Featured Review: ‘Total Power’ by Kyle Mills


Total Power by Kyle MillsWhen the United States goes dark, it’s up to Mitch Rapp, America’s favorite hero, to once again save the day in the latest must-read thriller from Kyle Mills.

America’s power grid is vulnerable, but that’s just the beginning. After receiving a tip about incredibly sensitive information that’s said to hold the key to taking America back into the stone age, the Kremlin activates a sleeper agent to confirm the validity of the report.

Sonya Vance, who has spent the bulk of her life in America, heads to a secluded cabin in West Virginia, where she meets with John Alton, an expert on the power grid who’s spent years researching, even working as a consultant for the government. Alton, a rich playboy who is tired of not being listened to, is ready to demonstrate that everything he’s been telling Congress is real. America is primed for an attack, and as it turns out, it’s Alton who has all the resources to do it. Well, minus the guns and manpower, but that’s why he reaches out to Moscow—who sends Sonya to see if things check out.

Stunned, Sonya leaves West Virginia confident that Alton could, indeed, crash America’s grid—and keep it down for a year, maybe longer—but ultimately, the Kremlin decides the plan is too risky and the possibility of relation too high.

Meanwhile, on the seventh floor of the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, Director Irene Kennedy catches wind of planned attack on US soil. According to her intelligence reports, someone has offered up proof of America’s vulnerabilities on the dark web, and ISIS is chomping at the bit to team up and help strike a fatal blow to the United States.

Sent to Spain to intercept the ISIS man sent to verify the documents in question, Mitch Rapp and Scott Coleman run a flawless operation that leads them to a planned meeting between Alton and ISIS commandos who are sent to target the necessary power plants that could decapitate America. It’s there that things go south, as a bloody shootout allows Alton to escape, giving him the chance to implement the final steps of his plan.

Regrouping, Rapp, Coleman, and Kennedy are plotting their next move when disaster strikes and things suddenly go dark.

With the power grid down and government projections grim, Americans panic. Rioting and looting break out as people become desperate to survive. Blame is, of course, shared far and wide across every government agency, not to mention Congress—but that matters little to American assassin Mitch Rapp, who has spent more than twenty years on the front lines making sure something like this never happens on his watch.

Whereas most Americans have become too reliant on technology to know how to live without it, Rapp has spent most of his adult life in third-world countries. The harder the conditions, the more he thrives—and while others focus on how to stay alive, Rapp has one goal . . . 

To make sure that by the time the lights go back on, the man who turned them off is no longer breathing.

Now six books in since taking over for Vince Flynn, Kyle Mills continues to show his dominance, proving yet again that he’s one of the best thriller writers on the planet. While the series has always been timely, Mills took that to another level with last year’s Lethal Agent, which was all about a deadly virus that was weaponized to hit America. Six months later, COVID-19 shut the country down.

Ironically, it’s the real-life pandemic that, in a way, makes this book so chilling. Prior to COVID, it was hard to imagine what a shut-down America might look like. Now, readers know all too well how that looks and what it feels like, making Total Power as terrifying as it is entertaining.

The one thing that Mills’ book has that those of us navigating the real world don’t, however, is Mitch Rapp. After decades of killing bad guys, a career that’s forced him to endure great personal sacrifice, the CIA man is finally in a healthy place. Of course, that doesn’t stop him from answering the call when needed, but after nearly twenty missions where Rapp manages to save the day, Mills finally throws the ultimate curveball at his protagonist when the CIA’s efforts fail—allowing readers to see a new side to Mitch as he becomes hellbent on making things right.

For Rapp, making things right means finding and killing the person responsible, but without power or a way to coordinate with Kennedy or their people, he’s isolated now more than ever. And if you think you’ve seen him pissed off before, get ready to see that intensity taken up a notch here. When America goes dark, Mitch Rapp goes to work on the bad guys—and just when it looks like there’s no way for Kyle Mills to top himself, he raises the stakes like never before.

Daring, original, and unlike anything fans of this franchise have seen before, it’s hard to imagine anyone else delivering a better thriller than Total Power, the best series entry since Consent to Kill (2005), and a serious contender for best book of the year.

Book Details

Author: Kyle Mills
Series: Mitch Rapp #19
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1501190652
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Real Book Spy Rating: 10/10



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.




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