Executive Power (Mitch Rapp #4) ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Executive Power
Series: Mitch Rapp #4
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 412
Words: 134K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia & Me

CIA field agent Mitch Rapp’s cover has been blown following his last assignment, preventing Saddam Hussein from obtaining nuclear weapons. Rapp receives public acknowledgment by the president in response to the latest Congressional leak to the media. Though the praise is of the highest quality, the President might as well have placed a bulls-eye on Rapp’s chest and that of his loved ones by singling him out as the most important person in the fight against terrorism. The spotlight makes the former covert operator an ideal international target for eradication by terrorists as the symbol he has become.

Rapp moves from CIA operative duties to that of a counter-terrorism bureaucrat. As special advisor on counter-terrorism to CIA director Dr. Irene Kennedy, Rapp uncomfortably sits in an office. However, everything changes when radical Islamic terrorists ambush Navy SEALs on a top-secret rescue mission in the Philippines. The leak had to be in either the State Department or the Philippine diplomatic corps, but nobody knows for sure. However, worse yet is that someone is trying to cause a Jihad on a scale never before seen and that unknown invisible individual is close to achieving the goal with only a too visible Rapp in the way.

Rapp leads a team to avenge that loss by defeating the Philippine terrorist network that killed two SEAL team members and rescuing the American hostages. In order to successfully accomplish this mission he must keep its existence from the turncoats who betrayed those who went before him. The coincidental plot-line has forces plotting to upset the tenuous balance in the Middle East’s geopolitical situation. A flamboyant Saudi Prince, who is banished from the Kingdom, elicits the help of a Palestinian assassin to murder the leaders of terrorist cells as well as Saudi and Palestinian Ambassadors in the hopes of dissolving US support for Israel and the eventual establishment of an official Palestinian state.

The assassin completes his tasks and has Israel, the US and the UN exactly where he wants them. Unfortunately for him, Rapp finds out who he is, what he has done and leaks some of the assassins talks with Israel to the Saudi Prince, who kills the assassin. Rapp then in turn kills the prince as an object lesson to other Saudi Royals to stay out of the “terrorism as a hobby” business.

My Thoughts:

This was another enjoyable read but the dual storylines never connected and so it almost felt like two different books mashed into one. I have to admit, I wish the author had simply concentrated on one or the other and expanded it to fill the book.

The palestinian assassin storyline could have been fantastic and I was waiting for him and Rapp to duke it out assassino a assassino style. So it was a letdown the way things went. The biggest thing is that Rapp’s cover is permanently blown and so his days of secret assassinations are pretty much done. And yet there are a lot more books to go so I’m left wondering how the author is going to keep the interest going. I guess I’ll just have to keep reading and find out, hahahahaa.

The author handles Rapp being recently married very well. I was wondering how he was going to deal with the relational side of things and he doesn’t shy away from it. Rapp and his wife Anna have a huge blowout about him going back into the field, against orders no less and the fact that he’d been wounded made it even worse. Thankfully, Rapp isn’t a pigheaded jerk and he cares about his wife and her feelings and realizes that he is going to have to change some things if he wants their marriage to work. It was so refreshing and encouraging to see a character in a book place the needs of their marriage before their own personal desires or using “work” as an excuse. We will have to see how this part of the overall storyline works out in future books because it can not turn into a cycle of Mitch Rapp doing what he wants, his wife blowing up at him, making up and then promising to do better.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with how this series is progressing. It is book 4 and I have no real complaints. The author hasn’t pulled any boneheaded moves but simply tells a good action/adventure story. Keeping my fingers crossed he can keep that track record.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Separation of Power (Mitch Rapp #3) ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Separation of Power
Series: Mitch Rapp #3
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 378
Words: 133.5K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

About a month after the events in the previous book, CIA Director Thomas Stansfield has succumbed to cancer and has chosen Dr. Irene Kennedy, The director of the CIA’s counterterrorism center, to take his place as director. Meanwhile, Henry “Hank” Clark, a corrupt Republican senator and chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is making plans to prevent Kennedy from becoming the director of the CIA. His plan involves embarrassing her before she can be confirmed for the position, and handpick a new director and have them open up “ECHELON”, a global surveillance program, and give its secrets to his investors in Silicon Valley, who will then help him get elected to become president. His original plan to kill Rapp and embarrass the CIA failed, so he begins the process of his new plan.

