Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pursuit of Honor: A Novel (by Vince Flynn)

Reviewed by Tracy L. Karol

Pursuit of Honor: A Novel, by Vince Flynn

I will admit my bias up front: I am addicted to Vince Flynn and have been a fan since his first novel, "Term Limits." Some have been better than others, and "Pursuit of Honor," in my opinion, clearly stands out as one of his best ever.

The novel starts off just days after the events after the end of his last book, "Extreme Measures." That would probably be my one beef - that I had to wait so long for the book and it takes place immediately following his last novel. But as a follow up to "Extreme Measures," this book is actually much better and Flynn really pushes the envelope. He's not afraid to get his hands dirty with his opinion (fictionally) about where this country is headed, and he really is not afraid to let his main character, Mitch Rapp, get his hands dirty (though in reality we've seen Rapp do much more damage in other books).

As to plot: Washington D.C. has been attacked by Muslim extremists who, this time, specifically target senators and other political types. Rapp and his protégé, Mike Nash, were also attacked at the Counterterrorism Center, where many of their colleagues were killed. Now it's up to Rapp to bring the three who got away to justice, if he can find them, while hunting down a traitor in the CIA, dealing with left-wing senators who are upset because he used "extreme measures" to get information on said terrorists (he dislocated a guy's arm), and other bureaucratic issues. Rapp is not, as you might guess, a happy man. There are actually a few funny parts in this book, which I enjoyed because the suspense and "thriller" action was so tense I could barely put the book down long enough to make it last two days (I truly had to force myself to drag it out that long). One example: Rapp is interrogating a traitor who he knows lies for a living. Mitch warns him not to lie to him because he will know...yet the guy does so anyway. Mitch tells him, "Fight it, fight it," while pointing a gun at the guy's foot. I can picture the scene so vividly in my head I really did laugh.

There was also some closure with Mike Nash, whose character had me scratching my head a bit at the end of "Extreme Measures." I wondered what Flynn would do with him, but knew it would be good and looked forward to it. I wasn't disappointed.

As the three escaped terrorists make their way across America and you see the fighting going on between them, it's clear that Vince Flynn knows how to create characters that are not one dimensional. I used to love to read Tom Clancy, but often would have to go back and find out when a character was introduced and who he was (not to mention heavy on the jargon). I still love the Clancy classics, and have read most of them more than once. But Flynn gives you a thriller like no other writer out there today. This book might not be for everyone - but it should be. There will certainly be people who will find things offensive in this book, and those are probably the same people that Rapp (and there are men and women out there like him) are on the line to protect. I highly recommend it, and recommend that you read it with an open mind and never forget that this war on terror is not over and is not played by the same rules as anything else we've ever seen. Other authors you might enjoy: Nelson DeMille, Brad Thor, Brian Haig (one of my newest and favorite), and Karna Small Bodman (another new find). Enjoy!