Vince Flynn was an extraordinary author with an amazing story. He is best known for writing the Mitch Rapp novel series, which is made up of 21 books and follows an undercover CIA agent specializing in counterterrorism. The series is best read in chronological order to fully understand the character development and the progression of Rapp’s private life.
Vince Flynn is an unexpected bestselling author and knowing a little about his personal life may help you appreciate this fantastic story in a different way.
He was born in Minnesota in 1966 and always struggled with reading and writing until he was diagnosed with dyslexia in grade school. He attended St. Thomas Academy and the University of St. Thomas and in 1988, graduated with a degree majoring in economics.
He began employment working as an account and sales marketing specialist in Kraft General Foods before signing up with the U.S. Marine Corps in 1990. This, however, was short-lived, as he was disqualified from the program on medical grounds. It was at this stage in his life that Flynn began thinking about writing a book, an unexpected choice for someone who found reading and writing difficult.
For years, Flynn worked and wrote at the same time and struggled with over 60 rejections before his first book was finally self-published. The book was an immediate success, leading to an almost immediate book deal with Pocket Books.
As well as the Mitch Rapp series, Flynn additionally wrote a standalone novel called Term Limits (1997), which follows the events after three of the most influential American politicians are murdered using meticulous methods. Many people picked up this shocking and unpredictable standalone novel and received a taster of what Flynn had to offer before moving on to the Mitch Rapp novels.
This series contains several bestsellers and has gained a brilliant reputation among readers and other authors. Flynn quickly gained a vast fanbase and in 2008 he agreed for his work to be adapted for the screens. The first film based on the Mitch Rapp series was American Assassin, which was released in 2017 and starred Dylan O’Brien and Michael Keaton.
However, Flynn did not live to see his work as a film. In 2011, he announced that he was receiving treatment for Stage III prostate cancer and sadly, in June 2013, at the age of 47, he passed away.
Although Flynn’s writing career was far shorter than it should have been, talented writer, Kyle Mills, took up the series and continued writing Mitch Rapp books after the death of the original author.
Kyle Mills was the son of an FBI agent and absorbed a lot of information about the CIA, FBI, and Special Forces throughout his childhood and young adult life. As a result, he had the knowledge and the background to fit the Mitch Rapp storyline and seemed an appropriate choice to take on the writing role but he had big shoes to fill.
There are a total of 21 books in the series, 13 of which were written by Vince Flynn before his death and the following 8 written by Kyle Mills. Since 2014, Mills has continued the story with an authentic and powerful Flynn-like style, which most fans have loved. Although many fans loved the fresh style and characterizations that Mills brought to the series, others preferred the storylines written by Vince Flynn. You can’t please everyone – why don’t you read for yourself and decide which books you prefer?
Throughout the years and despite the changes in authorship, the Mitch Rapp series has gained a die-hard fanbase, and previous presidents, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are known fans of the gripping series.
The popularity of the series is predominantly down to the accuracy and realism of the plot lines. Although the protagonist is complex and unconventional, each story remains plausible and realistic and even includes many terrorist attacks or threats that have happened in recent decades. These facets appeal to many readers and are probably the leading reasons why this series is so popular.
If you’re new to the series, you’re in for a treat but make sure you read these novels in the best way. Reading the Mitch Rapp books in order is vital so that you don’t miss important references or misunderstand the character or overarching plot development. The series does not follow the publication order, so make sure that you’re not just following the series based on the year of release.
This article will be a comprehensive guide to the Mitch Rapp series and will provide plot descriptions and links to each novel so you can make the most out of this brilliant series.
Without further ado, here are the Mitch Rapp books in order.
All Mitch Rapp Books In Order
American Assassin (2010)
American Assassin introduces Mitch Rapp and creates a vivid picture of his life before the CIA. As a talented college student, athlete, and friend, Rapp was destined for great things.
