Book Review - Extreme Measures by Vince Flynn
Extreme Measures by Vince Flynn is another paperback I picked up on vacation to avoid any real effort at reading and learning. :) I figured a little terrorist espionage might be just the ticket for some mental downtime. Overall, Extreme Measures was OK and worth reading. I really haven't read a lot of Flynn's other novels using these characters, so I felt as if I was missing some major pieces of the story. Mitch Rapp and Mike Nash have some background and history that shape this story, but I didn't have that to fall back on. By and large, I had to let a fair amount of character development just wash over me, assuming that it made sense based on their previous episodes.
The main story revolves around a base in the Middle East where two high-value terrorists have been captured and are being held for interrogation. The problem is that the US government is forcing the military and CIA to play strictly by Geneva Convention rules, which means that the prisoners aren't revealing anything. Rapp and Nash decide to bluff their way into the compound as a special military envoy to try and use "extreme" measures to find out about a suspected terror cell about to strike in the US. Their escapade gets noticed by some congressional mucky-mucks who want to make a name for themselves while at the same time cutting the legs out from under the intelligence agencies. The finale builds up to a high-stakes game of chicken to see who will be right... the congressional bigwigs who insist the "terror cell" is overblown, or the intel groups who are trying to prevent what they know to be happening.
Given that Rapp and Nash are the main characters, and that they're counter-espionage, you can figure which side the story is slanted towards. I have no doubt that there are people in Congress that have these exact attitudes towards unconventional warfare. Heck, I even lean somewhat to the side of there having to be rules of some sort. But the bad guys in the government seemed to be *really* bad. When coupled with not knowing a lot of the Nash/Rapp background, I felt there was more I should have been getting out of the story. Still, as a way to wind down after a hot day, Extreme Measures wasn't bad.