Vince Flynn’s previous two books were prequels that told the story of how the characters Mitch Rapp and Irene Kennedy evolved with their personalities and careers. His latest novel, The Last Man, places these characters into the present day. With this very powerful story Flynn reverts back to his earlier writing style as in the “Power” books. Not only does he delve into a riveting plot, but there is a lot of interaction between the characters. Irene Kennedy, the CIA Director, unlike some of his other books, does not make cameo appearances but is an intricate part of the story.
The plot takes place mostly in Afghanistan where a valuable CIA official, Joe Rickman, has gone missing. The fear is that he will spill secrets about the CIA operation concerning the War on Terror considering he ran the CIA’s clandestine operations there. Rapp is sent to investigate what appears to be a kidnapping, but begins to wonder if something else is going on. While Mitch is pursuing a part of the investigation, Kennedy arrives in Afghanistan to head the operation to find out the person attempting to cripple the CIA in that area of the world.
The starring characters have the same qualities the readers have grown to love. Mitch Rapp is still unabashed, fearless, and cantankerous. Irene Kennedy is still analytical, cunning, and supportive. There is new character who will hopefully continue in the next book. Sydney Hayek is a former FBI agent who currently works for the CIA as part of Mitch’s team. Flynn also hints that she will become a possible love interest for Mitch. A returning character is Louie Gold, the assassin who killed Mitch’s wife Anna. He returns in this story to try to finish what he began in an earlier book, Consent to Kill, to murder Mitch. The character interaction in this latest book is much more pronounced than in the last few books.
As in all the Vince Flynn books there are some great quotes about current day issues. For example, an Afghanistan police commander commented, “… the Americans were too self-conscious to hunt the Taliban down like the dogs that they were and exterminate them.” After reading this quote many people can think about how the US military and intelligence forces hands are tied with the current rules of engagement.
There are a lot of twists and turns in The Last Man. It is a great read that will be hard to put down. The action is non-stop and well paced. The character interaction will conjure up emotions of laughter, anger, and sadness. This is an incredible and captivating novel.