Under the constant threat of a terrorist attack, the U.S. prepares for inevitable war. The CIA is already attempting to control the Islamic terrorist threat from afar before it reaches American soil but the Pan Am Lockerbie disaster got there first. This terrorist attack claimed the lives of 270 people and left thousands of grieving families searching for answers and comfort.
Mitch Rapp was one of these people but instead, he sought revenge. He enlists and endures 6 months of extreme training before heading to Istanbul to avenge the innocent lives taken by Islamic extremists. His journey takes him across Europe as Rapp and his team leave a string of corpses behind them. As Rapp discovers more and more about the attack and its planning, his quest takes him to Beirut but little does he know he’s walking right into a trap.
This brilliant novel kickstarts the series with a bang. Not only are we introduced to the fantastic protagonist and learn a little more about his priorities, mentality, and capabilities but it follows an intriguing, captivating, and pulse-pounding plotline, based on a terrorist attack many readers may even remember.
Kill Shot (2012)
Kill Shot follows on swiftly from American Assassin. It continues Rapp’s search for those responsible for the Pan Am Lockerbie terrorist attack which killed hundreds of people including his girlfriend.
His next target is a Libyan diplomat, who resides in Paris unguarded. This seems like an easy job and Rapp quickly and efficiently assassinates him while he’s sleeping in his hotel room. However, just as he does, chaos ensues and gunfire breaks out across the entire room.
The murder quickly gains media attention and suspects are identified left, right, and center. Rapp is known for his dangerous ways and must now undergo damage control to clear his name.
This is a fantastic second novel that maintains the fast-paced, gripping nature of the series’ debut.
Transfer of Power (1999)
This pulse-pounding novel brings a whole new dimension to the beloved series. Transfer of Power steps it up a notch by focusing on an attack on the White House. Security guards are murdered, bystanders are killed, hundreds of hostages are taken, and what was once the Presidential mansion becomes the scene of a massacre.
The President is taken to his underground bunker and both military generals and politicians are left debating how to negotiate a way out of this chaos. Mitch Rapp makes his way to the scene immediately and soon unravels a web of discoveries that hints at a much bigger problem.
Not only is the President in much more danger than previously anticipated but Rapp realizes that this catastrophic event is only the first in a string of attacks that will eventually collapse the nation.
Flynn shifts Rapp’s motivations from personal revenge to national security. This book will have you hooked from the very first scene. It toys with the reader’s apprehension as it follows a slowly spiraling situation that will cause mass destruction.
The Third Option (2000)
The Third Option sends Mitch Rapp on a completely new mission. He is sent to destroy an industrialist in Europe who has been supplying a top terrorist organization with equipment.
As Rapp heads to Germany to carry out this sensitive mission it becomes clear that Rapp has fallen victim to the U.S. government. News spreads that CIA Director Thomas Stansfield is dying and Dr. Irene Kennedy is named the successor. This decision causes outrage within the agency and many take extreme measures to ensure that Kennedy does not take the reins.
Rapp realizes he has been a pawn in someone else’s game and is set on seeking revenge. He must find out who is responsible for setting him up and will make sure that he gets his own back.
Separation of Power (2001)
It is rumored that Saddam Hussein has nuclear weapons within his reach, which sends the Middle East into chaos. America is forced to act and has only two weeks to take out the nuclear weapons in question.
In Separation of Power, Mitch Rapp is sent on an impossible mission that may result in World War III if he should fail. He must use everything in his power to succeed, which involves navigating the treacherous streets of Baghdad and taking extreme measures to push through any obstacles that stand in his way.
To make matters worse, corruption dominates the American system and Irene Kennedy is the target of an inside job that aims to eventually eradicate the current President.
Executive Power (2002)
After months of working covertly with a team of commandoes in the depths of Iraq, the U.S. president publicly announces that Mitch Rapp is the leading figure in the U.S.’s war against terrorism. Rapp’s world suddenly turns upside down and he must now work in the spotlight.
