The hero of The Third Option is back in business. Counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp must confront twin catastrophes: His own CIA seems to be collapsing, and worse yet, Saddam Hussein is on the verge of entering the nuclear arms race. Can our hero secure peace in the Middle East?
A changing of the guard at the CIA attracts some corrupt politicos with eyes on the White House at the start of this sharply plotted thriller, a step up for popular writer Flynn (The Third Option, etc.). Unfortunately for the bad guys, upright CIA agent Dr. Irene Kennedy is tapped to replace her dead boss, foiling their illicit fund-raising plans. Corrupt politico number one, Sen. Hank Clark, enlists Irene's envious second to discredit her and the president. Clark and his cronies are also eager to deal with CIA special ops assassin Mitch Rapp, who's stuck on desk duty after nearly losing his life on a previous assignment and seems ripe to be taken out. Mitch accompanies his girlfriend, White House reporter Anna Rielly, to Italy, where he meets up with his former lover, freelance assassin Donatella Rahn. When Rahn is shot, Mitch uncovers a plot linked to the men behind the threats to Irene and the CIA. Meanwhile, reports surface that Saddam Hussein has acquired nuclear weapon components from North Koreans, who are assembling them in a factory buried beneath a Baghdad hospital. This calls for a gutsy mission, one that entails stopping Saddam while avoiding the PR nightmare that bombing a hospital would cause. Irene pulls Mitch into the plans to deal with Baghdad while she grapples with Congress. Flynn knows his politicians and pits his characters against impossible odds with nonstop action and suspense thus distracting fans from all the clich?s and mediocre prose and a final fillip will keep them guessing as to Mitch's future in the series. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Flynn is quickly establishing himself as the Raymond Chandler of the political thriller. Although similar to the tales of Tom Clancy, Flynn's stunning efforts are remarkable for their efficient prose, exquisite plotting, and excruciating suspense. Beginning with his first novel, Term Limits, the author's characters are continued in his subsequent works. Separation of Power hinges on the politically charged appointment of Irene Kennedy as the head of the CIA, while her primary operative, Mitch Rapp, must penetrate prewar Baghdad and remove nuclear warheads from beneath a hospital. Narrator Ken Kliban demonstrates a remarkable ability to portray diverse characters and replicate multiple accents. In Executive Power, Irene is now secure in her post at the CIA, and the war against terrorism has evolved into a multinational campaign pitting Islamic militants against Western diplomacy. Mitch, now a married consultant on counterterrorism, must balance his position as a White House analyst and husband with his background as a clandestine superagent. Veteran narrator George Guidall provides an entirely convincing performance; his timing and portrayal of characters are precise and thoroughly absorbing. While this is a journeyman effort by Guidall, Kliban's presentation is more impressive. Both works, however, are well done and strongly recommended for all libraries.-Ray Vignovich, West Des Moines P.L. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Top-gun Mitch Rapp (The Third Option, 2000, etc.), "America's Assassin," rides again-roughshod over Saddam Hussein-and earns anew the thanks of a grateful nation. Murdering Mitch, having single-handedly killed 50-plus of his country's peskiest enemies, is now, at age 32, the CIA's reigning poster boy. To Saddam, he continues to be a monumental pain, on the brink of becoming more so. This time out, the Iraqi leader has latched on to three gorgeous, fully operational nuclear weapons and cached them-where else?-in the Al Hussein Hospital, downtown Baghdad. Naturally, President Hayes, tipped off by the Israelis, is reluctant to order the direct approach. Bomb a hospital? Uh-uh. Never mind all those innocent bed-ridden bystanders, think of the hit his approval ratings would take. But Irene Kennedy, the spy agency's acting head, recognizes a Mitch Rapp scenario when she sees one. As a result, Mitch is dispatched to Baghdad, charged with relieving Saddam of his cherished weapons of mass destruction. To do this, Mitch has to somehow slither past the airtight security imposed by Saddam's elite Special Republican Guard. No easy task-unless, that is, one can bemuse those savvy veterans into believing that one is indeed Uday Saddam Hussein, the archvillain's son. Which, of course, masquerading Mitch does handily. But that's Mitch for you, endlessly cool. Except when it comes to what he winsomely refers to as "affairs of the heart." Fortunately for the course of true love, however, newspaperwoman Anna Rielly-she of the "sparkling green eyes"-is not about to let the sexy slaughterer-he of the "broad shoulders" and "sleek calves"-escape what's good for him. The bad guys, both foreign and domestic, nowduly rendered unto Caesar, the marriageable Mitch gets broken to harness. Stick figures, lumbering pace, wooden dialogue: Flynn remains a source of pulp fiction at its dreariest.