Mitch Rapp is called in to visit Kennedy to talk about Peter Cameron, the CIA officer who attempted to have him killed in Germany, but was killed by an assassin before Rapp could capture him. He and Kennedy watch surveillance footage that captured the face of the assassin. Rapp realizes that the assassin is Donatella Rahn, an Israeli assassin and Rapp’s ex-girlfriend. Kennedy instructs him to take his girlfriend, Anna Rielley, to Milan and propose to her, and then go visit Donatella to learn who hired her to kill Peter Cameron. Meanwhile, Clark visits his accomplice, Mossad director Ben Freidman at the Israeli Embassy, who has been helping him become president in exchange for more aid to Israel. At the meeting, Clark orders Ben to assassinate Donatella, who he hired to kill Peter.

Later that day, Ben visits President Xavier Hayes, Kennedy, and General Flood, the chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of staff, at the White House. It is there he informs them that Saddam Hussein, with the help of North Korea, is only a few weeks away from acquiring three functioning nuclear weapons. He also informs them that the facility for making these weapons is hidden under a massive hospital in Baghdad, and that if the Americans won’t take action, than they will do it themselves. Seeing as how an Israeli response could lead to nuclear war, The President and his team start to come up with ways to destroy the facility and the nukes.

At the same time, Mitch and Anna arrive in Milan, and after a day of touring the city, Rapp goes to visit Donatella. In Washington, Clark persuades his accomplice, Albert Rudin, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, to investigate Kennedy for corruption and promises him evidence before her confirmation ceremony. In Milan, Rapp can’t get Donatella to tell him who hired her, but realizes they are being followed. When they arrive at her apartment, Donatella is ambushed by awaiting Mossad operatives, but manages to kill them thanks to Rapp’s warning. After Rapp promises her protection in America, Donatella confesses that Ben had hired her to kill Peter. Rapp brings Donatella to he and Anna’s hotel room, where she accuses Rapp of having an affair,and she storms off before he can explain.

In Washington, D.C., General Flood concocts a plan to insert a Delta Force team into Baghdad, disguised as a presidential motorcade, and infiltrate the facility under the cover of a U.S bombing campaign across Iraq in order to steal the nukes. But Kennedy strongly recommends Rapp to lead the operation. Elsewhere in Washington, Jonathan Brown, deputy director of the CIA, meets with Norb Steveken, the head of an investigative firm hired by hank and Rudin to investigate Kennedy. Brown hands off classified information on Orion Team, a secret counterterrorism team led by Kennedy, who Rapp is a member of. Rapp returns to America and is read in on the plan to infiltrate Baghdad. He agrees to the mission and comes up with the idea of impersonating Uday Hussein, Saddam’s favorite son, in order to gain access to the facility. As they prepare for the mission, Rudin reveals the existence of Mitch Rapp and the Orion Team on Meet The press and implicates Kennedy of violating international law, throwing the confirmation process into chaos.

President Hayes orders the bombing campaign against Iraq, which helps Rapp and the Delta team to successfully enters Baghdad. Rapp and the Delta team, disguised as SRG soldiers, are able to enter the facility and steal the nukes. As they fend off enemy fire, they destroy the facility, kidnap the head North Korean scientist, and escape Iraq with the nukes. After they return to the U.S safely, President Hayes reveals the success of the operation and confirms Rapp’s existence by explaining Rapp’s action in Iraq. Rapp returns to his home and apologizes to Anna, and after he does this, he retires from his role as an assassin and proposes to her. His plan having failed due to the fact Kennedy is looked at as a hero, Clark kills Rudin by pushing him off his balcony, making it look like a suicide.

When the Israeli prime minister comes to Washington with Ben Freidman and Yasser Arafat, Rapp and the president interrogate Ben and threaten to kill him. As a result of this, Ben reveals Clarks role in the week’s events. Several weeks after this, Clark is killed by Rapp and Donatella at a bar in D.C, making it look like an apparent heart attack.

My Thoughts:

This was a good wrapup to the initial Mitch Rapp trilogy. Senator Clark (what’s with bad senators? They make horrible presidents and should know better than to try to be president. A senator is a pack group animal, while a president is a lone wolf with the decisions resting squarely on his shoulders) and his plans to discredit the current administration no matter the cost fails and in the end Rapp takes care of him. Permanently. It was satisfying to read.

