Atria, Oct 12 2010, $27.99
CIA Operations Director Thomas Stansfield understands the Cold War is over as the economic chaos begins to implode the Soviet empire. However, On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 explodes over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all on board and several in the town; Stansfield realizes a new adversary has taken its first visible strike.
Islamic terrorism has begun so to take the fight overseas, Stansfield orders Irene Kennedy and Stan Hurley to create a team who do not exist so that they can work outside the cage of politicians. Kennedy recruits twenty two year old college athlete Mitch Rapp who shows a propensity for stealth; however, the kid has no interest in working for the incompetent Feds as he only wants to murder those who murdered the Lockerbie victims. Soon he and Hurley go at it to see if he has the right stuff. Six months later, Rapp is in Istanbul to bring the war to the east starting with the efficient assassination of the Turkish arms dealer who sold the explosives. Soon after the first kill, bodies are left on two continents with Rapp knowing Beirut awaits him, but unaware his adversary plans to greet him as an honored dead man.
This is a refreshing Rapp tale as Vince Flynn tells the story of how he became the CIA superagent. Fast-paced throughout, Mr. Flynn uses the Lockerbie tragedy as the impetus for converting Rapp. Fans of the saga will relish the hero’s tyro days starting with the bruising first nutcracker battle in the Virginia barn between Rapp and Hurley, his killing of the murderers and their associates and culminating in his escapades to survive the hells of Beirut. This is a great entry in a strong series.