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The Third Option
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Product Description

Rancorous political infighting surrounds the selection of a successor to the dying head of the CIA just as Mitch Rapp, the agency's top operative, embarks on a dangerous mission to take out a well-known German industrialist believed to be supplying Middle East terrorists with highly sensitive equipment critical to constructing a nuclear bomb. When Rapp's ultimately successful mission is compromised from within, ailing CIA director Thomas Stansfield puts his imprimatur on the efforts of his chosen successor, Irene Kennedy, director of the agency's Counterterrorism Center, to identify the powerful interests both inside and outside the agency that wanted Rapp to fail.

The motive soon becomes clear; there are people who'll stop at nothing to remove Kennedy from the helm of the agency after Stansfield dies. One thing they didn't count on was Rapp's survival, and now he's a lethal weapon whose sights are fixed directly on the most powerful among them. This is a strong, swift thriller, a bit predictable (the senator in the black hat has dogs named Caesar and Brutus) but nonetheless involving. Author Vince Flynn sustains the dramatic tension from the opening paragraph to the last; in Mitch Rapp, he's got the makings of a promising series hero. --Jane Adams

When diplomacy and military intervention fail, our leaders turn to "The Third Option." CIA counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp is obeying his orders -- to kill a German industrialist selling sensitive equipment to sponsors of terrorism -- when he learns his own government is plotting against him. Rapp will stop at nothing to find out who has set him up.

Customer Reviews:

  • I recently became a fan of Vince Flynn
    Good, but not great. I started reading Vince Flynn a few months ago and I am going in order. This is the 3rd in the series and so far, the least impressive. I still liked it, but it lacked some of the excitement of the previous two. I bought the 4th so I will certainly continue. This book sort of just ends and I guess is continued in the next....more info
  • Solid but unspectacular....
    This is the first Vince Flynn novel that I have read. I am a big fan of the international spy or assassin novels and I had heard a lot about his books and decided to jump right in.

    First off, let me just say that I like the main character, Mitch Rapp, a lot. He is a complex character and he is the kind of character that you like quite a bit even though you would not want to watch what he does or probably even know what he does. He is brutal, efficient and interesting to read about.

    Now with that said, the book bogged itself down throughout. There was so much that Flynn wanted to put on the pages...and too bad, a lot of it was not necessary and could have been put aside. A lot of the discussions between the senators and the government could have been left out and still get the point across. It took much away from the focal point of the story, Mitch Rapp and his bosses, The President, Dr. Kennedy and CIA Director Thomas Stanfield

    As others have said, the basic storyline is that Rapp is in Germany to assassinate a public figure that is 'secretly' helping the Iraqi leader...he is double crossed and left for dead. Rapp gets out and has to figure out who set him up (was it Kennedy, the President, Stansfield or some other group). This part, I liked...but the story slowed down when we were given page after page of the politicians behind the scenes and that hurt the story.

    If you like action, this book delivers some, but probably not as much as hoped for. This is a political story with some action/espionage thrown in. The ending is decent, frustrating, interesting all mixed definately leaves possibilities open for more trouble and rather interesting storylines. I liked the book and it was solid...but I look more forward to reading other Flynn books and seeing Rapp in more action....more info
  • Shameless setup for "Separation of Power"
    Mitch Rapp is back -- the most effective agent on the CIA is sent to Germany to assasinate a person who's helping Saddam Hussein despite repeated warnings. What Mitch does not know is that he's also a target; somehow Mitch escapes and decides to track down his killers. Things are complicated since he cannot trust anybody now, not even his own agency which could have set him up!

    However the bad part about this book is that it does not sustain the tension that is setup in the opening few chapters. It also shamelessly sets up the next book in the series "Separation of Power".

    Also, viewers need not be worried that they'll miss something; since "Separation of Power" is a stand alone book that could have done without this book!

    I love Vince Flynn & Mitch Rapp, but I seriously think this could have remained a silent chapter in the adventures of Mitch Rapp......more info
  • Must read if you like the series
    This is the third book in the Mitch Rapp series and Vince Flynn continues to keep us reading into the night to find out how the plot unfolds. However, this book lacks some of the intensity that others in the series have. The ending is very weak, but I have already downloaded the next book in the series, Separation of Power. I like the series very much so now I will end this review and start reading....more info
  • Essential plot for the Separation of Power finish
    I am going to punish Flynn a little for this one (yeah right). The Third Option and Separation of Power are really one novel broken down into two bits. After reading both, I realized that Flynn may have written one novel, knew it was too large for his crowd (Flynn stick below 500 pages), and he had to write some extra filler for two books worth of info. The new characters that are introduced are worth the read. Bringing in the Mossad and Ben Friedman was an intriguing catch point that kept Separation of Power going. That being said, I will talk more in my review of Separation of Power as The Third Option seems to just be the kicking off point for the story that develops there....more info
  • Third Option is First Rate
    Despite previous warnings, a German Count continues to secretly aid Saddam Hussein. Diplomacy has failed to cease this activity and sending the military into a foreign country is not a consideration. There is only one way to put an end to this exchange. The President exercises the third option and sends counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp to be sure the Count doesn't do this, or anything else, ever again. While on this highly-secretive mission, Rapp is double-crossed by the team who is suppose to be working with him. Unsure of who set him up, Rapp can trust no one and must find who betrayed him and why.