The thing that I enjoyed that I didn’t think I would was the relational drama between Rapp and his girlfriend. She’s a big time reporter and has to stick her nose into everything and Rapp is beyond secretive about everything on general principle. It comes to a head here and they have a stormy stomp off the stage I’m not going to marry you scene. I really liked how the author brought these conflicting personality types and responsibilities against each other. They are real issues these 2 are going to have to deal with if they want their marriage to last. What I didn’t like was how feelingz and wuv, true wuv overcame all in the end as they get engaged. What these 2 characters need is some serious marriage counseling, as their life paths are going to continue to clash if they can’t figure out how to make it work. I wanted to shake both of them by the scruff of their necks and tell them to go to Pastor Peckham. Here’s to hoping the author uses this dustup to make them examine the issues in their lives and not just as fodder. * fingers crossed *

If the series had ended right here, I would have been satisfied. However, I am very glad that the adventures continue. I need some macho man reading without asshattery arrogance and Mitch Rapp fits the bill perfectly.

There is a movie called American Assassin but it appears to be based on book 10 or 11 of the series, so I’m not even tempted to watch it yet. Who know what kind of spoilers, and probably WRONG spoilers to boot, it contains? I’ll wait til I’ve read the book and then see if my library or Prime has it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Third Option (Mitch Rapp #2) ★★★✬☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission


Title: The Third Option
Series: Mitch Rapp #2
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 357
Words: 128K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

Mitch Rapp is sent on a highly sensitive mission in northern Germany to assassinate Count Heinrich Hagenmiller V, a powerful arms dealer who has been selling weapons to Saddam Hussein and other enemies of the United States. Rapp successfully slays Hagenmiller, only to be betrayed by his mission companions “Jane and Tom Hoffman”, who attempt to kill Rapp by shooting him twice in the chest, not knowing his jacket was lined with kevlar which absorbed the rounds and knocked him down. Jane (the one that shot him) quickly stages the scene to implicate Rapp and then flees the location with Tom. A shocked Rapp eventually awakes. As a result of his fall, a gash in his head has left a small pool of his blood on the floor. Not wanting to leave the forensic evidence behind, he sets the room on fire and quickly escapes.

Back in Washington, D.C., the situation in Germany quickly becomes known to politicians and officials, with a few trying to use the situation to their own advantage. Democratic Congressman Albert Rudin is not fooled by the CIA’s denial of involvement, and argues that it is further proof that the CIA is bad for America and the world, and should be shut down. Henry “Hank” Clark, who is a corrupt, ambitious, and calculating Republican U.S. senator with his eye on the Presidency, is the one that ordered the hit on Rapp, hoping that his dead body would embarrass President Robert Xavier Hayes, and ruin the career of CTC Director, Dr. Irene Kennedy. Clark, along with Rudin and Secretary of State Charles Middleton, are in an alliance to stop Dr. Kennedy from succeeding the dying Thomas Stansfield as Director. Unbeknownst to Rudin and Middleton, Clark dispatches a group of contract killers led by “Professor” Peter Cameron, to initiate a widespread blood-purge that will eliminate any person that can leave a paper trail back to him.

Rapp hides in France and gathers his thoughts. He believes it is possible that his boss, Dr. Irene Kennedy, the Director of the Counter Terrorism Center and “friend”, ordered the Hoffmans to assassinate him in order to cover the situation up. Rapp eventually returns to Washington and confronts her and her boss, the CIA Director, Thomas Stansfield at his house. Also found in the room was retired SEAL Team Six Commander, Scott Coleman. With gun drawn, Rapp demands answers; after a brief discourse between him and his bosses, Rapp comes to realize that they had nothing to do with the attempt on his life.

Rapp learns that many of his colleagues are being killed and that his girlfriend Anna Rielly has been kidnapped by the assassins. They kidnapped her in order to set a death trap for Rapp. The Hoffmans, (AKA The Jansens) are assassinated outside their home by Cameron. Rapp, along with Coleman and a few other agents, eventually rescue Anna, killing all of Cameron’s men in the process. Cameron, who was talking to one of his men on the phone while the assault was executed, quickly learns that all has failed. Rapp contacts Cameron and pledges to kill him unless he confesses the identity of his employer. Cameron refuses to answer and quickly makes plans to leave the country. However, only moments before Rapp reaches Cameron, he is killed by an Italian assassin named Donatella Rahn, who was hired by Clark.

