What if America's most powerful leader was also its prime target?
Vince Flynn's shattering thriller, Term Limits, soared onto national bestseller lists and marked the emergence of a new master of political fiction in the same league as Tom Clancy. In USA Today, Larry King called Term Limits "a page-turning read," while critics and readers nationwide praised its riveting premise of Washington under siege -- a scenario made chillingly real by this superb storyteller. Now, Flynn infiltrates America's power structure at its very core, in a new novel that places the president of the United States in the direct line of terrorist fire.
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, stepping terrifyingly close to the enemy, 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.
In this long political thriller staged almost entirely around a hostage standoff, Flynn makes maximum use of his White House setting, and mixes in a spicy broth of brutal terrorists, heroic commandos and enough secret agent hijinks to keep the confrontation bubbling until its flag-raising end. The villains are led by Rafique Aziz, a notorious Arab terrorist whose band of thugs takes over the White House by finding a weak point in American politics: they pose as wealthy campaign contributors and are welcomed through the front door. President Robert Hayes manages to escape to his bunker moments before the bloodbath, but religious zealot Aziz takes almost 100 hostages, seals off the White House and begins making demands, of which large sums of cash are just the beginning. With the president incommunicado and weak-willed yet power hungry Vice President Sherman Baxter in charge, the Pentagon and the CIA resort to their secret weapon: commando extraordinaire Mitch Rapp. After sneaking into the bowels of the Executive Mansion through an air duct, Rapp steadily disrupts the terrorists' well-laid plans. He finally calls in reinforcements when Aziz begins drilling into the president's bunker. It's a long haul to the finish, but Flynn (Term Limits) compensates for some stereotyping by creating dynamic tension between the main players, especially between military leaders and politicians, and between Rapp and Aziz. His description of the White House is impressive; readers will wonder if the secret passageways, hidden rooms and clever deception devices that help load this story with seemingly endless intrigue, really exist. Agent, Sloan Harris. 15-city author tour. (July) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-3 of the 3 most recent reviews
1 . Best book for a long time
Posted June 14, 2013 by Ruby , Parksville BCI am getting bored with the Pattersons etc etc and this book was certainly a real joy to read. Could not put it down.
2 . great read
Posted December 31, 2009 by Jodie , Colorado Springs, COGreat spy/action novel. My only complaint would be with the version of the book - several times words had no spaces between them, and I felt it distracted from the read. Otherwise a great book.
3 . cheer on a conservative hero
Posted September 02, 2009 by james , honoluluif you're willing to overlook the occasional cliche (eg the phrase "avoid like the plague") and you're politically conservative, this author is for you. even if you're not conservative, there is probably enough action here to keep you reading. this is the first novel starring the CIA assassin mitch rapp, so start here.
May 29, 2000
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Excerpt from Transfer of Power by Vince Flynn
A fine mist fell from the darkening spring sky as the black limousine turned off of E Street. The armor-plated car weaved through the concrete-and-steel barricades at a speed suggesting urgency. As the limousine turned onto West Executive Drive, it slowed briefly for the heavy black gate to open, and then sped forward. After splashing through several puddles, the limo came to an abrupt stop in front of the ground-floor entrance to the West Wing of the White House.
The rear passenger door opened immediately, and Dr. Irene Kennedy stepped from the car. She walked under the long off-white awning that extended from the building to the curb and paused to let her boss catch up. Thomas Stansfield slowly climbed out of the limo and buttoned the jacket of his charcoal gray suit. At seventy-nine years of age Stansfield was an icon in the intelligence community. His career dated all the way back to World War II and the OSS, the precursor to the CIA. Stansfield had been one of Wild Bill Donovan's recruits almost sixty years earlier -- a different war fought by a different breed. Stansfield was the last one. Now they were all gone, retired or dead, and it wouldn't be much longer before he turned over the reins of power at the much-maligned and embattled intelligence agency.
The CIA had changed during his tenure. More precisely, the threats had changed, and the CIA was forced to change with them. The old static days of a two-superpower world were long gone, replaced by small regional conflicts and the ever-growing threat of terrorism. As Stansfield closed out his career, this was what bothered him most. The threat of one individual bringing biological, chemical, or nuclear annihilation to America was becoming more and more plausible.
Stansfield looked up at the lazy mist that was falling from the early evening sky. A light spray dusted his face, and the silver-haired director of the CIA blinked. Something was bothering him, and he couldn't quite put his finger on it. Stansfield gave the darkening sky one last look and then stepped under the awning.
Kennedy continued through the double doors, where two uniformed Secret Service officers were standing post, and started down the long hall. This was the first floor of the West Wing. The president's office was located on the floor above, but that was not where they would be meeting. Irene Kennedy sped ahead, while Stansfield followed at his always even pace.
Down the hallway, on the right, a U.S. Navy officer stood in his cleanly pressed black uniform with his hands clasped firmly in front of him. "Good evening, Dr. Kennedy. Everything is ready. The generals and the president are waiting for you." The watch officer of the White House Situation Room gestured to his left.
"Thank you, Commander Hicks," replied Kennedy as she walked past the naval officer.
They went down several steps, took a right, and came to a secure door with a camera mounted above it. To the left was a black-and-gold plaque with the words "White House Situation Room: Restricted Access."
The lock on the door buzzed, and Kennedy pushed the door open. She entered and turned to her left, into the Situation Room's new conference room. Director Stansfield followed her, and Commander Hicks closed the soundproof door behind them.