Review: Pursuit of Honour – Vince Flynn

pursuit-of-honour-vince-flynn5 of 5 stars

Series: Mitch Rapp 10

My version: Paperback
Fiction Thriller, terrorism
Simon & Schuster

Honour must be satisfied…

A series of explosions devastates Washington D.C., killing 185 people. An act of extreme violence calls for an extreme response from the counter-terrorism operative.

Enter Mitch Rapp. Working together with team member Mike Nash, he must hunt down the three al-Qaeda terrorists still at large…by any means necessary.

No one knows better than Rapp, the personal, physical and emotional sacrifices that the job requires. And when Nash begins to crack under the ever increasing pressure of the mission, Rapp must take steps to save his friend and close in on the enemy – before it’s too late for them both.

I’ve long been hoping that ‘the traitor within’ would become a theme, a thread. for these books. It has been touched on but never fully developed into a plot a couple of times before in the series, but never developed further. This doesn’t do it either. It flirts with the possibility, but goes away from it again. Never mind, it’s surely an area ripe with possibilities for the future.

It really would be wrong to see these books as just gung-ho ‘let’s kill the bastards’ typical thrillers. They’ve become much more than that. Not that they really were to start with, but you denigrate them at your peril. Vince Flynn doesn’t shy away from the big and tricky questions surrounding the pursuit of terrorists. That alone, is absolutely refreshing, especially from an American thriller writer. Mitch Rapp, the main character as always, is used as the catalyst for much of it all. He does the dirty work, the killing, but his presence and his actions are used by Flynn, to look elsewhere in this murky, double-standard world. The only problem I think they’ve got (the characters in the book, I mean) (maybe I should get a life, I know) is that they are painting themselves into a corner, with their over-reliance on Rapp. Only he seems able to get them out of the tight corners. And, doesn’t Kennedy have other responsibilities? Book hints at it, but she gives all her time to Rapp. There’s never any mention of other people carrying out other operations. It’s not as though he sits waiting in reserve, ready to come off the bench – he is all they’ve got. There is no back up, no plan B. After he’s gone, and there is even some recognition in the books now that he’s not getting any younger, they’re knackered.

The last two or three books can seem more than a little misogynistic at times. The long rants – over last two books – have been at women. The women are of course, absolute bitches. Who don’t understand. Even Irene Kennedy can be a bitch and a fussy old, non-understanding the real world men are in, woman at times. He needs to watch out for that maybe. To avoid type-casting all women that pop into the books as ‘trouble’ in one form or other.

It’s also kinda tricky sometimes to swallow the awe and fear that the book says Rapp generates amongst foe and (some) friend(s) alike. He doesn’t really do all that much. Here, the breakthroughs are handed to him pretty much on a plate. I think the problem is, the book has a lot to cover, so a lot of the chase, and Rapp’s supposed dogged determination to always get (read ‘kill‘) his man, has to go, leaving it just to be mentioned by those who know (of) him. And me saying ‘eh?!’ It’s luck. That Rapp wasn’t killed by assassin Gould. Gould decided not to kill him. Wasn’t due to Rapp’s Spideysense tingling, as is always trumpeted elsewhere in the books.

Still, it is again good to have Stan Hurley back. And the book is tense and thrilling with a nail-biting finale. It’s well and tightly written, with some great turns, twists even. All believable. All in all, excellent, heading towards superb.

You can buy Pursuit of Honour at

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