The president soon learns about the coup d’état against him, and summons two of the main movers of the conspiracy, Rudin and Middleton. The president lambastes them in two separate meetings for betraying their party. He then demands them to tell him everything they know, so he may find out who ordered the hit on Rapp. Both of the men do not give the president any useful answers. Rudin is left without power within the Democratic Congressional caucus and Middleton is told he will be fired as Secretary of State. Shortly afterward Middleton is found dead in his apartment, ruled a suicide. It was Clark that ordered the hit, but pretends to know now nothing about it, even to his close friend Jonathan Brown, the Deputy Director of the CIA who hates both Stansfield and Dr. Kennedy. Clark announces to a shocked Brown that he is backing Dr. Kennedy’s nomination, but assures him that Kennedy “will never make it through the confirmation process”.

My Thoughts:

This was a more complicated than the previous book and dealt with the political side of things a bit more than I wanted. Of course, there was still a boat load of action and assassinations going on, so I didn’t feel like I had been cheated.

With his new girlfriend, Rapp has to deal with the entanglements that go along with it, voluntary or not. He gets a taste of “normal” life only to have her used against him, which makes him that much more determined to get a “normal” life. Near the end of the book, he’s offered a job as an “analyst” for the Center, ala Jack Ryan. That would keep him out of the field and the danger but still allow the Center to make use of his experience and skills. I don’t see that happening though.

Of course, what I’m afraid of is that the author is going to use the girlfriend as fodder and turn her into a plot point for revenge or something. While it might have worked that way for Mack Bolan, I don’t want to see Mitch Rapp go that route. It’s too easy and convenient and I really hope Vince Flynn can do better. And he better make Mitch better than that puling pig, that scumsucking slime, that piece of excrement, Scot Harvath. If I have to choose between Mack Bolan and Scot Harvath though, I’ll choose Bolan every time. The Executioner is a man’s man while Harvath is just an arrogant asshat.

On a side note, whenever I read Irene Kennedy’s name, all I can see is the CIA Director from the movie RED.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Transfer of Power (Mitch Rapp #1) ★★★★☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Transfer of Power
Series: Mitch Rapp #1
Author: Vince Flynn
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Action/Adventure
Pages: 458
Words: 168K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.com

Rapp is introduced while he is performing a covert operation in Iran and he discovers a possible terrorist attack planned for the nation’s capital to happen in the near future. Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., Anna Reilly is starting her first day as a White House correspondent for NBC. It also happens to be the day where the terrorist, using a secret entrance, takes over the White House and holds it hostage. The president, who barely escaped the hostage situation, remains trapped in the unfinished bomb shelter. With the vice president using this opportunity as commander in chief to glorify his political career by being lenient towards the terrorist demands, Rapp must find a way to fight the terrorists from the inside of the White House. It is here where he saves Anna Reilly from being raped by one of the terrorists and their relationship, which will be seen throughout the later books, begins.

Several Navy SEALs sneak into the White House while Rapp eliminates the terrorists, and saves the hostages and the president. The leader of the terrorist group manages to escape the White House while detonating his strategically placed explosives. He is later found in South America only to be killed by Rapp

My Thoughts:

This was a thoroughly enjoyable macho man book without the macho-ness dragging along a boatload of jerkitis. I hate when testosterone turns to stupidity. That was my main issue with the Scott Harvath series (which I touched on in the Currently Reading & Quote post last week). I did go into this a bit gingerly because of that. Even 4 years later Harvath sticks in my mind as an icon of douchebaggery. Thankfully, Mitch Rapp doesn’t seem to be that way. While he’s not a smooth tongued political serpent, he doesn’t go out of his way to be a jerk either.

I am a little concerned with the romance angle. Most Operators aren’t the kind of people who can focus and do what needs to be done AND have a perfectly balanced family life. While I’m rooting for Rapp and Reilly to work out I’m not letting it become a big thing in my mind. That way if it doesn’t work out or she dies or becomes a terrorist or WAS a terrorist the entire time, I won’t be torn up about it.

I’m also currently reading the Delta Force novels by Dalton Fury and that has given me a lot of background into certain terms and processes used by teams like Delta, that while not necessary to completely understand here, certainly make for a fuller reading. In the final assault on the White House Flynn talks about small helicopters loaded up with 4 Delta members on the skids. It’s a 2 sentence description that by itself you just kind of read over. But Dalton references the practice in much fuller detail in his books and so I was able to transpose the knowledge from that to this. Not a big thing but reading books like these are all about the experience and that made for a fuller experience. I’m happy about that.

