Consent to Kill by Vince Flynn

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What would you do for your loved ones? Vince Flynn emphatically answers this question with his signature character, Mitch Rapp, in his fast-pace fiction book, Consent to Kill. Mitch Rapp, a CIA assassin at the top of his game, is targeted by the angry father of a dead terrorist, who demands “an eye for an eye” for his deceased son. Now, the hunter is the hunted, and Rapp must rely on his razor-sharp instincts for survival- and justice- as he unleashes his vengeful fury on those who threaten all he stands for. Flynn’s action-packed political thriller is undoubtedly one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time because of his ability to keep the reader attached to the text, and the way that he develops his main character throughout the story.

Flynn uses masterful techniques to keep readers interested as the story progresses. His incorporation of sensory details and other styles of writing make his writing much more sophisticated and appealing to readers. One great example of sensory details occurs near the beginning of the book. Rapp is taking care of a terrorist in a discreet manner, and Flynn writes, “… Khalil’s mouth was open, gasping for air… He might as well already be dead. Rapp’s left hand shot up and clamped down on the terrorist’s throat like the jaws of some lethal carnivore. Rapp was now eye to eye with Khalil, positioned as if they were dance partners doing some intricate move. The man’s eyes spoke of pure fear…” As you can see, the author is very descriptive and puts a clear picture in the reader’s head of what is happening.

Likewise, he is master with other techniques as well. With his third person omniscient point of view, Flynn is able to effectively convey Rapp’s thoughts and feelings to the reader. This is shown in the scene soon after Rapp discovers that his wife, Anna, and unborn child have been killed, where it is written, “Rapp’s entire body tensed as he let loose an agonizing scream. With anger, shock, fear, and misery coursing through his body, he somehow managed to jerk himself halfway out of the bed before the two large orderlies and the doctor could wrestle him back down.” Not only is Flynn successful writing this way, but he also helps the reader feel closer to Rapp as he goes through emotions and thoughts that many do at some point or another. He is also able to do this in other ways as well.

As mentioned before, Flynn is able to connect Rapp to the characters through emotions, but he also does it with the way he develops the characters, particularly Rapp. After his wife and unborn child are killed, Rapp becomes filled with the desire for revenge, not caring what it costs him- basically a loose cannon. After he kills the Saudi father of the dead terrorist, his powerful friend, and the German who arranged for the assassination attempt, he finally confronts the team of assassins who carried out the job. Seeing their happy life and newborn child, something changes in him. He is no longer the hate-filled man he was when he began the task of taking revenge. He has developed his personality to become a different, and some may argue, better, person. Readers are able to connect to this without much difficulty because of the constant changes happening in their personal lives and personalities.

Through Mitch Rapp’s development as a person, Vince Flynn shows the somewhat hidden theme of his story. After taking revenge on those responsible for the death of his loved ones, his vengeful fire has, for the most part, died out. When he finds the actual assassins, and notices how happy they are, turning away from their old ways, he knows that they are like how his family would have been, and he is not able, morally, to kill them. Through this, the author shows that the theme is that no matter how hurt or damaged you are, anything can be forgiven. This point is emphasized when Flynn finishes the book writing, “Rapp stood in the surf with his gun in his hand and counted. He got to a hundred, thought of his wife, thought of the baby, and smiled. It was the first genuine smile he’d had in over nine months. He glanced down at the gun and then tossed it up into the air, catching it by its thick black silencer. Rapp hesitated for a moment, and then threw the weapon end over end into the ocean.” It is easy to see that this book is much deeper than shoot-and-kill.

I strongly recommend this book to all who enjoy a novel that contains both entertaining action and text that you can delve into and deeply analyze. It is because of authors like Vince Flynn that we are able to connect our personal lives to works of literature. After all, what wouldn’t you do for your loved ones?





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