Enemy at the Gates (Mitch Rapp #20), by Kyle Mills

Eight stars

In a series that is so full of action, Kyle Mills brings Mitch Rapp back for another sensational story. Having taken over with the passing of Vince Flynn, Mills had big shoes to fill, but has done a sensational job continuing this series yet again. When the world’s richest man is threatened, Rapp is sent by a new president to protect him, as well as learn who is leaking intelligence from the CIA. It will be one of the most harrowing missions Rapp has had to face, forcing him to wonder if he is ready to call it quits once and for all. Another winner that has me realising that there are some authors who know how to pick up the thread of a series and not ruin its momentum.

With the election of a new president, America is in for a sobering future. Anthony Cook has his own ideas on how to run things and does not allow others to shape his opinions. This includes well-established CIA Director Irene Kennedy or her prized operative, Mitch Rapp. Both have been whispered about through the hallowed halls of the White House, but Cook is ready to stop that and show that he holds all the power.

Kennedy brings some startling concerns to the president, that there is someone within the Agency scouring through sensitive intel and providing it to America’s enemies. The crux of the data leaks relate to Nicholas Ward, the world’s richest man. His work in the pharmaceutical field could change the lives of many, but if he falls into the wrong hands, there could be serious repercussions. President Cook agrees and allows Mitch Rapp to head out, in hopes of protecting Ward on the other side of the world.

In Uganda, Rapp is tasked with finding and keeping Ward out of harm’s way. However, there will be issues, as a ruthless warlord has his eye on the man and all that he could bring in the form of riches. Rapp will have to struggle through unfamiliar terrain to protect Ward and get to the bottom of what has been a secret laboratory that possesses Ward’s scientific work, all while remaining off the radar.

With no time to lose, Rapp must stay one step ahead and work with his skeleton crew, all while remaining in the shadows. Kennedy is relying on him, though it will be Rapp’s own intuition that propels him forward in this mission. No one is safe, least of all those who are not used to the tactics of cutthroat child soldiers in the jungles of Africa. Will Rapp finally realise that it is time to walk away, or does someone have a more drastic means by which to end Rapp’s career? A chilling story that keeps the reader guessing throughout.

I’ve enjoyed the Mitch Rapp series from the beginning and my curiosity has never waned. When Vince Flynn passed on, I was sure things would come to an abrupt halt, but Kyle Mills was able to take over the reins and keep things moving. He has done a marvellous job at seamlessly creating a new tangent in the series without losing the flavour that Flynn brought to his thrillers. While Rapp has surely aged and become more of a family man (unheard of, usually), there is still a lot of spark left. I have no complaints!

Rapp continues to dazzle in this piece, proving that he is both a force to be reckoned with and a highly entertaining character. His backstory long ago faded into the horizon, but he continues to develop effectively, including a makeshift family that only adds to his worry. Rapp proves to be gritty and soft hearted at the same time, though his questioning of missions and decisions has never waned. It will be interesting to see where the series will go from here, though I am sure Mills has some interesting choices to make before long.

In a genre so full of rough and tumble characters, Mills has to differentiate Mitch Rapp from many of the others who are covertly out there saving the world. He has done so, using strong writing and a great narrative to keep the reader intrigued throughout the process. Unique settings and strong characters help to keep the reader coming back, as well as utilising great character backstories throughout the process. While the series has lasted many years, one can only wonder where Kyle Mills will take it, or if it is time to branch off. I am eager to see what’s next or how revelations within this story will impact future Rapp publications.

Kudos, Mr. Mills, for another great piece. I am eager to see where you will take us in the coming years!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons