Review: The Survivor – Vince Flynn with Kyle Mills

the-survivor-vince-flynn-kyle-mills5 of 5 stars

Series: Mitch Rapp 15

My version: Paperback
Fiction Thriller, terrorism
Simon & Schuster

Joseph ‘Rick’ Rickman, former boy wonder of the CIA, stole top secret intel concerning classified operations all over the world, offering it (and himself) to the Pakistani secret forces. His plan ended when CIA Director Irene Kennedy sent Mitch Rapp to hunt him down. Or so the CIA thought. In fact, the nightmare is only beginning – Rickman stored the devastating data somewhere only he knew and Mitch Rapp must now race against time to retrieve it first…

First off, this is a lovely looking book, the paperback. Fits in with the rest of the series, but looks fresh (as it is in a sense) and feels lovely. Typography alone sold me on it. Continues with the ‘one man’ theme too, which is good. Especially when you have them all lined up on your bookshelf. And when you look at some of the dog’s dinners the Americans have had to suffer…

There is something that needs to be addressed – Rapp is no fun. At all. He has a one-track mind. Describing it as ‘determination’ works only so far. He’s been the ‘one man wrecking crew’ for so long, he believes it is the only way to be. There is one (extremely) funny/witty aside here, and it really goes to highlight the fun-free zone Rapp is. OK, you can argue that he needs to focus, that his role and the time we’re with him in the book, means he needs to be totally focussed, so we don’t get to see the ‘fun’ side of him, that happens off-camera. But even so, there’s absolutely no sign that that side of him exists. This really needs to be introduced, and soon. Even thinking back to when he was with his wife, they weren’t exactly carefree and laughing. Nowadays, he’s more Neanderthal than man. You do bad. Me kill you. We don’t need Roger Moore/Bond-type quips (which are rubbish, ‘oohh, I’m glad I have my corset on for I fear my sides have split’ anyway), but we need something more to help Rapp become a fully rounded, flesh and blood character. That can be Kyle Mills’ job.

Having said all that, when you get to the end, presumably the part Mills was solely responsible for – well, see if I’m right or I’m right.

The recent volumes have been perhaps more closely linked than the early books. Not that you’re left on a cliff-hanger, but there is a lot of unfinished business and leads into the next one at the end of each last one. Kyle Mills seems to think we need bringing up to speed a little more often than Vince Flynn ever did and that needs to be curtailed. Maybe it was to show that while he may be the new guy, Mitch Rapp is still how we want him. As a writer, I can’t imagine Mills will let that happen too often and (having already read the next one), I can confirm he is further developing Rapp, true to Vince Flynn’s intentions, but maybe with a little Kyle Mills thrown in the mix.

So, this is probably a book that Vince Flynn either started, or mapped out and Kyle Mills was brought in to finish, or worked with Vince Flynn as his cancer got worse. I’ll miss Vince Flynn tremendously. I heard about American Assassin, read the blurb, thought this is for me, just the way I like them and got the lot bought. VF is a cut above just about everything I’ve read in this genre. As someone who works on a Cancer ward every day, I can tell you, it’s hard to see people with Cancer and know there’s pretty much nothing anyone can do. Fill them full of poison and cross your fingers. I didn’t buy the books out of any kind of sympathy, but I’m so glad I did, I’m so glad I was here, alive, at the same time as Vince Flynn. You’ll be missed, Vince.

You can buy The Survivor from

Related reviews on Speesh Reads:

American Assassinthe-last-man-vince-flynn


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