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MEMORIAL DAY

Vince Flynn, Author
Vince Flynn, Author . Atria $25.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-7434-5397-4
Reviewed on: 05/10/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004

The latest entry in Flynn's popular Mitch Rapp series (after 2003's Executive Power ) offers a gripping look at what could transpire if a terrorist group were to sneak a nuclear weapon into the U.S. Rapp, the relentless, marble-hearted CIA assassin and terrorist hunter, would never let that happen, of course, and Flynn's description of the process of bringing a nuke ashore and the lengths to which the government's counterterrorism force will go to prevent harm to U.S. citizens add up to another page-flipping extravaganza. Rapp, back in the field after a long stint on desk duty for insubordination, unearths the bomb plot during a daring commando raid on an al-Qaeda stronghold in Afghanistan. A U.S. strike force manages to intercept and disarm the nuke moments after it arrives by freighter in Charleston, S.C. Everyone, including series stalwart President Robert Hayes, congratulates themselves on a job well done, but Rapp isn't convinced; he believes al-Qaeda leader Mustafa al-Yamani has smuggled a second nuke into the country and plans to detonate it in Washington, D.C., during Memorial Day celebrations. Rapp, a ruthless terrorist pursuer by temperament and training, turns it up several notches this time around, following al-Yamani's scent with feverish abandon. Flynn trots out his usual assortment of characters to keep the action tense—wishy-washy cabinet members, political climbers, invective-spewing terrorists and a selected assortment of ice queens who use sex as a weapon. Yet his skillful use of converging plots, particularly the panic created by having a nuke on the loose, is enough to keep Flynn's growing fan base more than willing to overlook the formulaic components. Agent, Sloan Harris. (May)

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