Book Reivew – The Survivor, by Kyle Mills

Posted: 18/10/2015 in Uncategorized

The survivor

In June 2013 the world lost one of its finest political thriller writers when at just 47 years of age, Vince Flynn succumbed to his three-year battle with prostate cancer. With his passing, like many thousands of Flynn’s fans, I feared we’d also seen the end of his all action protagonist, Mitch Rapp. Rapp, a highly trained CIA assassin and covert operative made his first appearance in Flynn’s second book, Transfer of Power, and grew to represent the very embodiment of a post 9-11 action hero over a lengthy and exciting thriller series.

When I heard that Kyle Mills had been selected to continue Flynn’s books I have to admit that I had mixed emotions. The thought of more novels featuring one of my all-time favourite action heroes was certainly appealing, but I couldn’t help but wonder if another author, even one as talented as Mills, would be able to stay true the Mich Rapp that I’d come to love over more than a decade. There was of course only one way to find out.

For those of you not familiar to Mills’ work there are some similarities, or parallels if you like, that he shares with Flynn. Both authors first published thrillers in 1997, with Mills initially writing a five book series featuring FBI agent, Mark Beamon before moving on to publish books featuring military plots, cutting edge science, and even corporate intrigue; topics that will have a very familiar ring for most Mitch Rapp fans. The strangest parallel though is in Mills’ direct link to Rapp himself. According to Kyle Mills’ bio his father was a real life FBI agent, who just happened to be that agency’s lead investigator on the terrorist attack that brought down Pan Am Flight 103 in December 1988. Now if you are at all a fan of Flynn’s series you’ll know that this is the very incident that lead Rapp to the CIA in the first place. The fact that his girlfriend was killed in this attack drove him to obsession, and resulted in him becoming the operative that he is. Yes, yes, I know what you are thinking, one is real life fact and the other just fiction, but could this strange twist be a sign that Mills is the right man for the job?

Having just finished reading The Survivor–the first of three Mitch Rapp thrillers that Mills has been contracted to write–I can say for certain that the right man is now firmly seated behind the word processor. Mills has managed to pick up exactly where Flynn left off, and if I didn’t know better I’d be hard pressed to tell that this latest Mitch Rapp installment wasn’t penned by Flynn himself. Are there some differences in style, well yes, but none that is so significant as to detract from the story. If anything, the moments of humor that Mills has worked into the book sit nicely in the plot, and his take on the characters, while mostly loyal to the originals, is fresh enough to breathe life into the series, and ensure that there will be many more missions for Mitch Rapp to come.

If you haven’t read any of Flynn’s books in the past I don’t suggest starting with this one. Rather go back and read the series from the beginning, I guarantee you’ll be just as hooked as I am. If like me however you’ve been hanging out for another fix of Mitch Rapp’s unique style of international diplomacy, jump right in; The Survivor is just what you’ve been waiting for.


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