Fans of Vince Flynn’s bestselling Mitch Rapp series have a number of reasons to be excited right now.
The first book (chronologically) in the series, American Assassin, has been made into a big-budget action movie starring Dylan O’Brien as Mitch Rapp and Michael Keaton as Stan Hurley, and is scheduled to be released in theaters everywhere on September 15th.
A week before that, the sixteenth novel, Enemy of the State, hits bookstores.
And while Enemy of the State is the final book of Kyle Mills’ original three-book deal, we can now officially report that it will not be his last!
We’ve just learned, exclusively, that Mills has signed a new three-book deal with Emily Bestler Books, an imprint of Atria Books at publishing powerhouse Simon & Schuster.
“I’m bouncing off the walls!” said Mills when asked how excited he was to get this book deal done. “I’ve had so much fun writing the series, getting to know the fans, and spending time with the characters. It was hard for me to imagine leaving it all behind.”
“The outpouring of support from fans is the reason I’m so excited to continue,” added Mills. “Without their energy and enthusiasm, what would be the point? I work my tail off on these books. The payoff is that people love them and that Vince’s legacy carries on.”
We also reached out to Vince Flynn’s longtime editor for comment.
“Kyle has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams at carrying Vince’s vision forward,” said Emily Bestler, Senior Vice President, Editor-in-Chief of Emily Bestler Books/Atria. “From the beginning, Mitch Rapp fans have embraced Kyle and are celebrating that the franchise is in such great hands.”
The timing is special because this year marks the twentieth anniversary since legendary thriller author Vince Flynn published his first novel, Term Limits, in 1997. After selling more than twenty million books worldwide and becoming an annual staple at the top of the New York Times bestsellers list, Flynn passed away in June of 2013.
A year later, in 2014, it was announced that Kyle Mills would continue Flynn’s series, and in 2015 he did just that when The Survivor rocketed into bookstores and topped the bestsellers charts, earning triple crown status as a #1 seller in all three fiction categories on the coveted New York Times bestsellers list.
Order to Kill, Mills’ second Rapp novel (the fifteenth in the series) was released last year and featured a highly-skilled assassin as the book’s antagonist. It’s the first time in the series where the bad guy had a similar, and possibly even slightly superior, skill set as Rapp–setting up an explosive showdown between the two heavyweight operators.
This year, Mills once again found something new to bring to the franchise. Enemy of the State marks the first time since joining the CIA (unofficially in American Assassin, and officially in The Third Option), that Rapp quits the agency and goes rogue.
With the help of a team of assassins, each asset personally recruited by Rapp to help him track down a member of the Saudi royal family who is caught funding ISIS, Mitch must evade the authorities and take on the world’s most savage terrorist group without any help from Irene Kennedy, Scott Coleman, or any of the other trusted men and women at the CIA.
It’s an explosive plot that delivers in a big way. Not only is it Mills’ best work to date, but it’s one of the strongest books in the entire series.
In many ways, Enemy of the State reads like an action-packed trip down memory lane, as Mills has lined the pages with returning characters from earlier in the series, along with a number of Easter eggs and throwback references to Rapp’s younger days.
Longtime fans of this franchise will certainly appreciate the sentiment and thoroughly enjoy the story, which offers another timely, ripped-from-the-headlines scenario. But the best part of all is that as of right now, with this new book deal in place, Enemy of the State is only the halfway point for Mills.
Looking back to when he signed his first deal, we asked Kyle Mills to reflect on how he felt then compared to how he feels now.
“When I [first] signed, I expected a negative reaction from a portion of Vince’s fans. It was a depressing thought, but I felt like I could eventually win them over. In the end, that negativity never materialized. Mitch Rapp is important to people, and everyone was rooting for me.”
Indeed, a quick glance at how his books have been reviewed on Amazon and Goodreads prove that Mills has won over most of Flynn’s fan base. Likewise, those same die-hard fans have taken to social media to voice their support for Mills and express their desire to see him return to the franchise moving forward.
“The big difference now is that I feel a lot more confident as I write,” added Mills, who wants fans to know that he’s already hard at work on the next book. “Truth be told, I’ve been working on it since mid-May. I have a 30,000-word outline that I hope to finish over the next few weeks. Then it’ll be time to write the first chapter!”
Mitch Rapp is back… and he’s here to stay for at least three more books!
Called “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck is currently the Editor-in-Chief of The Real Book Spy website, and one of the thriller genre’s most well-recognized critics. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their five children.