Pursuit of Honor by Vince Flynn: A Book about Why America Needs Rough Men
I’ve been reading a lot of Vince Flynn recently. I picked up Term Limits first and remembered why I used to think he was such a great author, so I read a few more, such as Act of Treason and Protect and Defend. The final one I decided to read, for now, is Pursuit of Honor.
There are certain themes that permeate Flynn’s books.
Term Limits is about the corruption of the political class and its self-serving nature; it’s about just how selfish and un-American our modern slate of legislators, lobbyists, and political figures is.
Act of Treason and Protect and Defend are about the dark depths the men of our most elite forces must plunge to in order to defend our nation. Torture, uncivilized tactics, and utter brutality are the name of the game in that world of black ops and covert operations. And, again, they’re also about the failings of our political class, a group that doesn’t understand what needs to be done until it’s too late, if ever.
Pursuit of Honor, however, is somewhat different. Torture is in the book but isn’t a major factor. Self-serving elites are in the book, namely a few politicians and a political consultant, but they’re mostly redeemable characters. Rather than being the bad guys, they actually end up helping.
And that, I think is the message of Pursuit of Honor. Without giving anything away, the book starts after an attack on D.C. has happened. The politicians were finally struck at by al-Qaeda and, as a result, they are scared. Before the attack, they were sitting safely on the sidelines, protected in their beautiful Georgetown townhouses or safely ensconced in their Congressional offices. After it, their vulnerability to the evil men who stand waiting to do violence to us became painfully obvious.
Thanks to their vulnerability, they are more supportive of Mitch Rapp, the hero of most of Flynn’s books, than usual. He and the usual gang- Marcus Dummond, Irene Kennedy, and Scott Coleman- are all able to act with slightly freer hands than normal and, as a result, they are able to stop yet another attack, but are able to do so before it goes too far. Thanks to the lack of rules and oversight, they are able to do what needs to be done without having to waste time assuaging the consciences of weak-kneed bureaucrats and legislators.
Along those lines, Pursuit of Honor puts the fight between the frontline fighters, the tip of the CIA’s razor-sharp spear, and their bureaucratic overlords on full display. The central “bad guys” in the book aren’t just al-Qaeda jihadists. They’re also the CIA’s internal inspectors, the men and women who waste the time of everyone in the agency and often break the law in their quest to catch suspected law-breakers.
Obviously, as John Brennan’s activities show, some oversight is needed. But that oversight should be directed against the CIA’s domestic operations and prevent it from interfering in our political processes. It shouldn’t be used to dull the edge of the spear and protect the men who want to do violence to our great nation.
That final point is another key aspect of Pursuit of Honor, although it doesn’t come to a head in the way it does in some of Flynn’s other books. At one point, Rapp poses the question of “why is the US so ready and willing to extend legal protection to those that want to kill us?” It’s a good question. Why do we care what happens to the Gitmo detainees? Why do we care if some jihadist in Morocco, Yemen, Syria, or Iraq is roughed up a bit? Would it not be better to shield the country from harm by using medieval tactics overseas?
Like all of Flynn’s books, Pursuit of Honor is a fun to read book with a fast-paced, action-packed storyline. It’s exciting, well-written, and realistic. But, also in the vein of all Flynn’s other books, the storyline isn’t what makes it exceptional. The message of the book is. In the case of Pursuit of Honor, that message is that we need to stop tying the hands of the men whose sole mission and purpose is to protect us from terrorists and foreign threats; we should free them to fight in the way they need to.
If you want to read a fun political thriller, you should order and read a copy of Pursuit of Honor. It might not be as highbrow as the non-fiction books that I typically read and review. But it is a fun book with an important message. I think you’ll enjoy it.
By: Gen Z Conservative