Every terrorist organization across the world knows who Mitch Rapp is and what he’s capable of, so naturally, his time undercover is over and is now the primary target for terrorists across the globe.
When a group of Navy SEALs comes under attack in the Philippines, all fingers point to a leak within the U.S. State Department. As the threats increase and an unknown assassin working with the Middle East emerges, the world is again on the brink of disaster. Will Rapp be able to keep a lid on the situation? Executive Power puts huge amounts of pressure on Mitch Rapp as he navigates personal and national devastation simultaneously.
Memorial Day (2004)
The CIA has gathered intelligence that demonstrates plans for a huge terrorist attack due to take place on Memorial Day. As the CIA’s top counterterrorism agent, Rapp is sent into Afghanistan to uncover al-Qaeda’s plans. After searching the Northern borders, Rapp and his team finally get their hands on maps, plans, and files that all detail the plans for an attack on America’s capital.
Memorial Day follows as Rapp and his team unearth the information, pass it on to CIA HQ and stop the devastation in its tracks. Having unraveled al-Qaeda’s plans and prevented the attack with time to spare, Rapp can breathe a sigh of relief.
That is until he makes an extraordinary discovery that will kickstart a race against time. Another threat looms, more devastating than the last, and as Memorial Day edges closer and closer, Rapp will struggle to complete this mission in time.
Consent to Kill (2005)
Throughout his service for the CIA, Mitch Rapp has saved the lives of thousands, protected his nation, prevented the next world war, and served his country honorably. But he has also collected an array of enemies along the way.
The father of a dead terrorist wants revenge in the form of Mitch Rapp’s life. While Rapp has proved himself capable of saving the lives of many American civilians, his attention must now turn to his own life.
Many people, including those that would call America a friend, want Rapp dead and as the list lengthens, Rapp’s time shortens. He must put faith in his knowledge and instincts if he has any chance of surviving and he’ll soon find out who his true allies are and who is eager to betray him.
Consent to Kill delves into international espionage networks and presents Rapp’s most personal threat to date.
Act of Treason (2006)
This instantly compelling novel begins as a presidential candidate, Josh Alexander, is threatened with a terrorist attack that targeted his motorcade. While Alexander survived, many of those who traveled with him were killed.
Many naturally suspect that this is the work of al-Qaeda but Irene Kennedy, the director of the CIA receives evidence that proves otherwise. This classified information is unlike anything she’s ever handled before and so, she summons Mitch Rapp to help.
Act of Treason delves into the inside of the CIA and unravels a tangled heap of secrets with the potential to destroy the nation altogether. While this novel maintains its fast-paced, action-packed approach, it is more intricate and intelligence-oriented than its predecessors. This one will grab your attention from the first scene and won’t let you go, even after the final twist.
Protect and Defend (2007)
Relations between Iran and Israel have deteriorated since Israel felt it necessary to intervene at the prospect of Iran developing its own nuclear weapons. An international crisis follows and Iran seeks revenge against Israel and its main ally, the U.S.
Imad Mukhtar, a Lebanese terrorist and criminal mastermind, has been planning and preparing an attack on the United States for some time, and with Iran’s approval, he’s ready to strike.
The U.S. is now under extreme pressure and an attack seems inevitable. But can Mitch Rapp protect his nation before it is thrown into turmoil? He has been tasked with monitoring and tracking the threats, which results in a manhunt and violent battle in which only one can survive. Protect and Defend presents the extremely vulnerable U.S. under attack once again. Although he’s done it before, is Mitch Rapp capable of saving the day once more?
Extreme Measures (2008)
Extreme Measures has a different flavor and incorporates a new protagonist who, alongside Rapp, will fight a new enemy. Mike Nash has worked with Rapp previously and has dedicated his life to the security of the United States, just like our beloved protagonist.
Now, he and Rapp must fight a new war in complete secrecy. Wives, children, and friends must stay in the dark about this operation and this task forces new personal sacrifices.
