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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 27 December 2010
Vince Flynn has written a series of books featuring undercover CIA counter-terrorism agent Mitch Rapp. "American Assassin" is a prequel to the series which explains how Rapp started his career. I have not read any of the other books in this series, but this seemed a good place to start.

The story is set in the late 1980s. The CIA want to form a team of black ops agents who will operate independently from the CIA and who can carry out assassinations of US enemies. They recruit a half dozen likely prospects. Most are ex-military, but one (Mitch Rapp) is a 23 year old college graduate and star athlete, who has his own personal motivations for choosing this career. The course is gruelling and all but two of the applicants fail or drop out. Over the next year, Rapp and another agent are taught the tricks of the trade: how to approach a safe house, how to communicate with your handlers, how to react when you are being fired upon, how to kill efficiently. Only when Rapp's training is complete is he despatched on his first assignment: to kill a Turkish arms dealer who sold the explosives used in the Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie. From here the story moves between Germany, Switzerland, Moscow and Beirut.

This is an accomplished thriller. The pace throughout is steady, the characters are well developed and the storyline feels plausible. It builds to an explosive climax and left me wanting more. Recommended.
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on 14 January 2011
I love all the books in this series. This one fills in some gaps about the start of Mitch's life as an assassin. It has great pace to it and I could not put it down. My one reservation is the ending. It's almost as though Vince Flynn was rushing off to a football match or had some other deadline because I think that he could have done much better with the finale. Still, I look forward to the next volume in this saga!
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on 23 October 2011
This is my first Vinc Flynn book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It tells the story of a boyfriend of one of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing. The death of his loved one spurs him on to start training as a black ops assassin - targeted at the new breed of terrorists. I know this is part of a series, and I found it a good starter as I got to know the main character and see how he develops from a rookie to assassin. I have no idea how 'true to life' it all is, but I found it entertaining, nicely paced and well written.
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"Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless," -- Isaiah 1:17 (NKJV)

Among the many heroic thriller characters that excite us, few authors give us much of a sense of how the person got to be whatever way he is. Vince Flynn takes two giant steps in that direction with American Assassin by showing us Mitch Rapp entering assassin training under Stan Hurley through Mitch's first three field assignments . . . including one that appears to be going bad.

A strength of the story is how Flynn demonstrates the ways that Rapp's potential faith in his superiors and colleagues is undermined during the training process. A weakness of the story is that the action parts are toned down to reflect what an inexperienced Rapp might have been able to handle. There's a curious ambiguity in the plot development that has Rapp operating at an exceptional level in hand-to-hand combat from the beginning. This detail didn't quite ring true with me.

All in all, American Assassin was an above-average thriller read for me, and I raced through it. Although it's not essential to read this story if you are a Mitch Rapp fan, I think you will probably be glad when you do.

I, too, am shocked to see how high the electronic price is. I read the hardcover version so whatever weaknesses the electronic edition has are invisible to me.
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on 24 July 2013
Good read and intriguing going back to the start and reading about how Rapp became Rapp.

I didn't enjoy this as much as the original series but it does fill in nice gaps in the story of Rapp just a shame we won't get the read the final book in the trilogy. Flynn was a gifted writer and one that will be missed.

Disappointing thing is and it's the same in all of Flynn's books is that the proof reading is embarrassing. I've never read a book with as many mistakes in it as the series of Rapp book has. Twice in the same page it refers to Hurley when it should be Ridley. It's amateur and since it's gone through all of the books it should have been rectified. How can flat out wrong names not be picked up?
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on 1 June 2011
I don't normally read books like this, but after stumbling across Vince Flynn and his Mitch Rapp series, I decided to have a read of one of his books. I did look a little into which one I should read first and several people recommended I started with this one, even though this is his latest novel.

This book details how Mitch Rapp (character from several books written by Vince Flynn that continue on from one another) was actually recruited into being a badass assassin. His days at the academy where he learns the ropes to the days on his first few missions. What Mitch does is off the radar...he's not supposed to be where he is, and nobody will claim they have heard of him - he is a ghost.

I actually found myself comparing this book to an entire season of the TV show 24. Mitch Rapp, and his older 'mentor' Stan Hurley remind me very much of Jack Bauer which is a positive aspect for me because I am a huge fan of 24. I found this book really easy to read and have now ordered afew more of Vince's books so I can follow the Mitch Rapp series.

It's very interesting, and extremely well written (although I did stumble across afew typo errors, and at one point the book refers to a particular character incorrectly - but I can live with that) and I do recommend this for people looking to read a great fictional novel about being an assassin for the CIA, or anyone who loved the tv show 24.
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After a couple of weaker novels, Flynn returns to form by taking us back to Mitch Rapp's origins and training. It is a well structured novel with a number of interesting characters, Rapp of course but also Stan Hurley, Rapp's original mentor and training officer.

Luckily this book did not contain the many typos on the first issues in the US so there were no distractions in tearing through the pages and seeing the early Mitch Rapp and his first assignments. There are still a few gaps that the author does not share with us (how Rapp became so good at martial arts, other then to have him described as a natural) but is it still great stuff. Set at the time of the troubles and kidnapping culture in Beirut the US are losing both assets and influence in the area when one of their agents is captured and it may fall to the new unofficial 'black ops' team to try and get him out.

So we see the tensions starting to bubble up in the Middle East, we see the mistrust between all parties and a frustration within elements of the CIA that their hands are ties and a new approach may be needed - the perfect time for someone like Rapp...

It's a great thriller and one of Flynn's best in my opinion. Oh and the stand out bit is a torture scene featuring Jack Hurley, humour of the blackest sort.

Recommended.
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on 17 July 2011
A pre-quel sounds a good idea but after writing a series of, generally good stories featuring Mitch Rapp, Vince Flynn has disappointed and not lived up to his usual quality. First impression was 'a good idea and should be an interesting read' but final impression was ' good idea but no real thought and structure'. It read as if Vince got bored towards the end. Hopefully in future he will revert to his usual steady standard.
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on 4 June 2011
This is a prequel to a succesful series of high powered thrillers by Vince Flynn. I was really looking forward to finding out how Mitch Rapp got recruited. This story is padded out with a lot of inconsequential stuff. The element that makes the other books so powerful - the tension, the race against time, the sheer adrenelin in the story telling rarely surfaces. Fynn is coasting. Try his other books most are excellent
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After we've learned about Jack Reacher's earlier days in a prequel, I suppose Mitch Rapp's re-introduction had to be expected, notwithstanding the author stating he'd wanted to do this book for fifteen years.

Unfortunately, we learn very little about the younger Rapp that we couldn't have guessed or didn't really want to know. The book starts with the expected action and then leaves us up in the air whilst we wade through 400 pages of an adult version of the Karate Kid, finishing off with more action in the last few pages. And that, too, is a lot of a let down. The whole job lot is wrapped up in such a brief ending, it was hardly worth the wait.

Very much a disappointment this one. I've much preferred the adult action stories and will certainly be willing to read the next one in which, I hope, we have the Rapp we've come to expect and, indeed, need, though we must be running out of muslim terrorists in the Middle East for the moment. Now, if Rapp came to the UK on a mission, that could go down quite well, I'd have thought.
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