Term Limits by Vince Flynn
Pocket Books, $23
Review by Jonathan D. Austin
Web posted on: Friday, May 15, 1998 5:33:01 PM EDT
(CNN) -- Vince Flynn couldn't be a Marine Corps pilot so he turned to writing.
In simple words, Flynn's debut novel "Term Limits" is a good read, the type that makes you call in sick because you picked it up at bedtime and the next thing you knew the sun was peeking in the window.
The premise is simple, too. Power-hungry politicians have led the nation to the brink of disaster, doing anything to stay in power. The result? Legislation that serves only special interest groups and a budget that is suffocating the government's ability to do work for the public good.
Citing the Declaration of Independence and "the right of the people to alter or abolish" such a destructive government, a group of anonymous Americans gets everyone's attention by assassinating two senators and a U.S. representative, three officials who have had their fill at the pork-barrel trough. The killers -- are they terrorists or patriots? -- promise to kill no more if the president and Congress put a halt to the corruption, greed and lies.
But the demands for good government don't faze the White House, where an megalomaniac chief of staff has the president singing any tune he wants in order to make re-election easier.
Meanwhile, outspoken first-term congressman Michael O'Rourke -- who has already crossed the president by refusing to support a heavily bloated budget deal -- is drawn into the plot when he suspects that someone he knows may be behind the bullets.
As more elected officials are violently terminated, the FBI, the CIA, the White House and Congressman O'Rourke all try to track down the killers. The pages fly by as the intensity builds, but thankfully Flynn doesn't resort to smoke and mirrors to bring this drama to a successful resolution.
Did I have some complaints when I put the book down? Yes, but none were too large to overshadow my enjoyment of the tale.
Maybe Flynn can catch a ride as a passenger on a Marine Corps jet, but he should keep his backside firmly planted in a chair in front of a computer. He owes us more books.
Jonathan D. Austin is editor of CNN Interactive Books.
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