This weekend I found out that one of my favorite contemporary authors, Vince Flynn, passed away. He wrote about a fictional CIA operative named Mitch Rapp and the War on Terrorism. He began writing the series before 9/11 and, at times, seemed prescient when it came to future events (at the time) that became our current ones. His first novel, entitled Term Limits, spoke of Americans tired of the status quo in government who take matters into their own hands. Classic, well written and well researched.
I first discovered Term Limits and Vince Flynn approximately 10 years ago. At the time I was a bit of a tree hugging, bunny loving hippie with no use for FBI, CIA, or any other alphabet soup the government felt we needed. Times changed and things like the Patriot Act became scarier and perhaps more necessary.
Over the years I have read all of Mr. Flynn’s books. I’ve also kept up on the news and politics. Perhaps it was my own maturation that encouraged me to read more, think more and follow along a lot less but I credit the novels of Vince Flynn with opening my eyes in a creditable, moderate way.
My thoughts and feelings on trees and bunnies haven’t changed. I’d still hug the trees if I were sure no one was looking and bunnies are adorable as all get out. The problem, as I see it, is that life is not all trees and bunnies. Mr. Flynn captured that in an interesting, entertaining way.
He also captured the American spirit where it came to terrorism and how politicized it has become. The debate on torture started in his books at nearly the same time as it was hitting the mainstream news. He wrote one about Israel and Iran right before Iran was streaming through the media with their insane former leader who wanted to wipe Israel off the map. Yes, they were fictional books but they were also oddly accurate and ahead of their time.
At a time when torture was being debated the characters in Mr. Flynn’s novels had already decided that didn’t work and the CIA operatives used various information gathering techniques instead. Bravo.
Americans love their heroes and if the hero is a bit of a black sheep who breaks the rules to do the right thing, then all the better. See the Die Hard movies or the Bourne Trilogy (among others) to prove that point. Mitch Rapp was that lovable scallawag with the rough edges who saved the day on multiple occasions. Mitch Rapp was also the character that helped moderate a bunny lover’s rhetoric.
I’m sad to see a writer with such a powerful voice gone from this world.
Fortunately there is one book remaining to be released in the Rapp series and it has the potential to break more ground. Set to be released this fall. I hope you take the time to pick one or two of his previous works up. I did and they opened my world in several different ways.
It’s not often a writer touches readers in a fundamental way. Vince Flynn was one of those writers and I’ll miss his presence in the literary world.