I think we can all agree that Memorial Day is about far more than a three-day weekend. It’s about showing respect and gratitude while remembering the men and women who’ve died serving in our military.
Initially, given the day’s significance, I wasn’t going to put out book recommendations tailored to the occasion the way I normally do with other holidays. But, after countless requests from readers asking which book they should pick up to dive into over the long weekend, I thought it best to answer everyone with one post — which is fitting, actually, because there’s only one book I’d recommend. I mean, sure, there are plenty of books that you could read on Memorial Day, but there’s one book, in my mind, that trumps all other thrillers out there. . . Vince Flynn’s Memorial Day.
Originally published in 2004, Memorial Day opens with CIA counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp standing in an off-the-books safe house looking through a two-way mirror at Masood Haq, a Pakistani intelligence officer. Masood was previously caught conspiring with a high-ranking member of the Taliban, and CIA Director Irene Kennedy sent Rapp to retrieve the much-needed answers to their long list of questions.
When Bobby Akram, one of the CIA’s best interrogators, informs Mitch that it could take him upwards of two or three more days before Masood cracks, Rapp finds that timeline unacceptable. “My patience has run out, ” says Rapp. “If you don’t get him to talk, I will.”
Done waiting around, Mitch then rolls his sleeves up and gets to work. His mere presence puts the fear of God into Masood, who begins spilling everything he knows. . . all of which leads to the startling revelation that an al Qaeda cell has penetrated America’s defenses. Currently, terrorists are on United States soil with plans to carry out a massive attack. Their target is a grand Memorial Day tribute to the veterans of World War II in Washington, D.C., scheduled to take place in seven days.
With the clock running, Mitch Rapp follows the terrorists’ trail from Afghanistan back to the States, with several stops in between. With just one week to find the cell members and stop the attack before they’re able to strike a blow to America, the already-intense plot is taken up a notch when Rapp obtains proof that the jihadists have also smuggled the necessary parts and components to assemble a nuclear warhead, prompting the president of the United States to give Rapp the proverbial green light to do whatever it takes to save the day.
Ordered to stop the attack at all costs, Mitch Rapp, the most lethal weapon in America’s high-powered arsenal, is completely unleashed for the first time, free to do anything he sees fit in order to protect the country he loves.
Vince Flynn, one of America’s most beloved authors, delivered the kind of high-stakes, action-packed, and timely thriller that’s captivated millions of readers around the world, including multiple sitting U.S. presidents, catapulting him to the top of the genre where he’s remembered as one of the most prolific writers of his generation and one of the greatest authors the genre has ever known.
The only problem with making this your top Memorial Day weekend read is that if you start it on Saturday, you’ll have it done before Sunday (trust me, you won’t be able to put it down), leaving you with extra free time. If that’s the case, don’t worry, Consent to Kill, which is widely regarded as the best book of Flynn’s career, is next on deck.
If you’re new to the Mitch Rapp series and read those books back-to-back, you’ll quickly see why Vince Flynn was so special.
Happy Memorial Day, everyone!
(Note: Memorial Day is the sixth book in Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp series, following: American Assassin, Kill Shot, Transfer of Power, Separation of Power, and Executive Power. Flynn’s last completed book was The Last Man, the 13th book in the series, which came out in 2012, a year before Flynn passed away after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer. Author Kyle Mills has since taken over the series and continued Flynn’s legacy with three New York Times bestselling novels — all of which were critically acclaimed and well-received by fans. Mills’ fourth contribution, Red War, is set to come out on September 25th and is currently available for pre-order.)
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.