Review

Extreme Measures

by Vince Flynn

If I had the mythical wallet of endless wealth, I would buy up a
few hundred thousand copies of EXTREME MEASURES, Vince
Flynn’s latest Mitch Rapp novel, and start passing them out
on street corners. Given that it’s that time again, when the
American electorate is about to decide who is going to drive the
Lexus for the next four years, one needs to make informed
decisions. And if you haven’t considered the issues raised in
this book, I would suggest that you really need to take that extra
step.

EXTREME MEASURES brings Rapp and his colleague/protégé
Mike Nash together for what may well be their ultimate mission. The
CIA has detected and captured two terrorist cells; information
indicates that yet a third is on a mission that is all but certain
to take place in dramatic fashion on U.S. soil. Rapp and Nash are
in the midst of a rough but effective interrogation when they are
interrupted by agents of their own government --- the government of
the country they are sworn to protect --- and, in an almost
Orwellian but realistic turn of events, Rapp finds himself subject
to arrest for fighting a war in defense of his country.

While focusing on domestic espionage and over-the-shoulder views
of terrorist planning, the primary mission of EXTREME MEASURES is
to examine the enemy within --- the questionably well-intended
members of government who seem to delight in hamstringing military
personnel with rules as they fight against an enemy who understands
that the main rule of warfare is to win at any cost. While Rapp is
brought before the judiciary committee in proceedings that are most
generously described as being similar to a kangaroo court, a
terrorist cell plots a multifaceted series of events designed to
strike at the heart of the government that seems obsessed, against
all logic, with protecting their rights while disregarding the
health and safety of its own citizens.

As he has before, Flynn demonstrates that he truly understands the
psyche of the enemy. To put it in plain terms, these guys are
really scary, primarily because they are so realistic. Led by an
erratic mastermind whose goal is to become the acknowledged leader
of al-Qaeda, the terrorist cell slowly but steadily executes a
by-the-numbers plot that will paralyze the country, while Rapp,
perhaps the only person who has a prayer of successfully
terminating their operation, is short-leashed by a judiciary
committee headed by an egocentric chairman in love with the sound
of her own voice. As the book races toward a catastrophic, and
ironic, conclusion, more than one perfumed prince comes to realize
that inaction, as well as action, can result in tragic consequences
that reach further than can be anticipated.

Flynn’s latest effort is complete in itself, with a
beginning, middle and definite ending. Be forewarned, however: it
is only the first half of a story that will not see its climax
until 2009. Please don’t vote without reading EXTREME
MEASURES.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 21, 2011

Extreme Measures
by Vince Flynn

  • Publication Date: October 28, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • ISBN-10: 0743270428
  • ISBN-13: 9780743270427