Separation of Power - a book review
27 May 2010 | Jalalabad, Afghanistan
Since the director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, was forced to submit his resignation letter last week, the government is seeking a suitable replacement to fill the top spy position. Blair's replacement will be the fourth intelligence director in five years. I think it a bit coincidental that I just finished reading Vince Flynn's Separation of Power. It is such an appropriate novel for the times. As a self-proclaimed conspiracy theorist, I believe there is much more going on behind the scenes than the average American wants to admit. But to be fair, I only dabble in conspiracy theory as a hobby rather than as a way of life. The term "resignation" has always seemed to carry with it such negative connotations. Resignations are rarely, if ever, good. The resignation is either forced by the employer for wrong-doings, corruption, misguided political ambition or chosen by the employee for much of the same reasons. Should the end of one's career come under favorable conditions, the event would be called a "retirement" vice "resignation". Retirements are much more respectable and are usually agreed upon by both parties. They involve awards, ceremonies, parties, pats on the back, jerseys hung in gymnasiums, parking garages named after the retiree, and so on. Resignations on the other hand make the front page of the newspaper and are usually shrouded in controversy - except for mine of course, but we'll save that for another blog.
Separation of Power is Vince Flynn's 4th novel in a series of political intrigue masterpieces. This book is not about the resignation of politicians, but the replacement of the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. A genuine "good vs. evil" political thriller with a cast of high-profile international characters! Although not as good as Term Limits or Transfer of Power, the book is still a nail-biter and difficult to put down. It is fast-paced and chocked full of implications that will have your blood boiling in no time. Being the 4th in the series, it helps if the reader has read the previous three novels; however, it is not required. Flynn does a great job of bringing the reader up to speed so as to keep everything in context. I am a big Nelson Demille fan. Having read most of his books (The Charm School twice), I didn't think books on espionage and political intrigue could get much better. That is until a friend of mine introduced me to Vince Flynn. Ironically, Flynn respectfully mentions Demille on occasion in his novels!
After the death of long-time intelligence director and mentor Thomas Stansfield, the political hyenas see their opportunity to place their pawn into the much coveted seat of power in order to promote their own corrupt agendas and bring an early end to the president's term. At the same time, the Commander in Chief and his national security council are battling another crisis - Saddam Hussein is about to enter the nuclear arms race. Having dodged an assassination attempt on his life, the superhero character of Mitch Rapp, a deep cover CIA operative, is once again thrust into the vicious circle of Washington's crime and politics all the while being tasked with the most important mission of his career. As the bodies and clues start to pile up, Rapp is forced to help protect his long-time friend and boss, Dr. Irene Kennedy, and ensure she takes her rightful spot as the new director of the CIA, meanwhile singlehandedly preventing the start of WWIII.
Do yourself a favor and pick up Separation of Power, or start at the beginning of the series with Term Limits and get ready for a thrill ride. It is a great way to lose yourself in fiction while the real actors continue to botch things up on Capitol Hill.
Other novels by Vince Flynn include: Term Limits, Transfer of Power, The Third Option, Executive Power, Memorial Day, Consent to Kill, Act of Treason, Protect and Defend, and Extreme Measures.