The four dead guards didn’t concern Mitch Rapp as much as the absence of the man they’d been paid to protect. Joe Rickman wasn’t just another foot soldier. For the last eight years Rickman had ran the CIA’s clandestine operations in Afghanistan. It was a murky job that involved working with virtually every disreputable figure in the Islamic Republic. More than a quarter billion dollars in cash had passed through Rickman’s hands during his tenure as the master of black ops and no one with a shred of sense wanted to know the details of how that money had been spent.
At first glance it looks as if Rickman has been kidnapped, but Rapp knows certain things about his old friend that cause him to wonder if something more disturbing isn’t afoot. Irene Kennedy, the director of the CIA, has ordered Rapp to find Rickman at all costs. Rapp must navigate the ever-shifting landscape of Afghanistan as the Taliban, Iranians, Pakistanis and Russians all plot to claim their piece of the war torn state.
With Afghanistan crumbling around him, Rapp must be as ruthless as his enemies and as deceitful as people in his own government if he has any hopes of completing his mission.
What I liked: The synopsis of The Last Man gives you all the basic info and I couldn't add anything to make you want to read this book except....the quality of the writing, the development of the characters, a truly believable plot line and the heart racing suspense. Yep, you get all that when you read a Vince Flynn novel. I've often found myself bored with thriller series but there are one or two I authors I will read no matter what. Bored, you say; yep, some I've read are the same plot over and over with a few key points changed. The Mitch Rapp series does deal with threats to the United States and/or allies but it's a progression and not a recycled plot.
Mitch Rapp doesn't trust anyone with a very small number of exceptions (and even those people have been researched so he knows their strong/weak points). When a brilliant CIA agent is kidnapped, the head of the CIA, Dr Irene Kennedy sends Rapp to "solve" the problem. They know the kidnapped agent, Joe Rickman, has too much damaging information in his head that could completely derail many CIA operations and reveal deeply intact spies.
Today's situation with Afghanistan and Pakistan make The Last Man even more nail biting than a usual suspense book. Mr. Flynn's grasp of not only the workings of the CIA but other country's clandestine services are key to not only his plot lines but the characters involved, which while totally fictional ring more than true.
Every nation (friend and foe) involved in the area would not only love to get their hands on Rickman but wouldn't mind if Rapp gets dead in the process. While Rapp is not superman but his street smarts, analytical mind, and fighting ability, make him one of the most feared agents/man in the world. He will do ANYTHING to keep the United States safe, but most political figures don't want to know what he does, when is does it, or when it's done. They just like the problems solved with plausible deniability.
What I didn't like: Uh, nothing!
The Last Man was written while Mr. Flynn was fighting cancer and how he was able to not only write it but make it a top notch thriller is beyond me. Kudos!!
While I had read The Last Man when it was released, I re-read it to refresh my memory so I'd be ready for the new book, The Survivor.