The latest political thriller from the national bestselling author of Term Limits
What if America's most powerful leader was also its prime target?
On a busy Washington morning, amid the shuffle of tourists and the brisk rush of government officials, the stately calm of the White House is shattered in a hail of gunfire. A group of terrorists has descended on the Executive Mansion, and gained access by means of a violent massacre that has left dozens of innocent bystanders murdered. Through the quick actions of the Secret Service, the president is evacuated to his underground bunker, but not before almost one hundred hostages are taken.
While the politicians and the military leaders argue over how to negotiate with the terrorists, one man is sent in to break through the barrage of panicked responses and political agendas surrounding the chaotic crisis. Mitch Rapp, the CIA's top counterterrorism operative, makes his way into the White House and soon discovers that the president is not as safe as Washington's power elite had thought. Moving stealthily among the corridors and secret passageways of the White House, Rapp scrambles to save the hostages before the terrorists can extract the president from the safety of his bunker. In a race against time, Rapp makes a chilling discovery that could rock Washington to its core: someone within his own government is maneuvering in hopes that his rescue attempt will fail.
With the crackling tension and explosive action that made Term Limits "a roller-coaster, edge-of-your-seat thriller" (Minneapolis Star-Tribune), Vince Flynn delivers Transfer of Power -- a blockbuster novel that carries us just beyond today's headlines.
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"Back in the days of the Cold War and the Evil Empire, Tom Clancy was king of the military techno-thriller. I'll be honest, I stopped reading Clancy after "Rainbow Six", which was a lot of right-wing garbage about eco-terrorists who want to release a poisonous gas at the Olympics because they were pissed off people weren't recycling aluminum cans... or something like that. Nowadays, Clancy doesn't even write his own books. He just puts his name on the cover to sell copies, much like other "franchise" authors: James Patterson and Clive Cussler, to name two. Don't get me wrong: Clancy wrote some great books. To this day, I still think "The Hunt for Red October" and "Patriot Games" are still among the top 20 best books I have ever read. Thankfully, Vince Flynn has kind of taken over the throne that Clancy once sat in. In 1999, Flynn published his first book, "Transfer of Power", in which radical Islamist terrorists take over the White House in an attempt to take the President hostage. Keep in mind that this was two short years away from September 11. It's a bit creepy when one reads it with a post-9/11 knowledge (obviously unavoidable), but it is a riveting and suspenseful thriller nonetheless. Basically "Die Hard" in the White House, with a little "24" thrown in, "TOP" pits CIA counter-terrorism expert Mitch Rapp against an intelligent, conniving Hezbollah leader named Rafique Aziz. In one of the most exciting hostile takeover scenes ever written, Aziz and his men infiltrate the White House grounds and proceed to take over the most security-laden building in the country. The ensuing firefight between the Hezbollah warriors and the Secret Service and U.S. Marines stationed in the White House rivals any of the best action scenes Clancy ever wrote, and I say that with the greatest respect for Clancy's skill at creating suspense and writing superb action scenes. Once in, Aziz takes the survivors hostage. President Hayes, along with an aide and several Secret Service agents, have made it safely to the underground bunker beneath the White House, but communications with the outside world has been cut off. No one outside the White House knows if the President is even alive, although they must operate under the assumption that he is. Meanwhile, because the President is not around to fulfill his duty, the Vice-President must step in. VP Baxter is an incompetent with a campaign-mentality. He is driven by the polls and not what is necessarily right or the best for the country. With the advice of a conniving and self-aggrandizing aide (I can't help but picture Karl Rove in this role), Baxter takes steps to ensure that President Hayes and the hostages stay in the White House for as long as possible. I'm not lying when I say that this is one of this books that was incredibly difficult to put down. It is literally non-stop action from beginning to end, and I look forward to reading more books by Flynn."
Scott (4 out of 5 stars)