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Term Limits
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Product Description

What if America's politicians were held accountable for their broken promises -- and made to pay for their corruption?

With a unique flair for heart-pounding dramatic tension, meshed with the technical precision of Tom Clancy, author Vince Flynn brings to life a chillingly credible scenario of Washington under siege -- in a provocative, edge-of-your-seat political thriller.

In a night of shattering brutality, three of Washington's most powerful and unscrupulous politicians have been executed with surgical precision. Their assassins, vanishing without a trace, have delivered a shocking ultimatum to the leaders of the American government: set aside petty, partisan politics and restore power to the people, or be held to deadly account. No one, they warn, is out of their reach -- not even the president.

A joint FBI-CIA task force reveals that the killers are stealth experts, elite military commandos with the proven capacity to penetrate the tightest security and neutralize any target. But no one knows exactly who they are or when they will strike next. Only Michael O'Rourke, a former U.S. Marine and freshman congressman, holds a clue to the violence: a haunting incident in his own past with explosive implications for his country's future.

Compelled by his memories and by his sense of honor, O'Rourke confides in the one woman he trusts, crusading journalist Liz Scarlatti, only to uncover hidden land mines of corruption and murder among the highest ranks of leadership. But as the casualties continue to mount, O'Rourke and Scarlatti make a terrifying discovery -- an appalling truth that the American people can never know if the nation is to survive.

Delivered with the dead-on impact of a sniper's bullet, TERM LIMITS is a tour de force of authenticity and suspense, an all-too-realistic and utterly compelling vision in which the ultimate American ideal -- a government of the people -- is taken to a devastating extreme.

Customer Reviews:

  • grabs your interest!
    Although this book was written in 1997, it seems current. Makes you think of the present administration! Well written, keeps you reading and comparing the characters with the present cabinet. The story is believable and leaves us with not wanting to put the book down. Other reviewers give you the picture so I won't go into that. Mr. Flynn is fast becoming one of my favorites! I wish I had discovered him years ago....more info
  • A great read, hard to put down
    I bought this book while on vacation. I don't normally get to read books because I have enormous amounts of professional journals and magazines to keep up with. But I was interested in the "teasers" and wasn't disappointed when I began to read. The plot and characters may be somewhat out there to many. But I've known people on the fringes of these communities and the characters in them and Flynn does a great job of describing their worldview. Hopefully we won't get to where we accept assassination as a way to deal with political gridlock, but Flynn knows the buttons to push to get us thinking about the questions arising in our declining republic. I think this book is a great read for fun and for thinking about our country. ...more info
  • A story with a sickening political message
    Term Limits has a sickening political message. The novel is based on the assassinations of members of Congress and other political figures. The characters are silly; the protagonists are kept weak throughout the novel (if not comical) and the antagonists develop split-personalities - some becoming heroes and others villains. Bizarre justifications are given for assassinating the politicians and the attempt to capture the killers is half-hearted. The book will appeal to rightwing extremists - with "extremists" being the key word. For the rest of us looking for a good book, I would strongly suggest bypassing this one....more info
  • Thankfully this Plot is Totally Unrealistic
    If guys like Steve Coleman, Michael O'Rouke (or his grandfather) were truly in charge, this world would be in real trouble. The problem with Vince Flynn and other Gordon Liddy-types is that there is no gray area for them. You are either a military-bred patriot who looks at killing a pleasurable requirement for democracy, or else you are a liberal Frenchy who will doom the world to communal abyss. The simpleton writing Flynn employs here will certainly appeal to the talk radio set. But the plot reminds me of something a overzealous junior ROTC kid would put togetehr. If the Founding Fathers were truly stupid enough to leave our government vulnerable to right wing nut jobs like the O'Rouke's, we'd have found it out a long time ago.

