The third option

Vince Flynn, 1966-2013

Book - 2000

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FICTION/Flynn, Vince
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New York : Pocket Books 2000.
Physical Description
358 p.
Main Author
Vince Flynn, 1966-2013 (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Flynn hits his stride in this thriller about high-end Washington politics, the second featuring underground counterterrorist Mitch Rapp. This time Rapp is unofficially hired by the CIA to assassinate a German businessman who has been secretly chummy with Saddam Hussein. Rapp does his job, but the couple hired to help him try to sabotage him instead. Rapp must track down the rogue couple and figure out whom they're working for if he is to survive. Flynn's high-energy prose sets a terrific pace, and he generates plenty of suspense. Unfortunately, he doesn't deliver the goods in the end. The conclusion, designed more to set up the next installment in the series than to wrap up this one, will leave readers distinctly unsatisfied. On the other hand, they will be clamoring for more. Flynn has an exciting, Ludlum-like series going here, but he needs to learn how to hit a tonic chord on the last page. --Mary Frances Wilkens Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Flynn's latest thriller about the Iraqi quest for nuclear weapons is an old-school spy story, something from the Seventies, updated with heavy helpings of international intrigue and domestic politicking and betrayal. Counterterrorism expert Mitch Rapp must complete his mission (eliminating a European arms dealer with ties to Saddam), save the woman he loves, and ferret out those who would betray their country. These are people in high places trying to discredit the CIA in order to further their own political futures, and they make the mistake of having Rapp for an enemy and eventually pay the price. Flynn relies too much on a heavy-handed narrative style, and many of his characters are cardboard cutouts. He has toned down the right-wing rhetoric a bit from his earlier works (Term Limits, LJ 10/1/98), but it is still made very clear where on the political spectrum the author's and the main character's sympathies lie. Overall, the book is clunky but fun, and fans of Kyle Mills as well as Ludlum and Clancy will want to check it out. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/00.] Patrick Wall, University City P.L., MO Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

A CIA counterterrorist gets caught in the middle of a deadly Beltway power play in Flynn's (Balance of Power) latest political thriller. Long on one-dimensional characters, action scenes and espionage details, it falls short on comprehensible plotting. Battle-scarred protagonist Mitch Rapp returns to take on a sensitive new assignment in Europe, only to have things go awry when his two CIA colleagues turn on him following the assassination of a wealthy German count who has been selling arms to Saddam Hussein. Rapp survives their double-dealing, but he is forced to go underground to decipher the labyrinthine chain of political connections and to learn who was trying to have him killed. Back in Washington, a similar game of spy-versus-spy is being conducted by the elderly, dying director of the CIA and his chosen successor. Rapp eventually surfaces to help his bosses, but things get personal for the ace counterterrorist when Rapp's bride-to-be is kidnapped as part of the ongoing political maneuvers. Flynn sweats the small stuff to bring his conspiracy to life, but he also introduces enough secondary characters to populate two novels, and he frequently stalls the narrative momentum by providing an overwhelming level of detail regarding various high-tech gadgets and espionage operations. The biggest disappointment, though, comes at the end, when the book is exposed as a shameless setup for a sequel. Flynn is a popular writer, but his third thriller won't do much to enhance his critical reputation or his sales. 9-city author tour. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

After retaking the White House following a terrorist attack on the president, CIA counter-terrorism expert Mitch Rapp is sent on a mission to stop a noted German industrialist selling sensitive materials to a terrorist sponsor, unaware that he is being set up by powerful forces in Washington who will do anything to see him fail. Reprint.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When diplomacy has failed and military intervention is deemed inappropriate, our leaders sometimes take THE THIRD OPTION.CIA counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp falls prey to government forces with an agenda of their own after Dr. Irene Kennedy is named the successor to dying CIA Director Thomas Stansfield -- a choice that enrages many inside the world's most powerful intelligence agency. Her detractors will resort to extreme measures to prevent her from taking the reins -- which makes Rapp an expendable asset. But Mitch Rapp is no one's pawn, and he will stop at nothing to find out who has set him up.