Mitch Rapp is back!
Those are by far my four favorite words in publishing, and this month, they’re once again true as Total Power, the latest thriller from Kyle Mills, hits bookstores.
Seven years ago, I was told by my doctor that I was dyslexic. As a child, I always knew reading and writing was much harder for me than other children. The same was true when I began my career as a sports journalist, only to lose confidence and quit my job after a single year. My doctor’s advice? “Just read. Read a lot. That’ll help.”
So, I did what any American with the full power of the world wide web at their fingertips would do. I Googled “dyslexic authors,” and decided to start there. Guess what name came up first?
You might see where this is going . . . but it was Vince Flynn.
What followed was a two-month period where I read everything Flynn ever wrote. I was hooked. Not just a fan, but a superfan. And yet, I had no idea just how much Vince Flynn and Mitch Rapp would change my life.
In 2013, Flynn—my very favorite author—passed away. A year later, it was announced that the series would continue with Kyle Mills on board to write three additional Rapp books. I can remember, quite vividly, the mix of emotions that overcame me when that announcement went out via email. I was thrilled that my favorite character was returning, but terrified that another author would be writing him. What if he was different, unrecognizable?
That fear vanished in a hurry, though, when I read The Survivor, Mills’ first contribution to the series, later that year. I was so incredibly thrilled that the Mitch Rapp on the page was the Rapp I knew and loved. Kyle Mills had done the impossible. He managed to fill the shoes of an iconic author, and in the process, elevate their series to new heights. I was stunned. Elated. And in many ways, I still am.
Without Vince Flynn and Mitch Rapp, I never would have developed my deep love and appreciation for thrillers. It is therefore accurate to say that without Flynn, there is no Real Book Spy, if there’s no Book Spy, I’m not sitting here today writing this article for the Rogues.
See? Mitch Rapp really did change my life.
Oh, now is probably a good time to mention that my youngest son is named Mitchell Ryan. He’s two-years-old and we call him “baby Mitch Rapp.” Not because I’m a crazed fan (though I was determined to put Mitch and Ryan together), but because I’m so appreciative to Vince Flynn and what his characters, his universe, have done for me. What a wild ride!
All of that brings me to Total Power.
I read at least 200 books a year, and there’s nothing I look more forward to than Mitch Rapp’s return. To me, it’s like having my childhood best friend back in town for a weekend. We get to hang out, have fun, make new memories . . . and then we wait a year and do it again.
Mills, as I said, has done an amazing job stepping in for Flynn and taking over this series. So much so, in fact, that I truly cannot imagine the franchise without him. This time around (Mills’ sixth Rapp novel to date), Rapp is called on when an enemy from within takes down America’s power grid right before Christmas, plunging the United States into a stone age-like state.
Without electricity, people freeze to death. Others starve. The death rate soars, and within just a few weeks, it’s already the biggest catastrophe the United States has ever faced. Hope melts away, and panic—real panic—sets in as the whole world watches in horror as America crumbles.
But America has a secret weapon.
When the country goes dark, Mitch Rapp goes to work. And while he might not be able to restore the power on his own—Rapp sets out to find the individual behind the attack with two goals in mind: make them fix what they’ve done. Then make them pay for it.
For my money, Total Power is the best thriller of the year, and it’s not close. Like the characters in Mills’ book, 2020 has been hard for so many of us.
Maybe reading Mills’ book won’t inspire you to launch a website dedicated to all thing thriller, or name your kids have his characters, but I promise you this . . . dive into Total Power, and you’ll be thoroughly, helplessly entertained.
Need an escape from 2020? Here it is. Happy reading!
Note: If you’re a fan of Mitch Rapp, Vince Flynn, Kyle Mills, or just like talking about books, please join me as I host Kyle Mills for a virtual event this Saturday at Novel Bookstore in Memphis. Registration is free online, and open to everyone. We hope to see you there!