    Good book club material for the lower reading group. Garbage beyond....more info
  • Starts slow, but a good ending.
    The book itself arrived quickly in perfect condition save for 1 small ink splotch on one page toward the end of the book. I'd say that's probably something that happenned in printing. The story was pretty good but I had a hard time getting into it til' I was over halfway through it. Not at all what I'd call a spell-binder. Once it fianlly took off it got pretty good, though much of the ending was fairly predictable. I like Tom Clancy and on the advice of a co-worker I am checking out Vince Flynn. This is my first Flynn novel. I have now started reading "Transfer of Power" and it has a much better beginning. ...more info
  • Close your eyes and enjoy the ride!
    I think some of the previous reviwers with negative opinions are taking this book waaay too seriously. As political thrillers go, this is one of the best of the genre. It's packed with insider information, from power-mad politicians and the amoral king-makers who advise them, to nerves-of-steel assassins avoiding the meticulous pursuit of the FBI. Granted the premise is implausible: a group of former SEALS assassinate a group of congressmen and senators who the SEALS believe have sold the country down the river (or, in the Southern vernacular, because "they needed killin'"). While one can argue whether the SEALS have the high moral ground in this setting, it doesn't detract from the page-turning non-stop action. Like a thrill ride at Disneyland, this book should not be examined too critically. Just get in, hold on, close your eyes, and enjoy the ride!...more info
  • The worst book I've ever read
    Term Limits is so bad, it should become a pop culture icon ala Rocky Horror Picture Show; fans should be made to wear strange clothing and recite the worst passages to music at midnight. It's so bad that by the end, the act of reading has become blatant rubber-necking - ooh, wow, did you see that? Ugh!

    The writing is amateurish at best. The author's favorite action verb is 'grab' and he uses it repeatedly in scenes ranging from the mundane (the grabbing of keys and doorknobs) to the romantic (the grabbing of hands and other body parts). Similes and metaphors are conspicuously absent, but there are plenty of adverbs and adverbial phrases to fill the gap.

    The author switches back and forth between referring to his characters by their first and their last names; sometimes he uses one and then - in the very next sentence! - the other. "Michael grabbed her by the shoulders and turned her around. O'Rourke saw the tears in her eyes and tried to put his arms around her..."

    He makes many grammatical errors, the most irritating of which is the substitution of 'that' for 'who' consistently ["Congressman O'Rourke received this tape earlier today along with a letter from the assassins that were responsible for killing..."]

    The dialogue is stilted and clunky - at the lowest point, he has his assassin ask another character to tell him what has 'transpired' since last they talked. Rather than simply 'saying' things, the characters yell, shout and scream them, resulting in the unfortunate image of the president of the United States waxing shrill and screechy at his chief of staff.

    The plot is neither plausible nor compelling. The protaganists include a bunch of renegade CIA operatives who murder 'bad' politicians, and a Congressman who approves of these actions and even helps to kidnap and murder a 'bad' retired CIA black ops director. The antagonists include the aforementioned black ops director, the head of the national security agency, and the bumbling and ridiculous White House chief of staff. The demand made by the 'good' assassins, following their murder of four prominent politicians, is that the president present a BALANCED BUDGET with NO NEW TAXES to the Congress! Our intrepid hero-Congressman finds this a worthy cause, and when some 'good' politicans (i.e. the sort who push for the balanced budget idea) are murdered, he is inspired to wreak some violence of his own.

    No one, whether they be protagonist or antagonist, seems to possess a moral compass. 'Bad' guys can be murdered indiscriminately and no consequences will be applied; the murder of a 'good' guy may be avenged, again, without consequence. The climax and its aftermath are laughably bad; of course, I can't reveal the ending, but let me just point out that the climax begins with a bunch of CIA operatives sneaking into a house by jumping out of a helicopter hovering overhead. Apparently, this is some kind of silent helicopter, because the people inside the house were unaware of its presence.

    That this book was published at all, much less that it received initial printings large enough to place it on the bestseller list, is emblematic of everything that has gone wrong with publishing. It stands as a slap in the face to every talented writer in the country. ...more info
  • Another outstanding Flynn book!
    I believe this is the first of the Flynn books and you can tell that right from the get go he charged right to the top of many people's favorite author list! He certainly did make it to mine. I'm reading all his books in order now, having bought half of them, my son the other half so we can share....more info
  • A simple good guy - bad guy tale, but I'm not sure there's a good guy.
    It's an enjoyable read -- fast, simple and set in my home town (sort of). But I cannot get past the fact that the murder of elected officials gets glossed over as a moral ambiguity, as if there is some arguable equivalence between taking (by violence) lives of congressmen and the associated benefits of balancing the budget. It reminds me of the Schwartzenegger line in "True Lies," "Yes, but they were all bad."

    It's not as if that moral issue is heavily weighed or discussed, either. The reader is expected to jump right past it (versus accepting the fact that a CHARACTER has absorbed and jumped past it), and clearly many of the reviewers seem OK with it.

    So, it's a simple tale of good and evil, except I cannot find anyone who is clearly good.

