To Kill by
Kyle Mills is a vintage Vince Flynn book. It is a reminder
of the early Rapp novels with Mitch going full circle between
his personal and professional life. Readers who enjoyed the
character and plot lines will think of Transfer Of Power and
Consent To Kill. Kyle has done a top-notch job of blending
the beloved characters of Irene Kennedy and Mitch Rapp with
a high adventure, action packed plot.
book brings back former Navy SEAL Scott Coleman who is working
with Mitch trying to find Pakistani nukes so they do not fall
into terrorist's hands. As the story progresses it becomes
abundantly clear that Russia's President, Maxim Vladimirovich
Krupin, is working with ISIS terrorists to destabilize the
oil resources in the Middle East. The only way to find the
culprits and stop these catastrophic consequences is for Mitch
to pose as an American ISIS recruit in Iraq, while trying
to find and eliminate his nemesis, Grisha Azarov.
Mills has come into his own. He expands the setting, introduces
new characters, and yet is able to stay true to the characters
and details created by Vince Flynn. Unlike last year where
Mills was tasked with finishing a plot partially written by
Vince, with this story he had full creative range and the
final outcome is excellent. It is almost that he is one with
book Mitch harkens back to the person he was in the early
Rapp books, no longer full or rage and living in a darkened
world. Readers will now see Rapp as someone who realizes he
is comfortable with his professional life and can possibly
have a personal life as well. Kyle brings back Claudia, the
woman who was married to Gould, the psychopath whose ambition
was to kill the great Mitch Rapp. It is open ended if Claudia
and Mitch will have some kind of relationship, but she is
much more compatible than Anna, Mitch's late wife. Having
been in the business herself she can participate in the activities
and understands what Mitch's responsibilities must encompass.
Kennedy continues to be an imperative player in the story
in the role of the CIA Director, Mitch's confidante, and the
person who is able to connect the dots. She is important in
being the focal point for understanding the issues presented
in the book. Mitch depends on her to make the hard decisions.
commented, "I see Irene as a pivotal piece in everything
that happens in the books, even if sometimes she does not
get as much ink as Mitch. I always think of her as the puppet
master. By her own admission she is not involved but watches
and waits until it becomes necessary for her to be involved."
Vince concentrated on one area of the world, the Middle East,
Mills skillfully has expanded the geo-political domain. Still
incorporating terrorism within the plots he also shows how
the US cannot be one dimensional in confronting its enemies
that include Jihadists, Russia, North Korea, and China. Russia
is seen as a one-man show, where Krupin (Putin) is more concerned
about his own power and influence, using the Oligarchs as
a crime syndicate organization. Kyle shows the desperation
of Krupin, how Russia is the poster child for income inequality,
and is ridden with drugs.
Russia as an interesting adversary, Kyle wanted to "draw
upon the complexities of Cold War thriller books, having been
a fan of Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum. The description in
the book of how Krupin came to power comes straight out of
how Putin came to power. In many ways Russia is a collapsing
country with an economy smaller than Italys'. The minute he
does not help the Oligarchs he is in trouble and can find
a bullet in his head. There is a lot to draw upon for US thriller
writers. The chessboard is getting very complicated. In this
book I had Russia using ISIS as well as the dangers of the
countries with nuclear arsenals. Putin uses them for his own
purposes, and Pakistan is an unstable country, a failed state."
of the legendary Vince Flynn were unsure if Kyle Mills could
fill his shoes with the well-developed characters and plots.
They loved and hated the month of October. Loved it because
a new Mitch Rapp novel came out and hated it because they
would have to wait another year for the next one. With Order
To Kill, readers will get those same feelings. It appears
the torch has been passed to Kyle Mills.