Review: Memorial Day – Vince Flynn

memorial-day-vince-flynn4 of 5 stars

Mitch Rapp 7

My version:
Fiction Thriller, Terrorism
Simon & Schuster

The nation’s in danger and only Mitch Rapp knows.

When a spike in US intelligence suggests a major terrorist attack planned for Memorial Day, the president orders Mitch Rapp, his top counterterrorism operative, to pull out all the stops.

Rapp leaves for Afghanistan where he leads the ultra-secret Special Forces unit on a daring commando raid across the border into northern Pakistan. Their target: an al-Qaeda stronghold. Within a subterranean room, Rapp and his team discover a treasure trove of maps, files and bills for multiple freighters heading to US ports – all pointing to plans for a catastrophic attack on Washington D.C.

Information is relayed to CIA HQ. In a few hours, the freighters have been located and the danger averted. Or has it?

To Mitch Rapp, it all seems too easy. Following his instincts he makes a truly terrifying discovery  – and with Memorial Day closing fast, he must find a way to prevent a disaster of unimaginable proportions…

Or, Vince Flynn’s version of The Sum of All Fears.

In contrast to most blockbuster films these days, which always seem to destroy New York (ok, sometimes San Francisco), Vince Flynn seems to have something against Washington DC. Explainable, understandable even, when thought of in association with his (maybe) views on many of those in the higher echelons of US politics. By writing about how corrupt many of them up there are, he’s seemingly passing a social comment. It’s not a new thought, and not, though many would like to think, totally reserved for US politicians. Maybe more noticeable, what with the stealing of elections and the lies that become the truth and all. But, it also serves as a contrast to the ‘good guys’ he’s got in the story. They’re totally, totally, incorruptible. Maybe not totally whiter than white, as they do do some morally questionable things here and there, but, in contrast to Matt Hilton’s Joe Hunter, they do stuff first, think about it later. They don’t do that whole worrying thing. And are always presented as having the best interests of The American People (so boringly beloved of Presidential candidates. – every four years anyway) at heart. These best interests are also set up as the best interests the people at the top should have at their hearts. The overwhelming feeling is, that he’s saying as long as there are a bunch of people with the skills to defend the people and the Constitution (though why a 200-odd year old piece of nonsense should be defended in the 21st Century, I don’t know), the bad guys on either side of the divide will be caught, maybe put on trial, certainly tortured, made to pay generally, and then it’ll be all right in the end. I did wonder whether Flynn’s actually saying, ‘read my books, it would be this easy, if just those lily-livered career politicians in Washington would get their fingers out.’ I’d really hesitate to say that, had he lived, Vince Flynn would be a Trump supporter, no, I really don’t think so. If I did, I’d stop reading the books immediately. I think Flynn is too intelligent. His writing, increasingly as the series progresses, too multifaceted and world-aware for that sort of blinkered, philistine, pig-ignorance.

The improvement for me here too, was that this time out, the wife’s not in it at all. She’s away. With relatives I think. She’s not called, he’s not called. Actually, I did wonder if Rapp might have forgotten he’s married. I’ve read the next book already, so I do know what comes next, however, the story, the writing and the character of Rapp are improved greatly by not having her around. You know it. I’m not against him having a female interest – that was what got him started on the whole trip in American Assassin after all, but maybe it was a mistake to have his wife a TV news reporter based in Washington. We’ll see… Then, there’s the whole Harry Hole conundrum. As the reader can see, there’s far too much book left for it all to be over after the bomb is discovered…I’ll leave it there. It’s a problem no one has solved satisfactorily as yet. Probably never will.

However, the plot is pretty water-tight, the motives on both sides are totally believable and the writing is excellent, clear, purposeful, full of nuance and improving with each book (I’m reading them in order from the start). The characters that people the world Flynn has created over the previous books are now working very well indeed, their lives and motivations make sense, I care about what happens to them. Vince Flynn is on the way to writing the perfect thriller, there’s no doubt of that. This isn’t quite it yet, maybe next time. If he comes clean about why the ten-year jump…

You can buy Memorial Day at

Related reviews on Speesh Reads:

American Assassin

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