked the book, wish someone would have proofread it!

    I liked the book, even though there were tons of cliched terms ("the jig is up"). I just wish the editor did his/her job and actually edited the book. There was an instance where they used the wrong name for the character he was referring to! It was very distracting to read a book full of such unprofessional errors.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2011

    Very disappointing

    The author had what initially appeared to be a good idea: explore the beginnings of Mitch Rapp's career as a CIA black ops agent. But as Flynn writes in his Acknowledgments section, "Publishing.is a dynamic, exciting industry where things can go wrong." Several things went badly awry with this novel. There are an astounding number of typographical/grammatical errors, e.g., "Your sure?" Is this the fault of the editor or a proofreader? The overblown opening about Rapp's training and the hurried ending seem to indicate that Flynn didn't have much to say after all. Maybe he is tiring of his protagonist. Perhaps the publisher pressured him into releasing the manuscript too soon. Whatever the reasons American Assassin is the low point of what has been a mostly-entertaining series.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2010

    Flat Hero

    I love all the books in the series and this one could have really soared but instead fell flat. It dragged and waited too long for the action we crave from Mitch. Also, there were so many grammatical errors in this book it was unprofessional. Brad Thor is nipping at Vince's heels and he best watch over his shoulder. He is catching up fast, especially after this dud.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Price is ridiculous for an ebook

    No way would I pay this much for an ebook.

    3 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    YES!!WHAT STARTED IT ALL!!FINALLY!!THE BEGINNING OF THE MITCH RAPP LEGEND!!!!

    OMG!OMG!OMG! I can't wait for this book! I have read all the Mitch Rapp books at least three times. The books are amazing and you never get bored from reading them. Mitch is awesome. I love him. This book is going to be amazing. I know it! It better not mean that this is the end of the series though... I think we all can agree we want, no need, more MITCH RAPP!!! I want to know if he's going to rekindle his relationship with Donny. AHH! It's going to be great! (B&N only let's you recommend five books but I recommend the entire Mitch Rapp series)
    Hey, you know, if you like the seies, you should also watch the tv show 24. That Jack Bauer is kinda like Mitch. I like Jack but of course, Mitch will always be the best.

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2011

    no

    this book appeared in my library and wont go away

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2011

    Not One of His best

    Have read everyone and enjoyed...this one a lot to be desired. Just do not churn them out. Good luck.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2011

    Not up to VF's standards

    This book appears to have been thrown together. The errors are unacceptable and the plot could have been thought out a little more.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Better than Athena Plot

    This terrorist fighter genre needs to go by the boards. 99% of these "thrillers" do not have an ounce of surprise or creativity.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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