Picture this if you can. Vince Flynn, the wildly popular political thriller writer, has been asked by then President George W. Bush to the White House. They then proceed to the presidential limo to go to some function or other. Once they get comfortably inside, Bush leans across the limo as he points his finger at Flynn and demands,” You tell me right now who your contacts are in the CIA and FBI! I want to know NOW!” Bush was joking around but that shows how good Flynn is with his political thrillers and how on the spot he is with detail, dialog and plot. That’s a true story, by the way. Flynn admits he does have contacts but, of course, refuses to name them.
Vince Flynn is a 44 year old writer fighting dyslexia and is now fighting stage 3 prostate cancer(He died June 2013). He tried to be a Marine but for some medical reasons was unable to join. While working at Kraft Foods, he decided to work on overcoming his dyslexia. He began to read and read and read. He especially loved espionage. As with many first time authors he tried to get his work published but was turned down time after time. He finally decided to self publish and the genre of political thrillers has never been the same. His first novel, Term Limits, quickly shot up the New York Times best seller list. I think the reason for his success is not only his insight into the worlds of the FBI, CIA and counter terrorism but the main character of the majority of his books, the one and only Mitch Rapp. He makes Jack Bauer look like a pussy cat. Speaking of Jack Bauer and 24, Flynn has, for many years, been a consultant for that show. Read more:
Let’s talk Mitch Rapp. He is the superb specimen of a man (ladies you can insert image here, gents your own ideas). He is in superb physical condition and mentally as strong as a diamond. Now, if you believe that water boarding is torture and it offends your sensibilities, then I suggest you don’t read Flynn. The reason? Rapp’s first and only thought is what is best for his country. Let’s say he’s got two terrorists in a basement and neither one is talking. They know something about a tanker headed to the US with a dirty bomb on it and it’s headed to the port of Miami. Reasoning, a few slaps, a few punches, nothing works. Rapp, by then, has figured out the one that is the mentally weakest. He then tells them he’s going to shot one of them but doesn’t tell them which one. He moves the gun back and forth back and forth and then shots the one who is the mentally strongest. The other one tells him what he needs to know.
The casts of characters range far and wide. Evil, money grubbing Russian mafia, Islamic radicals, home grown terrorists, gun dealers with no conscience … Mitch will do anything and everything to do one thing, protect his country. Mitch will travel anywhere, anytime, with no sleep, lack of weapons, no money. But don’t worry. Mitch will be fine, most of the time. Rapp is not a fan of politicians or of the political machines and he particularly doesn’t like those that are politically correct or those that are weak on national defense. Sometimes Flynn does portray these politicians as caricatures. But he’s spot on! Rapp wants to rid the world of the scum (both terrorist and politicians) NOW!
Flynn is a writer that appeals to both men and women. He gives details but doesn’t overload you with them, there’s always plenty of action and every once in a while, Rapp gets attached to a woman. But in his job, as an off the radar guy, he doesn’t often get the “opportunity” so to speak and because of their relationship to him, well, they often aren’t long for this world.
I would start with his newest book, American Assassin, which is a prequel. It’s the story of how Rapp gets involved in the shadowy world of espionage. Then move on to his first novel, Term Limits and go from there. My book club, which really isn’t a fan of this genre, read Memorial Day and thoroughly enjoyed it.
“When I created Mitch Rapp, I thought what mentally healthy person decides to become a killer for the C.I.A. or for their country?…I wanted a guy…when he decided that someone was a bad guy and needed to be killed, he wasn’t going to cry or go vomit in the corner or lose any sleep over it,” says Vince Flynn, author of American Assassin.
I wish Vince Flynn well in his effort to battle cancer and if he’s anywhere as strong as Mitch Rapp, the cancer will be done for…