Transfer of Power by Vince Flynn

While you were running around on the talk-show circuit criticizing law-enforcement officers who have done more in one week to stop crime than you will do in your entire academic-theory-laden lifetime, I was crawling around in the gutters of every hellhole in the Middle East trying to find Rafique Aziz.

Mitch Rapp is a CIA counterterrorism covert operative who joined the force because of a personal vendetta. He is hunting for a well known Hezbollah terrorist in Iran and manages to capture him and fly off without creating any noise. He takes him to Germany to meet up with a torture-expert psychiatrist who works with the CIA and she starts torturing the terrorist to extract information. They find out that one of his disciples, Rafique Aziz, is planning an attack on the White House and that it’s set to happen within a few hours.

Rapp alerts headquarters and secret services. But it’s too late. Aziz has already entered the White House and was meeting with the president. All hell breaks loose. The White House is besieged and the terrorists take over, but thankfully the secret service manage to snatch the president from the grips of Aziz and take him to the bunker.

However Aziz has hostages and starts stating demands to the Vice President and the FBI. The bureaucrats as usual, mess things up by being incompetent. Fights start to erupt between the politicians, the FBI, the CIA, SEAL Team 6, the army, Secret Service, and every other faction involved. The CIA decides to act on it’s own. They send Rapp in and he skillfully manages to scout the area, secure the hostages, save the president’s life and the day.

Transfer of Power is a page-turner, that’s for sure. It kept me up wanting to know what’s going to happen next. That being said, it wasn’t a good page-turner. The book was very generic and formulaic, I remember reading a comment on Goodreads where the reader said that it could’ve been written by a computer, which is pretty darn true. The characters are static and flat, they have only a semblance of a personality. You could easily confuse them with one another, a few stood out but only because the others were so bland. The characterization of the characters fell flat 98% of the time, at best it was pathetic, something like “he looked at her with his brooding dark eyes and strong black eyebrows, his gaze meant that he was angry”. It was crappy.

In terms of plot, the events were stretched out needlessly, Flynn was just trying to pack as many stupid details as he could in each paragraph. Not to mention the fact that he uses adjectives and adverbs like a college freshman who had recently discovered the thesaurus.

The disturbing thing about the story is how subtle the racism and bigotry is in the story. It is fraught with nationalist motifs, I mean the alt-right would have a field day with this. He paints the whole Middle East as a giant degenerate homogenous block filled with terrorists who hate America. That’s just lazy writing. It’s not as bad as Brad Thor but it’s still bad.

Realizing the propaganda perpetuated in this book made me feel very uncomfortable. I have Flynn’s other book (I had a political thriller phase -not that I’m over it now…- but anyway, on one of our summer trips I bought all of his books and now I’m not sure I want to read them seeing how disturbing this was. I’ll probably end up reading them because sometimes I just want a trashy, mind-numbing, page-turner but I won’t be buying any of his other books that’s for sure.

Score 2.5/5

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