Book Title: Red War (Mitch Rapp #17)
Author: Kyle Mills, Vince Flynn
Series: Mitch Rapp
Genres: Thriller, Fiction
Published: October 2nd 2018 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Waiting for these books to come out has been the worst part!
Rapp #17 arrived in my mailbox and, with my built up anticipation, I swear it was glowing! I will admit that in this, Mills’ 3rd installment since tacking the reigns, I sense the first deviations of plot and character from creator Vince Flynn. I’m neutral on the changes, while enjoying some and feeling “un-Rapp” on the others. On the plus side, Mitch somehow takes on an even more brutal edge, even physically. While there was no literal depiction of him that caused the change, it was more his reactions and subtle details that painted a new picture of him for me. Best described as total BAMF with eyes that scream F#ck off! Towards the un-Rapp side, a bit less regard for human life than we’re use to seeing, and a more generalized anti-social personality. In regard to plot changes, not that it’s necessarily bad, but some of the outcomes felt hardcore and un-Flynn like. Make no mistake about it, Red War is not another action novel feeding a threat of violence that never comes. Kyle Mills let the sh#t hit the fan! In some ways a welcomed change to the standard political-shooter-thriller outcomes. Now on to the story.
I’m easily lost when it comes to the geo-political aspects of all my shooter/assassin books, thankfully Red War wasn’t tough to follow. Maxim Krupin, the burly Russian president, wants the world to know both he and the Motherland are old-school vodka drinking, bear hunting tuffs that everyone should fear. When he learns he’s become terminally ill with a brain tumor, his focus shifts. He can never be seen as the weak, confused and trembling man he’s about to become, or the world will see Russia as weak and trembling. The unstable leader begins searching for a means to both hide his illness, treat it and re-seat Russia as a superpower. Across the pond on Pennsylvania Avenue, the suits are running a muck trying to determine why Russia seems to have lost its bird and leaped from mostly crazy to full on Bat Sh#t, trying to start WW3.
In what I would now call “classic Mills era Rapp” we see some unlikely pairings from the past. Enemies becomes allies, or at least non combatants, and it’s all in a believable manner. With the U.S not initially knowing why Krupin has gone uncharacteristically offensive, the story circles around both the ensuing war and the mystery behind the Russian President’s actions. True to the Rapp series there are no shortages of flying lead and fists. All that’s missing, and what I’ve always been fond of in the series, was an aggressive buildup between Rapp and some potbellied crooked politician who ends up staring into the notorious dark eyes that precede an imminent violent death.
Many thanks to Kyle Mills and Atria Books for gifting me a finished copy of this novel.
When Russian president Maxim Krupin discovers that he has inoperable brain cancer, he’s determined to cling to power. His first task is to kill or imprison any of his countrymen who can threaten him. Soon, though, his illness becomes serious enough to require a more dramatic diversion—war with the West.
Upon learning of Krupin’s condition, CIA director Irene Kennedy understands that the US is facing an opponent who has nothing to lose. The only way to avoid a confrontation that could leave millions dead is to send Mitch Rapp to Russia under impossibly dangerous orders. With the Kremlin’s entire security apparatus hunting him, he must find and kill a man many have deemed the most powerful in the world.
Success means averting a war that could consume all of Europe. But if his mission is discovered, Rapp will plunge Russia and America into a conflict that neither will survive.