The Survivor, Mitch Rapp's Return, Vince Flynn's Legacy
There was a time over a year ago when the idea of reading another Mitch Rapp novel would have seemed ridiculous. The author, Vince Flynn had just passed away and for his readers it seemed pretty bleak. How could anyone ever step into his shoes and keep the truth of Mitch Rapp the way it needed to be kept? Reason that it seemed so absurd is because he and his iconic character, Mitch Rapp seemed one and the same. When Rapp is speaking its Vince coming out. And that was the part that made the idea goofy at least and a pipe dream but the book he had started before he died, The Survivor is now on the cusp of being published this October.
Always looked forward to October, not just because it’s one of the best months of the year and I love the Fall but because myself like the millions of fans who followed Vince Flynn’s work would be treated to yet another great story about one of the most recognizable characters in the thriller genre’ Mitch Rapp. I think it comes from a certain longing for the hero in western culture. It is the heroes whose blood is the mortar of our civilization and that fact is so ingrained in the psyche of our culture that a character like Mitch Rapp becomes something beyond just a character in a good book. Like our Greek forbearers we need both fictional heroes and the real deal. And in many ways we got that with Flynn’s work. If Mitch Rapp is the rare great heroic character, his creator, Vince Flynn was the great writer and man behind him who has become a hero to millions as well.
So now we have a new novel, written by Kyle Mills who is an accomplished author on his own and I cannot say enough about how good it is. I was fortunate enough to be selected for an advanced reader copy of The Survivor and I have to say once I opened it after sitting on my sofa in deep thought about many things I could not put it down. I found myself doing what I did when the new books would come out, I shut out the rest of the world and dove head first into the latest Rapp adventure. There is not a step missed. It’s almost seamless between Flynn’s writing and Kyle Mill’s.
I have to say I was not surprised when I put The Survivor down and wished the story would go on longer. Mills has Rapp down perfectly, every nuance, every action, every deed is written in such a way one would think Flynn himself was behind it. The rest of the cast of characters from the gruff, irascible Stan Hurley, the quiet, cool Irene Kennedy, and the rest are as well written. One could be shocked by how good it is because other authors have had others write under their byline and their series suffered but for some reason I thought that would not happen and Mills carries on Flynn’s work in a great way. I cannot imagine how hard Mill’s had to work to get this as good as he got it. I know somewhere at the big bar in Valhalla, Vince is smiling. Well done Kyle Mills, bravo!
People will see a lot in the novel. It’s extremely fast paced and there is little breathing time for the fan. Several things will jump out at the reader who may be moved to tears but there are lots of laughs and yes the readers will be cheering like they always did before. There is also something different going on and while sad stuff happens positive is coming out of it. A letting go of things. I won’t dump spoilers here. Going to have to read the book. I keep secrets.
Its two years today that the world lost Vince Flynn to cancer. It’s sort of perfect to be able to talk about the latest chapter in the Mitch Rapp saga today. Sad and perfect. We will never forget him and we keep his family in our prayers. Vince, I know you know what is going on down here and I think you are happy with it. Your legacy is secure. But we still miss you. All of us.
SMJ June 19th, 2015