After a long career of killing bad guys and taking names, Mitch Rapp is finally faced with a scenario he may not be able to prevent when a dangerous bioterrorism attack threatens the United States of America.
A couple of books back, at the end of Enemy of the State (2017), Mitch Rapp happened across a cavern filled with high-ranking members of ISIS in Northern Iraq, including Mullah Sayid Halabi, their leader and the most wanted terrorist on the planet. After throwing a grenade into the cave, Rapp managed to kill nearly everyone present—and almost himself—after bringing rock and debris down on top of everyone. Mitch had been saved by Joe Maslick, who dug him out following the explosion, and until recently, the operation had been considered successful.
But now new intelligence suggests that Halabi is still alive, and when readers meet back up with Rapp in this one, the CIA man is in Yemen, bear crawling through another cave in hopes of finishing the job once and for all.
Instead, Halabi proves too elusive once again, unless he’s already dead. There are those in the intelligence community who believe the recently surfaced video footage of the terrorist is perhaps old, taken years back. But Rapp, along with CIA Director Irene Kennedy and trusted comrades Scott Coleman and his team of highly-trained men, knows better. Especially when credible reports suggest that ISIS kidnapped a brilliant French microbiologist and is forcing him to weaponize a form of anthrax.
While focusing on the looming threat that Halabi’s survival posses, Dr. Kennedy is also forced to deal with an overzealous, pompous politician who intends to make enemies of both her and Rapp, further complicating matters at the worst possible time.
Senator Christine Barnett, her party’s frontrunner for the upcoming presidential election, which is quickly proving to be the most divisive in recent memory, is no fan of the CIA. Kennedy, along with everyone else in Washington, knows that her time as director is coming to a close if Barnett wins the Oval Office, and as things stand, there is no peaceful transfer of power on the horizon. Realizing they’re working on borrowed time, Kennedy tasks Rapp with finding Halabi at all costs, and stopping whatever he has planned.
From the caves of Yemen to the political underbelly in Washington, D.C., to war-torn Somalia and the cartel-infested jungles of Southern Mexico, Mitch Rapp races around the world in pursuit of the man looking to emerge from the shadows with a bang—and all bets are off when Rapp realizes they’ve been duped and that something much more sinister is lurking, ready to strike a blow to America like never before . . .
Now five books in, Kyle Mills has done an amazing job filling in for series creator Vince Flynn, who passed away in 2013. While his first two books were much more in line with what readers of Flynn’s series expected, changing times have forced Mills to switch things up in order to stay current and timely. That led to some fans feeling split on last year’s Red War, which deviated a bit from the formula they’re used to.
While I still think Red War is one of the better Rapp books to date, there should be no debate among longtime fans this year, as Lethal Agent reads like a combination of Executive Power and Memorial Day, two franchise bests and darkhorse favorites among diehard Flynn fans. For example, an early theme of the Rapp series was that politicians can sometimes be the bad guys, and that is once again the case here—and readers will surely pick up on how Mills has weaved current hot-button issues into the story, once again showing why Mitch Rapp is the hero we need, maybe now more than ever.
With the focus much more on Rapp in this book than Red War, Mills dials up the action, throwing Mitch into one impossible situation after another, constantly raising the stakes with each turning page. Even if you think you know how this one will end, it’s still a ton of fun watching Mitch Rapp do Mitch Rapp things, and several scenes—including one involving him picking a lock—will have readers talking long after turning the last page.
With Lethal Agent, Kyle Mills delivers a classic Mitch Rapp novel that reads like a throwback to Vince Flynn’s earlier work . . . proving once again that he’s the only writer capable of stepping into Flynn’s shoes and keeping this franchise among the very best the thriller genre has to offer.
Author: Kyle Mills
Series: Mitch Rapp #18
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Book Spy Rating: 9.95/10
Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.