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Reviews for Vince Flynn: Code Red

by Kyle Mills

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Guns blaze in Syria as Mitch Rapp once again takes it to the bad guys. A few things you need to know about the series hero: He is a highly proficient killer, he’s absolutely loyal to the U.S., and he has a strong sense of honor. So when Damian Losa, a billionaire Mexican and “the most powerful criminal in the world,” calls him for a favor, Rapp can’t refuse. “I helped him when he desperately needed it,” Losa says, “and he’s the kind of man who’ll feel obligated to honor that debt.” “Until I’ve repaid my debt to him,” Rapp says, “he’s the boss.” Losa wants to know about the growing Captagon business in Western Europe, where the illicit drug causes irreversible brain damage and permanent psychosis in its users. Losa asks Rapp to find out how the Syrians are making huge quantities of the drug economically. Jihadis want to undermine the West “where they were weak” by effectively rotting people’s brains, because they can never win on a battlefield. Rapp goes to Syria disguised as a wealthy Canadian attorney and learns that the Russians are in charge of exporting the drug to the West. (Turns out the Russkies hate us, too. Who knew?) Of course, Rapp gets into some bloody gunfights because that's what he does. But at least once the violence is disgusting; when a young man is impaled on an angle iron and is obviously going to die, Rapp bashes him in the forehead. “You see?” he tells the boy's father. “It’s okay. He’s with God now.” Shame on Rapp. Although most of the action takes place in Syria, the interesting put-downs are about the Russians. A Russian general muses, “Russia had been revealed for what it was: a starving old woman lashed by the Siberian wind.” And Rapp observes, “The Russians aren’t people who play to win. They play to make everyone else lose.” High-energy action makes this a mostly enjoyable thriller. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.