    I also need to add that Flynn has decided to fictionalize the topography and streets in DC. It certainly was not necessary, and to me it suggests a lack of basic research. And one nit: In the edition I'm reading, they refer repeatedly to the back seat of a vehicle as the "backseat." When did it become one word???...more info
  • Not bad for a first novel, but...
    - Too long. Jesus, so much could have been deleted.
    - A congressman as a special operator that covers up murders. Uh-huh. Little too much....more info
  • Handbook for change
    If there were ever a work of fiction that deserved to be used as a handbook for political change, this is it. Vince Flynn has devised an emminently doable scenario for overthrowing the current occupation force in Washington and returning this country to its roots without all-out war. This book should be in the training portfolio of every Special Forces candidate....more info
  • transaction review
    Great story as well as the transaction. Book in good shape arrived as promised....more info
  • Vince Flynn, Term Limits
    Excellent, page turner, can't put down, current, political action thriller. Being also a John Gresham fan, I have now added Vince Flynn to that list of must-read authors. There is a premise to this story that hits close to home - that of wanting our Washington representatives to actually do the work of the "people" they are sent to represent rather than the political "deals" that are too often seen. This book takes a look at "what if" and makes it plausible. ...more info
  • Starts slow, but a good ending.
    The book itself arrived quickly in perfect condition save for 1 small ink splotch on one page toward the end of the book. I'd say that's probably something that happenned in printing. The story was pretty good but I had a hard time getting into it til' I was over halfway through it. Not at all what I'd call a spell-binder. Once it fianlly took off it got pretty good, though much of the ending was fairly predictable. I like Tom Clancy and on the advice of a co-worker I am checking out Vince Flynn. This is my first Flynn novel. I have now started reading "Transfer of Power" and it has a much better beginning. ...more info
  • Blood-Soaked Fantasies
    I'll start with the positive: The main character is a classic hero in every sense of the word - tall, good-looking, smart, humble, etc. The story was engaging and made for a quick read because it was easy to follow, carried the reader along and crafted as to have no wasted words. In short, it was a competent work of fiction.

    That's where my praise ends, because this is the type of work that contributes to our national problems by feeding false stereotypes and radical agendas. Sure, it's a work of fiction, no one is going to take it seriously, yada yada yada. But that's not true, is it? So many people in this country believe that this the plot of this book is plausible and even to be encouraged - - just look at the reviews to find the believers.

    Alright, here are my problems with it:

    First, politicians are corrupt and will sell-out anyone to maintain power, but that's not true if you're a conservative farm-boy elected despite your honesty from a midwestern state. In Term Limits, Vince Flynn just beats you over the head with the "power corrupts" mantra - he doesn't show it in the actions so much as just repeats it like the chorus of a bad rap song, yet from the lips of the Marine Combat Veteran Congressman who is our protagonist. You know what, though? There are people in politics on BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE who really want to do what's right, who really are trying to make a difference for the positive, for this nation and the citizens. In this book, however, the public is a tool to be used and treated as if they aren't smart enough to make good decisions.

    Second, murder is a viable answer. This repeats another mantra that conservatives repeat often - that they do the hard fighting and living to protect this nation and its freedoms so that the liberals can live in their fantasy-land. Come on, get real. This book touts a Special Forces Unit as being so committed to the Constitution that they are willing to murder high-level politicians and threaten the president with assassination if he doesn't balance the budget. And, they get away with it because it's really the right side to be on. Murdering our leaders is the answer according to Vince Flynn. Murder solves the obvious weakness that we have as a nation, that being elections. Elections apparently just get in the way.

    Third, the balanced budget. For years and years - until the time this book was written - conservatives cried about the budget. The book makes it the central theme. Balance the budget and make us fiscally responsible. It's important enough for a military coup supported by the protagonist of this novel. A Coup!!! Yet, when the conservatives did take power, despite Vince Flynn's prescient forecasting ability, they ran the deficit into uncharted territory and didn't flinch. Even when confronted by this atrocity of fiscal irresponsibility, they claim that NOW!!!!! the deficit isn't a big deal, that it's really just a function of the percentage of GDP and we ought to all forget about it. This book starkly reveals the disconnect between conservative priorities of the 90's and the realized result nearly two presidential terms later. It's like looking back in time to a parade of nit-wits.

    Fourth, the good guys don't do bad things. The Special Ops team kills only who they want and never any innocents - just the politicians. The bad guys leave a wake of messy slaughter and civilians whenever they use murder as a tool. Flynn spends way too much time making this point and beating the reader over the head with it . . . killing is good when only your target dies . . . but whatever happened to that oh so famous, though shalt not?

