Red War

by Vince Flynn

Mitch Rapp is still chasing bad guys. Kyle Mills is still making it fun to read.

Kyle Mills, with the blessing of the Vince Flynn estate, continues the Mitch Rapp series (#15) with Red War. This thriller unites CIA operative Mitch Rapp and unlikely associate Azarov against the ailing and deadly Russian president Maxim Krupin. 

Mills has consistently managed to capture the essence of the Flynn characters. The reader's experience (this reader anyway) is seamless. We miss Flynn, but appreciate Mills.

One might think this black-opp adventure is simply a money-opp. But the author shows us even the most hardened must face the meaning of life as when former Russian assassin Azarov grapples with his conscience. Will he "retreat into the money, power, and women that had been heaped on him in his home country"? Would he "wrap himself in the numbness that had protected him for so long"? or is he bound for a different life because he's becoming a different man.

We see glimpses of change, but in the end, Rapp conveys the worldview that will guarantee volume 16 and leave us wondering if people ever truly change. Discussing the problem with Claudia, his partner in life and love, he says: "History's a broken record, Claudia. The best we can hope for is that next time it'll be someone else's problem.