The story (by Vince Flynn) is straightforward: Mitch Rapp loses his girlfriend to the Lockerbie bombing and then dedicates his life to the pursuit of revenge. This superbly fit, highly intelligent human being is converted into an ‘off the books’, deniable asset: an American Assassin. If, at this point, you are thinking “gratuitous violence”, you are right. There is introspection, the occasional attempt at filling out the character from his cardboard cutout, but none of it succeeds. In essence, it’s a right wing “get the bastards” wet dream of revenge, revenge, revenge. Good guys v bad guys. In fairness, it’s reasonably well written and the action flows. But, for me, it was a case of “buy, read, forget”. Your mileage may vary.

Incidentally, the Uk paperback edition tries to promote Flynn as another Lee Child. I found Flynn’s narrative too simplistic and although Lee Child is unlikely to be my favourite author, he delivers more – plot, characterisation, and reader involvement – than this book did. So, on the evidence of American Assassin, I’d prefer Lee Child.