Book Review: American Assassin by Vince Flynn (Mitch Rapp #1)

american assassinTitle: American Assassin
Vince Flynn
Genre: Thriller
Date: 2017 (2010)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Started: 22nd January 2018
Completed: 23rd January 2018
Rating: 5/5
Summary: Tensions in the Middle East are simmering when Central Intelligence Agency Director Irene Kennedy pays a visit to Syracuse University, where she hopes to recruit none other than Mitch Rapp, a student who has quickly climbed up the academic and athletic ranks. At first glance, he appears like any other smart, good-looking American college kid. Under the surface, however, a tempest rages. Nine months later, after gruelling training, Mitch finds himself in Istanbul on his first assignment. He hits his target but quickly sees, for the first time, what revenge means…

American Assassin is the first book in the Mitch Rapp series by Vince Flynn when considering the series in chronological order. However, it was the 12th book in the series to be released. Vince Flynn passed away in 2013 and the series is being continued by Kyle Mills

A film adaptation was released in September 2017 but it deviates a lot from the original plot and it is set in the 2010s rather than the 1990s.

This is definitely one of my new favourite books. I loved everything about it and I could have devoured it in one day if sleep wasn’t necessary to my ability to function like a normal human being.

The plot of American Assassin is absolutely fantastic. I was intrigued by the fact that Flynn chose the Lockerbie bombing as the terrorist attack that the characters are affected by. It’s not an attack that many novelists focus on but it’s an event that is talked about a great deal in the UK. I thought that setting the book in the 1990s was a great choice because it means that the book was with over 20 years of hindsight and that made for a very interesting plot. Every chapter is incredibly thrilling and there are so many amazing action scenes packed into the book. It doesn’t feel like too much is going on either because there’s the right balance of action and calmer scenes. The book is very graphic in places since there are multiple scenes of torture but it wasn’t gratuitous. Also, the settings are wonderful. There’s such a contrast between calm Zurich, bitter Moscow, and the baking heat of Beirut that it splits the novel up beautifully.

Each of the characters in this novel is very well written. Mitch is really likeable even though he’s an assassin. His mentor, Stan Hurley, is batshit crazy and it’s amazing. He’s one of the most insane characters I’ve ever come across but I really like him. He’s down to earth and doesn’t take any shit. You don’t see a lot of Kennedy but you can tell that she has potential and I hope she features in the sequels.

Flynn’s writing is fantastic. Every word has you on the edge of your seat and the book sets every sense alight. The dialogue is crisp and realistic, the description is immersive, kill shotand the action scenes are thrilling. I just can’t praise the book enough.

I would recommend this book to anyone in a heartbeat but with warnings that the book contains graphic scenes of torture and the implied torture of animals. It’s definitely one of my favourite books and I can’t wait to read the sequel, Kill Shot.

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: American Assassin by Vince Flynn (Mitch Rapp #1)

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