One word of warning. There is a scene where Anna is going to be raped by one of the terrorists. She isn’t because Rapp steps in. However, if reading about attempted rape is something that bothers you, you should be aware of that. I’m not a fan of reading about that situation and should it be used again I’ll have to think hard about the series. But it made sense for the situation (ie, it wasn’t thrown in as titillation), wasn’t graphic and in the end, doesn’t happen because a good man puts a stop to it.

The title refers to the Transfer of Power from an incapacitated President to the Vice President. Said VP is a real scumsucking politician being advised by an even worse scumsucking politician and they both get their just desserts by the end of the book. Too bad real life can’t follow certain parts of this book.

I’ve got 17 more Mitch Rapp books to read by Flynn. Flynn died and another author stepped in at book 13 or so, so we’ll see how the series goes. Sometimes a series is long because it is good and sometimes it is long because it is pablum for an undiscerning audience. I am pulling for the Good option here!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Flight of the Fox ★★☆☆½

flightofthefox (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Flight of the Fox
Series: ———-
Author: Gray Basnight
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 406
Words: 108K

 

Synopsis:

Sam Teagarden, former math professor and recent widower (his wife died in a car accident that also broke both of Sam’s legs), is attacked by drones and only saved by the heroic sacrifice of his dog. This leads into Sam going on the run and his young neighbor being killed by the assassins after Sam. Said assassins then make it look like Sam did the dirty deed. All the while Sam has no idea why anyone would be doing this, he’s just a math professor.

Turns out Sam was mailed an encrypted document that once he decodes it while on the run, details the love life between J. Edgar Hoover (head of the FBI back in the day) and his second in command. It also details how Hoover uses his position to hire other sexual deviants ostensibly for the FBI but in reality for his own pleasure. There are also references to Operation Over Easy, which is revealed as a secret hit team to take out any internal threat that Hoover considers a danger to the nation. Dangers like John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr, Hemmingway, etc.

The modern day successors to Operation Over Easy, the DFC, are the ones gunning for Sam. With no oversight, they can’t allow the public to find out what their government has been doing for the past 90 years.

Sam outwits them all and releases the information to Congress, after many thrilling adventures and near-death experiences, all the while ostentatiously NOT naming the current President of the United States.

 

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed the story part of this ultra-paranoid thriller. It was fun to read about Sam as he dodges, ducks and weaves his way around, between and through some top notch assassins.

The author is from New York and sadly, his politics get in the way. The one republican shown is a caricature of a conservative christian who ends up practically insane after claiming that keeping the files secret is God’s will. Then you have the democrat who is open, honest and only wants the truth to be told to the American public. What a crock of poo. The author’s hatred of guns comes through loud and clear as well. Only the bad, evil, insane people in the story CHOOSE to use guns. Sam of course, being a paragon of virtue and goodness is FORCED to use guns by the bad, evil, insane people. But he really doesn’t want to, honest. And of course, the tearing down of any authority because they’re secretly corrupt and despotic is pretty standard for a liberal from New York. But the solution? Well, the author’s brand of government of course!

While I enjoyed the story, I won’t be reading any more by Basnight. He is everything that McCarthy was trying to fight against and lost.

★★☆☆½

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Vermin Supreme Gives You “The Finger”

One of the “benefits” of living in a place like New Hampshire is that we get all the people who are too crazy for even a hellhole like Massachusetts to handle [someday I’ll enlighten you all on what’ll happen if I ever became Governator of New Hampshire]. One particular “blessing” is a political nutjob who is named Vermin Supreme. He’s run for President several times and his signature look is a big boot on his head and he’s run on  “A Pony for Every Citizen” platform.

He’s great. He’s an anarchist who is just trying to show people how ridiculous things are. While I’d gladly throw him in an asylum, I agree with his overall outlook on the political process, ie, it’s ridiculous.

Another perk of living in NH is that sometimes while working I have a couple of spare minutes on my hands and you know what they say about the devil and idle hands. Today I decided to make a Vermin Supreme Finger Puppet.

verminsupreme
TADA  Free Ponies for EVERBODY!!!!!!

It is stunning what a professional like myself can do with a discarded piece of plastic, a permanent marker and a camera phone.

 

bookstooge