20 November 2014
Vince Flynn: Transfer of Power
Transfer of Power was not the first Mitch Rapp adventure timewise written by the late Vince Flynn but it was the first book that he wrote in the series and IMHO it is still the best. While Transfer of Power was written in 1999, two years before 9/11, it covered the threat of extremist terrorism on US soil in a way that almost made 9/11 seem tame.
This is classic Mitch Rapp, covert CIA operator and assassin, disguised as a simple-minded elderly and grubby Arab street-person hunting down a lead on master terrorist Rafique Aziz by kidnapping one of his closest associates, Fara Harut. After the kidnapping Rapp soon discovers that Harut knows about a plot to invade the White House and kill the American President - but by the time Rapp warns his CIA boss Irene Kennedy the plot is in action.
Rafique Aziz is already at the White House, posing as a Saudi Prince, when his fellow terrorists gain access to the building, leaving dozens murdered, almost one hundred other held hostage and booby-trap bombs set up around the building. Quick action by the Secret Service moves the president to an underground bunker but the terrorists have plans to break into the bunker.
Rapp quickly gets involved in a high level meeting chaired by the Vice-President which plans ways to negotiate with the terrorists for the release of the hostages. Rapp soon tells them in no uncertain terms how stupid their plans are. With the help of the military Rapp finds a way into the White House to try and save the President and the hostages.
This is a classic adrenaline-filled politico/terrorist thriller that has stood the test of time. I was bowled over with it when it was first published and I was still excited and impressed when I revisited it 15 years later.