Saturday, 23 January 2010

Pursuit of Honour by Vince Flynn

11th January 2010, Simon & Schuster
431 pages, Trade Paperback
Review Copy


Cushions: 4
Daggers: 4 (violence, murder)
Paperclips: 3
Smiles: 4
Tissues: 2
Yunaleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Summary from Simon and Schuster

Mitch Rapp is on the trail of the traitor within. Honour must be satisfied. In this latest action-packed addition to the Mitch Rapp saga, Flynn returns to the secretive world of fearless Americans who must risk their lives for their country's security, fighting a covert war that can never be discussed, even with their own political leaders.

I've had one interested reader keep asking me when I'm posting the review of this book. Why? Because on What Are You Reading #5 I wrote the following caption: 'Great crime novel, heaps of action near the end, I thought the terrorists were idiots'. I stand by this statement.

Sometimes I don't always pay as close attention as I should to the blurb of a book. I read it, if it sounds interesting I request it and carry on book hunting. With Pursuit of Honour, I spent a good part of the book thinking it was a thriller. I couldn't quite work out why the pace wasn't up to speed with most thrillers I read. I then was checking out the back cover in more detail, and saw the genre crime written down. There was a big 'Oh' and then I smiled. As a crime book, this is brilliant. (Yes I have learnt my lesson and will pay more attention to press release sheets and cover blurbs). Note: it is a little confusing because the book says the genre is fiction/crime, the press release mentions thriller and on Vince Flynn's website (see link at the bottom of this review) it says thriller. I would have liked more action in the middle with lots of explosions and fight if it is a thriller. There was a lot of suspence, but I like action in thrillers too. Action similar to what happened at the end.)

I have a fondness for crime/thriller novels that involve national security . I loved how the criminals were interrogated (yes, it wasn't pleasant but it was well done). It was interesting to see how an ordinary employee working for the government can neglect his family in favour of his job. Mike is a kind man at heart because he makes the right decision for his friend, in forcing him out of active duty. I smiled a lot when Mike tricked his friend: deception isn't nice but the way he conducted the deception was clever. Mike had to make some difficult decisions, ones which could cost him the friendship. I applauded each choice he made: he kept the end goal in sight. It made me think of the families of those who work for the security service and the army: those who know what their loved ones do must have a constant undercurrent of worry whether they'll live to see another day.

On to the idiotic terrorists. Yes, I really do think they were stupid. They had tried to blow up a building, and failed. You would think they would just escape, fade into the background and live their lives. No, they want to uphold their honour with God. At this point I would like to say their view on what God would wish for the world is well and truly warped. God doesn't want us to blow up people who don't believe. He would want peace with everyone, not war. That is one reason why they are idiots, but not the only one. If you are on the run from the USA, keeping a low profile would be ideal. Planning an attack on a public figure to make another statement won't make you popular. I suppose that is their goal, to get the world to notice them, and to give their lives for what they believe is a better cause.

But their stupidity lies in their choice of refuge. Yes, a building/farm may be deserted, but people do actually have friends in this world. People tell each other where they are going (or their family at least knows where they are most likely to go. If the people in question have an accident/are injured/are killed, naturally the area will be investigated.

The security agencies work their hardest to figure out suspected terrorists' profiles. They have a large array of resources on their side - more than a small group of terrorists do (at least these ones). The stupidity continues: if you suspect a person of treachery, even if they are heavily injured check they can't have access to a vehicle. Because they will escape (it was a good thing in this case - I actually had sympathy for one of the terrorists). So yes, for me there was a lot of humour in this book because the terrorists were stupid. There is little they did which was clever. One was definitely missing a few nuts and bolts in his brain.

The end was a big, grand finale with an interesting hostage situation. I honestly couldn't guess how it would turn out. I thought more people were going to die. Justice was served, and Mike's friendship is back, if a little rocky. Definitely a book to check out (if only to see why I think the terrorists are idiots).

Vince Flynn can be found on his website here.

Suggested reading: Sword of God by Chris Kuzneski (which is a thriller - I haven't read any other crime books like this one)

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