Red War (Mitch Rapp #17), by Kyle Mills

Seven stars

Kyle Mills is back with another of Vince Flynn’s classic novels of espionage, where Mitch Rapp finds himself in the middle of yet another international skirmish. After an attack on a prominent Russian in Central America, Rapp and those high-up in the CIA take notice, sure the Russian Government is involved. While they ponder how to handle this, Rapp is left to wonder what else Moscow might be plotting. Little known to most, the current Russian President is ill, terminally so. In what might be his last act of aggression, the president is convinced of an attack on some of his former satellite states, those in the Baltic that have since joined NATO. Sure that this will bring the Americans into yet another bloody war, the Russians begin to maneuver. Rapp and his team posit what might be going on, though many of the military forces of those countries that are potential targets remain unconvinced. It is a race against time and the two re-emerging superpowers may have one last stand-off. For one, it’s all in with nothing to lose. For the other, the world watches, as strategic force serves as a restraining deterrent. Mills does well to continue this series and takes readers on another spellbinding ride through international politics and espionage. Recommended for those who love the work Vince Flynn did before his premature death.

Since taking over the Mitch Rapp series, Mills has done well to promote a strong continuity when it comes to storylines, characters, and overall plot. That is rare, as I have come to see in other series taken over by new authors, who always like to establish their own control and usually leave the series reader deflated. Mitch Rapp remains a highly intriguing character, with his penchant for off-hand jokes, while offering a strong focus when work requires it. He is gritty, but also compassionate and keeps the reader liking this mix, for the most part. I cannot help but wonder if it is almost time for Rapp to switch to another role, thinking his body has taken enough beatings. That said, Bond is still around all these years later, right? The other characters, regulars and new faces, prove to push the story in interesting directions, with a focus on Russia and a political push towards supremacy again. The story is one that I have actually seen recently in another espionage series I read, where Russia is trying to erode the power of NATO through some of its former satellite countries. Funny enough, this may prove to be the new theme in this genre, which is nice after too many years of ISIS battles have surely drawn the ire of the genre reader. I am curious to see what else Mills has in store for this series, as there is surely much that could be developed, though I am also sure Rapp could retire and live a peaceful life once and for all. However, we all know Rapp is not the kind of guy to sit on the porch, sipping sweet tea!

Kudos, Mr. Mills, for another strong book. While not my favourite of your books in this series, it is sure to get others talking and wondering.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: