Transfer of Power

Vince Flynn, Author Pocket Books $24 (395p) ISBN 978-0-671-02319-5
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)
Reviewed on: 06/28/1999
Release date: 07/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
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