As politics begins to shift in the states, as does the importance, agency, and freedom of these two CIA operatives. This book creates a realistic and atmospheric environment of war that will draw the reader closer and closer to the lives of those working for intelligence agencies in America. Using Nash and Rapp as representatives, Flynn allows readers to understand the breadth of sacrifice, duty, and strain that so many high and low-profile agents live with every day.
Pursuit of Honor (2009)
This exhilarating novel nosedives into politics, espionage, and undercover intelligence. Pursuit of Honor begins almost a week after a terrorist attack destroyed the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington D.C. and killed 185 people, including many who work for the CIA alongside Rapp.
This was an unexpected attack that caught the CIA, FBI, and other American intelligence agencies off-guard. As a result, Rapp is sent to find three of the most powerful al-Qaeda terrorists who are capable of more devastation at the expense of the U.S.
Once again, he works with Nash, who begins crumbling under pressure and suffers from PTSD symptoms as a witness of the attack. This novel is jam-packed with pulse-pounding action but also delves into the emotions and private life of Nash, whose capabilities now lie in Rapp’s hands.
The Last Man (2012)
This was the last novel that Flynn wrote before his death in 2013 and follows Rapp as he journeys to Afghanistan to retrieve a missing CIA agent, Joe Rickman.
The Last Man is another race against time. Joe was the leader of clandestine operations in Afghanistan and Rapp’s friend and colleague. He has been kidnapped and holds secrets that would prove disastrous in the wrong hands. Rapp is the only other person who knows of these secrets and therefore knows that the mission is much more important than many others think.
But Rapp isn’t the only one looking for Joe. An FBI agent isn’t far behind and he’ll make sure that Rapp gets the blame. This novel once again sheds light on the corruption within America’s government and top agencies while closely following Rapp’s mission and a new enemy.
The Survivor (2014) (Kyle Mills)
But what Rapp didn’t realize was that the whereabouts of this information died with Rickman and now, the U.S. finds itself in a race against the Pakistanis to find the integral information first.
Rapp must learn about his new enemies, outsmart, and outrun them in order to save his country from its biggest security threat yet. This is a brilliant novel that perfectly fits with the style of Flynn’s previous work.
This novel marks the turnover in authorship but continues the fast-paced, compelling plotline of The Last Man, where Flynn left off. The Survivor begins with the death of Rickman, which at the time, was thought to have prevented CIA information from falling into enemy hands.
Order to Kill (2016) (Kyle Mills)
Until now, Mitch Rapp has used his skill and expertise to beat all of his enemies but is his winning streak finally over?
Order to Kill starts as Rapp heads to Pakistan to face a new enemy. Rapp will have to run around in circles, globe-trotting from continent to continent to keep Pakistani nuclear weapons out of the grasp of terrorists.
With Scott Coleman, a colleague, and friend, Rapp will run ragged to ensure the security of his country remains intact. But when Russia shows an interest in the nukes, Rapp’s mission opens even wider. He must now delve into Russia as an undercover ISIS recruit, exposing himself to further danger and even more enemies.
Enemy of the State (2017) (Kyle Mills)
Following the infamous 9/11 attack in New York City, America made a secret deal with Saudi Arabia. In return for a constant oil supply, America would hide any evidence of Saudi involvement in the terrorist attack.
But when members of Saudi royalty are caught funding the ISIS organization, Rapp is sent to find and kill any Saudis involved. However, under the regulations of the agreement, America cannot get involved and so, Rapp takes on a dangerous mission with no support from the U.S.
Enemy of the State puts Rapp in his most vulnerable position yet – so vulnerable that he decides to resign from the CIA and continue the mission with private agents.
Red War (2018) (Kyle Mills)
After discovering that he suffers from inoperable brain cancer, the leader of Russia, Maxim Krupin sets his sights on waging war with NATO, a battle that, if won, will grant him further power before his death.