    Using his well-honed survival skills, he eludes capture and returns to the US to put the pieces back together. He clears gravely-ill CIA Director Thomas Stansfield and his presumptive successor Dr. Irene Kennedy of any wrong-doing in the Germany fiasco and forges a plan to work back up the conspirator's chain to find the duplicitous soul. In an attempt to eliminate any link between himself and the events in the German chateau, Senator Hank Clark is erasing anyone who was involved. Rapp must find one of the henchmen alive before the trail goes cold.

    I found this book to be remarkably different from the first Rapp book, Transfer of Power. Third Option replaces some of the action with a greater degree of suspense, intrigue, and emotion. Rapp's girlfriend, Anna Rielly, plays a greater role in the emotional storyline and is the root cause of inner-conflict for Rapp. His codename is Ironman for his ability to be a one-man killing machine, but their burgeoning relationship puts him in a dilemma which he must resolve. He is determined to leave the business and follow his heart but he knows he will not be able to make a clean break until he hunts down the person that sought to destroy him. I applaud Flynn's decision to add a level of intrigue to this book. I enjoyed the intertwined, suspenseful storylines while keeping the majority of the action-packed sequences. It was a noticeable improvement and shows his growth as an author.

    One warning to potential readers!! The book ends with some unresolved issues. It closed enough issues to allow this book to stand on its own but definitely compels a reader to get the next book. If you must have closure or do not want to read two books to complete the plotline, I advise against this book. It would be a shame as this is very good fiction and another hit in the Mitch Rapp series.

    I recommend this book....more info

  • Wrong version
    I received an abridged version of the novel versus the full one. Perhaps I did not read the description fully. However, this is the second time that I have purchase an audiobook on Amazon that was not clearly identified. Reading/listening to an abridged version of a novel is a little like kissing your sister. Something is missing....more info
  • The Art of the Thriller
    Is not found in this book.

    Clunky and derivative, way,way too long because a HUGE amount of space is devoted to inanity like this: Irene Kennedy was "thin, maybe too thin; it wasn't intentional she just wasn't a big eater." Really? How cool! Then we are told in great detail what she and her son have for breakfast! How many times she pats him on the head! Where he goes to day care! To whom, exactly, is this the stuff of thrills? And, worse, what 'thrills' show up ain't all that thrillin'.

    ...more info
  • Kinda OK
    Wasn't what I expected. I read his first two therefore I didn't expect what this one gave. A little heavy on the political side. I enjoy action and espionage with some legal so maybe I just read the wrong book. His others were great and I hope Memorial Day will be as good. I will read it next with hope....more info
  • Mid Series
    Not having read any of these before, this entry feels just like beginning a movie an hour into it. Passable action but does not really stand alone....more info
  • Good Character, Good Read
    When I purchased The Third Option, I did not know that it was part of a series of books that feature Vince Flynn's main character Mitch Rapp. It should be pointed out that it is not crucial if you have not read prior books in the series before reading this one.

    While the book offers nothing outside the ordinary for a book of the super operative genre, I enjoyed it for what it did not include. Mitch Rapp is a character who is not absurdly elevated above mere mortal (i.e., he is not an ultra-superhuman terrorist killer). At least that is true in this book though I get the impression it may not be true in others. He does not hang from planes, jump on to speeding trucks, or survive multiple gun shots to the body (at least not without a kevlar vest). I also liked the idea of assassins tracking each other's work and either respecting or despising their competition's style. Classic.

    Overall a good read with a good character that can offer multiple other books to read if you enjoy the character. The only negative is that Mr. Flynn's attempt to be current at the time of writing (1999-2000) does not always translate well. Certain points seem silly given our knowledge today.
    ...more info
  • Flynn writes a taut political thriller
    I have now read all but one of Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp series. Five in all, I think. I did not read them in the order they were written. Much to Flynn's credit, they don't have to be read in order. Each volume stands alone.

    Mitch Rapp is an assassin, a part of the Orion Team, a clandestine effort known only to a few in the U.S. government. The President,a very few people at the CIA who povide covert assistance and a very few members of Congress. The purpose of the Orion Team is to bring the war on terror to the terrorists with surgical, fatal strikes. Mitch Rapp is the chosen instrument and he is very good at his job. But Mitch wants out. He has met and fallen in love with Anna Reilly, a television reporter.

    This will be Rapp's last job, he thinks. The assasination of a German Count who has done business with Saddam once too often. The CIA has provided two helpers for the task. One of them tries to murder Rapp seconds after he has dispatched the German.


    The plot, as it is with all Flynn novels, is convoluted with double-crosses as common as snow in the mountains. When Flynn writes a political thriller, it is indeed political. He is hard on appeasers and obviously sees many politicians as self-serving and even traitorous.

    Flynn's Mitch Rapp and all the other characters are richly drawn. They are all believable: good guys and bad guys alike. The suspense is tight on every page. And the body count grows with every page.

    Flynn is, in my opinion, the absolute master of the political thriller. "The Third Option" is, again in my opinion, a masterpiece of the genre.

    Jerry...more info