Order To Kill, by Vince Flynn, Kyle Mills, authors; George Guidall, narrator
Mitch Rapp novels are edge of the seat exciting and this one is no exception. Although it is often predictable, there are still many surprises and the tension and mystery grow with each page.
Russia’s President Krupin (who eerily resembles Putin), is a cold-blooded megalomaniac. He needs to find a way to appease the bickering oligarchs who threaten to replace him because of his failure to restore Russia to greatness. To retain power, he wants to blow up the oil fields in Saudi Arabia which will drive up oil prices and revitalize the Kremlin’s ailing industry, perking up the economy and guaranteeing him a place in history. In this effort, Krupkin enlisted the aid of ISIS operatives and a trusted agent, Grisha Azarov, with survival skills that were unmatched. His right hand assassin seemed second to none in his ability to strike, accomplish his assignment and withdraw.
Meanwhile, as these plans were materializing, Mitch Rapp went to South Africa to protect Claudia Gould and her daughter from would-be kidnappers. The spy chatter had sent out the warning about the attempt, loud and clear. However, as the mission ran afoul, Rapp realized that they did not really want to kidnap Claudia, they simply wanted to distract him, get him out of the way so that they could smuggle nuclear warheads without his interference. In Pakistan, the warheads were on the move and several had already been stolen. Their fissionable material had been removed to be later used to blow up the Saudi oil fields. Mitch had to discover and stop this effort before the world order changed forever?
The reader hopes from the get-go that Rapp will survive so the building tension is the story of how he manages to extricate himself from every situation. There is no shortage of gruesome violence. Some parts of the plot are plausible and some are quite incredible and difficult to believe. In spite of this, it is hard to put the book down. It is a thriller that moves from country to country as the lengths to which Rapp will go to save the world get more and more bizarre, and his rival gets more and more involved in the web of terror. It appears that only he can prevent the coming catastrophe. When he meets up with his match, the Russian killer, how will he measure up? Who will ultimately survive? Is the ending satisfying?
The narrator has a great voice for reading thrillers. He creates just the right amount of tension as the story develops, and his tone injects humor to lighten it when appropriate.