Transfer of Power PB Vince Flynn


SKU: 17171 Category:


Transfer of Power Paperback
by Vince Flynn (Author)

What if America’s most powerful leader was also its prime target?

On a busy Washington morning, the stately calm of the White House is shattered as terrorists gain control of the executive mansion, slaughtering dozens of people. The president is evacuated to an underground bunker, but not before nearly one hundred hostages are taken. One man is sent in to take control of the crisis. Mitch Rapp, the CIA’s top counterterrorism operative, determines that the president is not as safe as Washington’s power elite had thought. Moving among the corridors of the White House, Rapp makes a chilling discovery that could rock Washington to its core: someone within his own government wants his rescue attempt to fail.

In this long political thriller staged almost entirely around a hostage standoff, Flynn makes maximum use of his White House setting, and mixes in a spicy broth of brutal terrorists, heroic commandos and enough secret agent hijinks to keep the confrontation bubbling until its flag-raising end. The villains are led by Rafique Aziz, a notorious Arab terrorist whose band of thugs takes over the White House by finding a weak point in American politics: they pose as wealthy campaign contributors and are welcomed through the front door. President Robert Hayes manages to escape to his bunker moments before the bloodbath, but religious zealot Aziz takes almost 100 hostages, seals off the White House and begins making demands, of which large sums of cash are just the beginning. With the president incommunicado and weak-willed yet power hungry Vice President Sherman Baxter in charge, the Pentagon and the CIA resort to their secret weapon: commando extraordinaire Mitch Rapp. After sneaking into the bowels of the Executive Mansion through an air duct, Rapp steadily disrupts the terrorists’ well-laid plans. He finally calls in reinforcements when Aziz begins drilling into the president’s bunker. It’s a long haul to the finish, but Flynn (Term Limits) compensates for some stereotyping by creating dynamic tension between the main players, especially between military leaders and politicians, and between Rapp and Aziz. His description of the White House is impressive; readers will wonder if the secret passageways, hidden rooms and clever deception devices that help load this story with seemingly endless intrigue, really exist.

Paperback: 592 pages

I’ve recently discovered Vince Flynn and his Mitch Rapp character. This is my third Mitch Rapp novel and my conclusion is that Vince Flynn is the leader of the pack when it comes to political thrillers. He has no close competition.

Mitch Rapp is a member of the Orion Team, a super-secret group with deniable connections to the CIA, White House and Congress. It’s purpose is to eliminate terrorist threats to the United States without regard for anything but the danger they represent. Mitch Rapp is an “ordinary” guy, dedicated to extinguishing the terrorist threat without the messiness or hindrance of law. Find ’em, kill ’em and move on to the next one. Rapp is without a doubt the coolest super-hero to come down the pike in a long time. He has the freshness of the first incarnation of Clancy’s Jack Ryan, the inventiveness of Clive Cussler’s heroes and the philosophical bent of Barry Eisler’s John Rain, who is the closest to Flynn’s Mitch Rapp.

Flynn’s take on politicians is devestating. He beautifully skewers the Democrats and their “peace at any price” acolytes. He sets up Robert Hayes as a “centrist” Democratic President. Hayes resembles no Democratic President of the past century. He is a reasonable, intelligent man without a radical political agenda. Surrounding him, however, are the products of Flynn’s literary – and I do mean literary – genius. Venal, greedy, ignorant men and women of his party who put their own selfish interests far ahead of the nation; people who would prefer to live under the heel of the enemies of freedom rather than resist.

In “Transfer of Power,” the chair of the Democratic National Committee has accepted a $500,000 “donation” in return for arranging a last-minute meeting between the donor, supposedly a Prince of Oman, and the President. President Hayes’ chief of staff doesn’t bother with the Secret Service security rules. After all, it is a donation of $500,000.

As the “Prince” is about to murder the President in the Oval Office, the Secret Service receives a call from Mitch Rapp who has just abducted a top Hezbollah leader in Iran. Under intensive interrogation, Rapp has learned that the White House is to be the target of a terrorist attack this very day. The President is saved for the moment with only seconds to spare. The “Prince,” really a ruthless terrorist Rapp has been tracking for years, then proceeds to take over the White House. The attack relies heavily on information gleaned from another Democrat.

Almost a hundred hostages are taken. The Vice President assumes exeuctive power while the President is trapped incommuicado in a White House bunker. The White House is in control of the terrorists, its perimeter ringed with explosives. The terrorist leader makes a demand: release the Iranian billions siezed during the Carter-era hostage crisis or he will murder one hostage per hour. Transfer the money and he will let some hostages go.

The Vice President, a cowardly, but ambitious politician, takes counsel of his Attorney General, a woman with a preference for appeasement.

Quickly the situation deteriorates. Mitch Rapp is asked to get into the White House to reconnoiter. He does this with the help of Milt Adams, a retired Secret Service agent who knows more about the design of the White House then any living person. Rapp takes Adams with him, an unlikely, but ultimately highly effective pairing.

Flynn’s plotting is an absolute delight. Everything flows smoothly from one tense moment to another. His characters are totally believable. Some, especially the weasly politicians, strongly resemble people we all have read about or seen on television. Rapp, the ordinary guy as super-hero, is exquisitely crafted and totally believable. The military personnel, the CIA directors, the Chiefs of Staff, the terrorists – every character is sharply drawn.

Much to his credit, Flynn manages to introduce a “romantic” element into this novel. I will not ruin the moment by describing how: it is simply to rich to have any of the surprise taken from it.

The action is non-stop. The climax is a complex ballet of brutal action.

Flynn is today’s master of the political thriller. Clancy at his very best in “The Hunt For Red October” was terrific: but Flynn is better and he has been able to hold the Mitch Rapp character intact over a number of novels which Clancy was unable to do with Jack Ryan. In my opinion, every other political thriller novelist pales before Flynn. He is the master and of the three Mitch Rapp novels I’ve read to date, this is his best.

Wear to spine from being read. Minor wear to edges. 1st paperback printing. 0-671-02320-9.


Wear to spine from being read. Minor wear to edges. 1st paperback printing.