Vince Flynn is a New York Times Bestselling novelist which in all seriousness should speak volumes to that newspaper. He’s a political thriller writer who’s not afraid to portray the shady shameful workings of those people who’ve been voted into office by unsuspecting citizens. He’s bold enough to provide a hero in Mitch Rapp who refuses to take their *%#@! and is quick to let them know what’s really what. Mitch has seen it all in his many years as a lone wolf counterterrorism operative, and he’s fed up with their political correctness and favoritism of “civility” and “rules” when the enemy plays by none.
In Extreme Measures Mitch is arrested during an interrogation of a HVT (high value target) in the middle of the night at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan by a cowardly idealist snit by the name of Captain Leland who’s never seen a lick of combat in spite of his location and whose only desire seems to be to show respect for the high-level terrorists they’re holding as prisoners and to not allow the animalistic Mitch Rapp from the CIA to lay a hand on the evil men—especially since an entourage of Congress people have just left the base spouting off about their judicial rights as prisoners.
The Chairwoman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Barbara Lonsdale, can’t wait to chew up Rapp and his boss CIA Director Irene Kennedy and spit them out of Washington. Her closest friend and political assistant warns her that she’s taken on more than she can handle with Rapp, explaining that if the truth were known, most people consider him a real hero because of his sacrifices and courage in doing what nobody else wants to do. She refuses to listen to his advice, haughty and smug about her choice to put Rapp to the wall and crush him.
Meanwhile, a narcissistic zealot soldier is training several young men in the jungles of South America while a terrorist cell operating out of a DC mosque helps to coordinate another huge attack on the Capitol.
Rapp’s got a bad feelin’ this group he knows little about, thanks to his arrest as he was making headway with the prisoner, could already be in DC, and when one of their own turns up tortured and burned in the morgue, Rapp’s on his way to the mosque.
All kinds of chaos erupts as Rapp apprehends three suspects leaving the mosque. Little does Rapp know that where he must take them is a planned target.
Although we learn a lot about the adopted tactics of this particular group of terrorists and their heinous leader, we also get a closer look at Mike Nash, Rapp’s protégé. Once again he’s also married to a woman whose personality is similar to Anna’s (Mitch’s deceased wife) and who elicits zero empathy from this reader. These ladies seem to think their desires matter the most in life, and their self-righteous, obnoxious conduct disgusts me. Geez, what’s with our heroes and their selection of shrews for wives?
Dr. Irene Kennedy is fairly absent in this novel—and missed. I would’ve much rather seen her progress from her capture in the last novel Protect and Defend instead of reading about Nash’s shrill wife. We learn Nash thinks Irene’s losing her objectivity as a result of her experience, but it’s neither confirmed nor denied in the story, although her anger issues throb to the surface. What seems more evident is that Nash is losing his fervor and fire for his job.
One of the best scenes in this novel is when a cocky deputy attorney from the Attorney General’s office decides to interview and antagonize Rapp while he’s handcuffed to the table in his orange jumpsuit. Priceless.
Vince Flynn created the character of Mitch Rapp. Mitch Rapp is who sells these stories and, believe it or not, makes them believable. It’s Mitch’s attitude, intensity, and skills that keep readers cheering and turning pages so when Vince takes too much time away from Rapp, at times the reader is tempted to skip ahead.
The book ends with an expected cliffhanger and an unexpected endorsement for when Mitch and Mike have to use Extreme Measures. Pursuit of Honor, to be reviewed here, brings us up to the present, and the new release from Vince Flynn titled American Assassin is coming in October 2010.