Flynn's Lethal Agent
Mitch Rapp Mystery #16
by Kyle Mills
& Interview by Elise Cooper
Flynn’s Lethal Agent by Kyle Mills
harkens back to earlier Mitch Rapp books. Although
fans miss Vince Flynn, having Mills continue the Mitch
Rapp series has made the passing much easier as his
writing style does not stray very far. This story
is classic Mitch Rapp, putting him in a hostile environment,
having to face off against the Islamic terrorists
and corrupt Washington politicians, along with those
who have no loyalty, no gratitude, and no courage
to defend the CIA as others try to throw them under
only part where this story has differentiated from
the earlier Vince Flynn novels is the lack of team
work, comraderie, and banter. Irene Kennedy is seen
as acquiescing to the politicians and not really involved
in the plan to take down the terrorists. Because President
Alexander’s term is almost over, and he appears
to have little appetite for confronting Rapp’s
enemies. Caught up in the web is Kennedy, head of
the CIA, Rapp’s onetime boss, and longtime protector.
Mitch has to work mainly solo to stop a terrorist
attack, since he is disavowed by the entire Washington
establishment and Irene Kennedy has been rendered
the incumbent president is finishing up his eight
years in office, he has surrendered to the strong
female senator (from the other party) who is bound
to win the next election. Politics now seem to be
more about power than serving the public. A quote
reflects this, “There had probably been a time
when politicians achieved this level of success because
of patriotism or a deep sense of responsibility to
their countrymen. But now it was just about power.”
villainous politician is Senator Christine Barnett,
the frontrunner for the upcoming presidential election,
and someone who is no fan of the CIA. Dr. Irene Kennedy
knows that her time as director is coming to a close
if Barnett wins the Oval Office. Barnett is now exploiting
the terrorist tactics of Mullah Sayid Halabi to make
the CIA and the Alexander administration appear incompetent.
Halabi plans an attack he believes no one would anticipate,
weaponizing anthrax, then slipping it through the
Mexican border with the help of the drug cartels,
and targeting politicians who support Middle East
intervention. He will follow up with a new disease
called YARS, similar to the Spanish Flu, that will
kill Westerners by the tens of millions and spark
“a pandemic that would fundamentally change
human existence for generations.” To stop the
terrorist threat Mitch infiltrates the Mexican cartel,
having them believe he has gone rogue. It is up to
Rapp to stop this biological threat or mankind will
a bioterror threat, and terrorist chatter on the uptake,
Mitch Rapp is the hero America needs, and thanks to
Kyle Mills he is here to stay as he protects Americans.
& A with Kyle Mills
Cooper: Why the bioterrorist threat?
Mills: I guess I am a science geek. I wanted
to write about a bioterrorist threat that will also
involve border security, which is in the news and
hard to ignore. I think many people are thinking a
lot about this.
Did you intentionally want to write a “classic”
Mitch Rapp Story?
Yes. Combining the terrorists with the evil politician
is a theme throughout Vince Flynn’s novels.
I think this was a throwback to earlier books. I also
think politics has become theatre, where it is divorced
from public policy. Politicians look at the world
as a stage they play on. They do not want to solve
problems because they can use it as a talking point
to get elected. It is hard to get a realistic in-depth
It seems that Irene and company only made cameo appearances
in this story?
Mitch Rapp was very much front and center. The other
characters were moved to the background and there
was less interplay between them. There was one spotlight
and it was on Mitch because he was undercover and
completely cut off from communication.
In the testimony scene it appeared Irene Kennedy never
challenged the evil politician Senator Christine Barnett?
Irene’s concern was to protect Mitch’s
position. She was very much on her own to try to keep
Mitch’s cover. I think she played it in a clever
way as she acquiesced to the politician. There could
be no inkling that what happened to Mitch was not
real. She took the heat off of Mitch. To me, this
is exactly what Irene does. She is very pleasant to
someone’s face and very reasonable. Then in
the end there is the realization that Irene has won,
and the politician has lost.
How would you describe Senator Barnett?
The classic evil American politician of earlier Vince
Flynn books. She is crooked, selfish, driven, power
hungry, corrupt, and ruthless.
How would you compare the Islamic terrorist versus
the drug cartel head?
Both are violent. The cartel enabled the terrorists
when they combined forces. I think they have different
motivations. The terrorist is motivated by ideology,
while the cartel by power and money. I had this quote
that I hope gave people a chuckle, “I think
you’d find working for drug traffickers much
more predictable than working for politicians.”
What I wanted to show is that politicians are self-serving
and will do what they think is needed to get them
You have some Spanish in this novel. Did you learn
in while in Spain?
While I was in Spain, I asked someone from Mexico,
a neighbor, who became a friend because the Spanish
in the book is different than how they speak in Spain.
Would you ever write your own novel?
I can only write one decent book a year. I enjoy writing
the Mitch Rapp stories and I want to put all my efforts
on concentrating on that.
Can you give a shout out about the next book?
The ensemble cast will be in it more. The plot has
a successful terrorist attack on US soil and Irene,
Mitch, Scott, and Claudia must deal with the aftermath.
and MyShelf.com would like to thank Kyle Mills for
the review and interview.
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in Mystery, Thriller