Red War follows as the U.S. finds itself close to war with an enemy with no limits. This war would lead to the inevitable deaths of millions worldwide and so Mitch Rapp is sent to Russia to destroy the enemy before casualties occur. But this mission is top secret and if discovered, will plunge the west into a deadly war with Russia, one that may be more dangerous than anything Krupin has planned.
Lethal Agent (2019) (Kyle Mills)
Sayid Halabi, the leader of ISIS, wants revenge on Mitch Rapp after surviving his attack with injuries. Halabi has now kidnapped a Yemeni microbiologist that has successfully produced anthrax, a deadly disease known to kill the human organ systems.
ISIS releases a video of this discovery to unleash havoc in the U.S. before working with a Mexican drug cartel to smuggle the weapon into the States. Mitch Rapp must infiltrate the cartel before the disease successfully lands on American land and triggers an uncontrollable pandemic.
Lethal Agent has been described as a ‘must-read’. It’s a realistic and tense page-turner that’ll keep you guessing.
Total Power (2020) (Kyle Mills)
Total Power is an epic action and political thriller with a technological twist. Mitch Rapp has captured ISIS’s main technology expert who makes a daunting revelation – that he was due to meet someone that has the potential to wipe out America’s power grid.
The CIA hunts for this man but fails miserably and with the help of ISIS, the man succeeds and the U.S. is immersed in darkness. Americans are left with no power, no gas, no access to phone or computer networks, and the water and food supplies begin to waver. With no access to information and no way of finding out how to resolve the situation, America is slowly crumbling and only Rapp and his team can find those responsible and set things right.
Enemy at the Gates (2021) (Kyle Mills)
America is slowly getting back on track after the blackout with the help of a new president. Anthony Cook is unlike anyone Rapp has ever worked with before and as a result, he backs off, taking a long-awaited break from CIA work.
However, quickly after he leaves, a mole is found inside the CIA and Rapp must intervene to secretly identify the culprit. In doing so, he is also challenged with protecting the world’s first trillionaire, Nicholas Ward, a leading figure in Ugandan medical research on the brink of a new discovery.
Enemy at the Gates forces Rapp to uncover the secrets that lie within the agency he’s called home for so many years.
Oath of Loyalty (2022) (Kyle Mills)
Anthony Cook is convinced that Mitch Rapp is a threat and insists that he stays out of the country while Cook’s in charge. In exchange, Cook promises not to make any moves against him.
But one of Cook’s security advisers makes the president believe that Rapp will not keep the regulations of this agreement and leaks the identity of his partner, Claudia Gould.
Oath of Loyalty forces Rapp to protect her from the enemies who want her dead and in doing so, discovers a new group of assassins, a killing force known as Legion.
The Mitch Rapp books have become an iconic political thriller series for many fans worldwide, particularly in the United States. Vince Flynn was an extraordinary author who created a fascinating, adventurous, and genre-bending series that defied all expectations. These books are unpredictable, gripping, and excellently written – guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can we expect another Mitch Rapp book?
A 22nd book, Code Red, is expected in September 2023 and will be the 9th book that Kyle Mills has written in the series.
Will Kyle Mills continue writing Mitch Rapp books?
Sadly, Kyle Mills has announced that his 9th book, Code Red, will be his last. However, fans can eagerly anticipate the work of a new author who will inherit the series at the end of the year. Don Bentley, known for his Matt Drake series and contributions to Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Jr series, will be the new writer in question.
Why did Kyle Mills continue the Mitch Rapp series?
Mills was asked by Vince Flynn’s agent to continue the series. Mills and Flynn had worked together during their careers and Flynn acted as a sort of role model for Mills and his writing career. Mills was a die-hard Mitch Rapp fan who knew the characters inside out and had the background military and political knowledge to help him write future novels.
Where did Vince Flynn live?
Flynn was based in Saint Paul and the general Twin Cities area (Minneapolis-Saint Paul) with his wife Lysa and their three children.
How many copies has the Mitch Rapp series sold?
Flynn’s original books sold a total of 15 million copies in the U.S. alone.