Monday, June 24, 2013

“American Assassin” by Vince Flynn – The Origins of a Killer

American Assassin by Vince Flynn (Book cover)
Though we have seen Mitch Rapp countless times, travelling around the world leaving trails of bodies and soiled pants behind him, not much has been unveiled about his first operations, his recruitment, training program, or even his life before becoming a CIA agent.

Vince Flynn though of rectifying that, and so he wrote American Assassin, wherein Rapp is first presented as a talented college athlete without a damn to give about anything. However, the Pan Am Lockerbie attack changes the whole landscape of his life, as more than two hundred and seventy perished in it, leaving countless people to grieve and yearn for revenge, Mitch being one of them. The story details how he then got recruited by the CIA, trained for six months, and then sent on his first missions, making him travel between Europe and the Middle East.

I have to admit I'm not the biggest Mitch Rapp fan there is out there, but I always enjoy good origin stories, and this is one of them. The atmosphere is already very different because of the fact that Mitch hasn't yet established his reputation; he is a simple nobody with six months of training and a desire to kill.

Watching him fumble here and there, learn from his mistakes and complete his missions is thrilling because we never know when failure might hit his young and inexperienced mind. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed in the lack of psychological development between the terrorist attack and his first kill, I do understand that the action is taking the spotlight in this book and that’s the way things ought to be.

As far as the story goes, I have to say I’m a bit impressed in the amount of depth put into it, though that is a double-edged sword as many of the exotic locations visited by Mitch and his team are lacking in descriptions that would allow us to actually feel there.

Nevertheless, it does create a sense of restless motion, of being after a goal and not having the time to stop and smell the flowers, which is the state of mind Mitch is in, at least while still looking for the ones responsible for the terrorist attack. All in all, if you are a Mitch Rapp fan and/or enjoy international spy thrillers with plenty of assassinations, then American Assassin will most assuredly provide you with plenty of entertainment.

Vincent "Vince" Flynn (April 6, 1966 – June 19, 2013)

Vincent "Vince" Flynn (April 6, 1966 – June 19, 2013)

Personal site

Vince Flynn was an American author who mostly specialized in politic thrillers, and has actually served as a consultant for the fifth season of 24. He is most famous for bringing to us the Mitch Rapp series, with some of his more popular books being Consent to Kill and Transfer of Power.

More of Vince Flynn's book reviews:
The Last Man
Kill Shot

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