    - CV Rick...more info
  • A real thriller
    My first Vince Flynn... and I wasted no time following it up by reading his "Memorial Day" and "Transfer of Power." I like his style. He maintains momentum. Yes, he's not the most eloquent writer, but that's not the focus of his work. I believe he's more concerned with plot movement, and I find his books simply fun. He keeps everything clipping right along. Are all the plot twists plausible? Who would ever know, except CIA, FBI and Secret Service insiders -- and I certainly am not one. I suspect that not all the events are plausible -- particularly the scene toward the end of "Term Limits" wherein the former Navy SEAL fellow commits murder right under their noses. But it's still a fun, page-turnin' read....more info
  • MUST READ!!!
    Vince Flynn's first book is goes absolutely to the heart of most conservative Americans! It is a MUST READ, one of the best books I've ever read and enjoyed. I have read it three times already.
    It continues to amaze me how Vince Flynn had the vision and his finger on the pulse of radical Islam BEFORE 9/11. Just amazing....more info
  • If only
    If only some House cleaning, and Senate cleaning, would happen from the correct position as this book illustrates. Of course it was panned in the official reviews since with rare exception the media and reviewers are all members of the wrong not part of the right. They of course fail to see the right/wrong as they only see liberal/stupid when they are the stupid ones. This may not be the best book ever written but it is certainly a four star book and the courage to write it in the face of certain criticism earns it the last star....more info
  • A page turner
    Friends recommended Vinc Flynn to me. This is the first book I have read by him and it was very well done. I love suspense and this book has it. I didn't find it "predictable". I also found that his story is timely in many ways for our society....more info
  • Political Scandal
    When reading this book, you need to throw reality out the door to some extent, but it is still a highly entertaining read. Three high ranking politicians are assassinated for various reasons, and congressman Michael O'Rourke finds himself in the middle of the mess. It all goes back to an operation that was blown years back thanks to a politician who couldn't keep his mouth shut.

    Most Vince Flynn fans are very familiar with Mitch Rapp, who does not appear in this book. However, there are a lot of characters here who make appearances in his other novels. Not required reading if you want to read about Mitch, but still worth the time just the same....more info
  • I've enjoyed Flynn before, but couldn't finish this book
    I've read two of Vince Flynn's thrillers (Transfer of Power and Third Option) and found them both mildly enjoyable. I started Term Limits and soon realized this was the first book he'd written. I was excited to find out about the origination of some of the reoccurring characters such as Congressman Michael O'Roarke and CIA operative Irene Kennedy.

    This book still has the cluncky point of view problems that existed in the Third Option and Flynn's writing style in general is bland, but I the plot started off with a bang. Three well-known politicians were murdered by expertly trained assassins. Their demands are simple. The congress must not pass the president's bloated budged and must instead do what the American people want and enact needed spending cuts. Now, this sounds like an agenda I could agree with, but I certainly don't believe in killing congressmen to get it done.

    Imagine my surprise when, early in the book, freshman Congressman Michael O'Roarke (a character in future books) agrees with the killings and believes they are justified. Imagine my surprise as I continue to read and find out O'Roarke may know who was behind the killings but refuses to go to the FBI with the information.

    I wanted a hero to get behind and its hard to get behind a hero who advocates killing Senators. Flynn wanted this to be a plausible military thriller, but it fails at every corner. The omniscient point of view definitely detracts from the enjoyment. I also kept waiting for O'Roarke to save other Senators from assassination, but page after page O'Roarke stands behind the killings because he believes the killings are just what Congress needs to stop wasting our money.

    Now, I'm a right winger who believes 100% Flynn's message that spending is out of control and must be stopped and that politicians of both parties are more interested in power than helping the country. I found it ludicrous for Flynn to expect me to buy into a hero that, as a congressman, advocates the killing of his co-workers to advance a political agenda.

    After 350 pages, I have had enough. I kept reading, thinking O'Roarke would change. But it is obvious he won't and thanks to other Amazon reviews, I know I've made the right decision. I may read other Flynn novels featuring Mitch Rapp, because the first two I read were good, but his first novel is horrible.
    ...more info
  • Vince Flynn, Term Limits
    Excellent, page turner, can't put down, current, political action thriller. Being also a John Gresham fan, I have now added Vince Flynn to that list of must-read authors. There is a premise to this story that hits close to home - that of wanting our Washington representatives to actually do the work of the "people" they are sent to represent rather than the political "deals" that are too often seen. This book takes a look at "what if" and makes it plausible. ...more info