Series: Mitch Rapp 11
Simon & Schuster
A hero betrayed by his own country must take extreme measures in his fight for the truth.
A lethal terrorist cell is about to descend on America – and Mitch Rapp needs his best man to take on this terrifying new threat. Former Marine Corps officer Mike Nash, who has served his government honourably for sixteen years, is Rapp’s choice.
Meeting violence with extreme violence, Nash has never wavered in his fight against the jihadists and their culture of death. Fighting the war on terror in secret, he has been forced to lie to every person he cares about. Yet he has soldiered on, secure in the knowledge that his hard work and lethal tactics have saved the lives of thousands.
But the one thing Nash never saw coming was that his own government was about to turn on him…
For me, one of the major pleasures was the reappearance of Stan Hurley. If I’m right, we’ve not seen anything of Hurley since the Weezer album of the same name, I mean since book three-ish. When he arrives, you realise how much you’ve missed him. He’s not so much of a foil for Mitch Rapp, as a sounding board, a confirmation that what he is doing is ‘right’ in their world and – he fights back. The only one that ever has fought Rapp to a standstill? And at 70-odd, he proves he still can. Excellent to have him back.
Without doubt, and I know, Extreme Measures is the best of the series so far (as you do/don’t know, I’m reading them in the order they were written). It works really very well on several levels, if you take the trouble to think about what you’re reading. In a very even-handed way, there are arguments presented for and against doing what ‘has to be done,’ for the majority. To maybe sacrifice one or two to ‘save the lives of thousands.’ Where have we heard that before…oh yes, Communism, Socialism, Europe. Maybe that’s also what Flynn is presenting?
‘The Government about to turn on him’ can be read two ways, too. One before and while you read the book, the other, after you’ve finished it. The Senator is against all that Rapp and the CIA and Nash stand for and what they are doing, but Mr Flynn is surely using her to show how politicians always lose sight of the main objective (as Flynn, Rapp and ‘we’ see it, of course), and get involved in nit-picking, point-scoring, for the sake of it. Effectively fiddling while Rome burns and sometimes evoking a feeling that Rapp and Nash’s worst enemies, are back at ‘home.’ Not one reading this is in any doubt that is how it is.
The question of why the terrorist(s) is/are doing it is also looked at. Islam is given a fair ride here, as has been the case all the way through the series. Flynn is in the ‘corrupted faith’ camp, but then I’m sure most of the world, of any faith, is as well. Are they fighting for the glory of God, or for the glory of themselves? Which also surely refers back to possibly explain why the politicians are doing what they are doing – for their own glory. Superb!
The character of Nash, is to show the other side of the effects of the terrorist threat. How it affects an otherwise ‘normal’ person. Of course, having a wife and kids is a weakness in this world. It’s a weakness to/for Rapp, which is pretty much how he sees it and most likely why his wife and child were written out. It’s an exploitable weakness. A way for ‘them’ (you decide which side) to get to you. ‘We’re all on the same side’ is also used more than once, so that’s obviously a theme Flynn had in mind as well.
There is perhaps a little over-reliance on the ‘you only know, you are only doing your job if you’re out in the field’ angle. True in a way, but sometimes it is used to resolve an argument, which just sounds a little childish.
All that said, Extreme Measures is, above all, well-written, tense, exciting and, as a Thriller should be, thrilling. Extremely.
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