|This is the twelfth book written by Vince Flynn featuring Mitch Rapp, now an American assassin. Trained by the CIA and tested in the completion of many assignments, Rapp has been charged with the task of hunting and executing those persons responsible for the slaughter of the 270 civilians on the Pan Am Lockerbie flight. He has gotten the conspirator’s attention as well as that of their governments as he works his way through the list.
Kill Shot opens in Paris as Rapp is moments away from administering the kill shot to a Libyan Oil Minister who had been one of the conspirators. Unbeknownst to Mitch, he has been sold out and this assignment is a trap to kill him. When he fires the shot in the hotel room that kills the minister, who had been asleep with his mistress , the door opens and Rapp is faced with a barrage of shots. He had entered the room by rappelling into it, and when he manages to escape finally, he leaves the same way rappelling to the ground, although wounded.
It doesn’t take him long to realize that he was sold out, but by whom? And the mystery grows when the news report that nine were killed. That totaled three more than Rapp saw at the scene. He enlists the help of his love Greta, who also happens to be the daughter of a prominent Swiss banker who, surprisingly is the close friend of his boss ,Thomas Stanfield, Deputy Director of Operations for the CIA.
Back home at the CIA, his handler Irene Kennedy fights to protect him from the general wrath and fear when a job goes wrong. The fact that Rapp does not report in raises suspicions she is forced to defend, along with the questioning approach of Dr. Lewis the psychiatrist. Another non-believer, Stan Hurley, is dispatched to Paris to find Rapp and bring him home; Hurley thinking he’ll kill him if there is a question as to what went wrong. These discussions happen against the backdrop of people in higher places trying to maneuver Stanfield out of his job. Bottom line is that the US cannot afford for Rapp to be captured.
The book starts very fast and is exciting until it settles down for the long haul, which finds the French Judicial Police in an in-fight with the DGSE-France’s General Directorate for External Affairs in the person of Paul Fournier. Commandant France Neville had a history with Fournier, so that fight is part personal, part mysterious…but it certainly impacts the continuing investigation into the death of the nine people.
Characteristic of novels that feature recurring principal characters, little time is spent on character development, and the nuances of their relationships seem to be assumed in this book. As usual Rapp orchestrates the end game, which returns to the same level of interest as the opening.