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Friday, October 8, 2010

Reading List: Pursuit of Honor

Flynn, Vince. Pursuit of Honor. New York: Pocket Books, 2009. ISBN 978-1-4165-9517-5.
This is the tenth novel in the Mitch Rapp (warning—the article at this link contains minor spoilers) saga, and the conclusion of the story which began in the previous volume, Extreme Measures (July 2010). In that book, a group of terrorists staged an attack in Washington D.C., with the ringleaders managing to disappear in the aftermath. In the present novel, it's time for payback, and Mitch Rapp and his team goes on the trail not only of the terrorists but also their enablers within the U.S. government.

The author says that you should be able to pick up and enjoy any of his novels without any previous context, but in my estimation you'll miss a great deal if you begin here without having read Extreme Measures. While an attempt is made (rather clumsily, it seemed to me) to brief the reader in on the events of the previous novel, those who start here will miss much of the character development of the terrorists Karim and Hakim, and the tension between Mitch Rapp and Mike Nash, whose curious parallels underlie the plot.

This is more a story of character development and conflict between personalities and visions than action, although it's far from devoid of the latter. There is some edgy political content in which I believe the author shows his contempt for certain factions and figures on the Washington scene, including “Senator ma'am”. The conclusion is satisfying although deliberately ambiguous in some regards. I appear to have been wrong in my review of Extreme Measures about where the author was taking Mike Nash, but then you never know.

This book may, in terms of the timeline, be the end of the Mitch Rapp series. Vince Flynn's forthcoming novel, American Assassin, is a “prequel”, chronicling Rapp's recruitment into the CIA, training, and deployment on his first missions. Still, it's difficult in the extreme to cork a loose cannon, so I suspect in the coming years we'll see further exploits by Mitch Rapp on the contemporary scene.

Posted at October 8, 2010 22:49