Posts Tagged Vince Flynn

John Talks about Vince Flynn and Kyle Mills and the Mitch Rapp Series

John Talks about Vince Flynn and Kyle Mills and the Mitch Rapp Series

Vince FlynnJohn talks about one of his favorite authors (Vince Flynn) and series (Mitch Rapp), and Kyle Mills, the new writer of the series.

Book synopsis for The Survivor:

A blistering novel that picks up where The Last Man left off, The Survivor is a no-holds-barred race to save America…and Mitch Rapp’s finest battle.

When Joe “Rick” Rickman, a former golden boy of the CIA, (more…)

John reminisces about his first conversation with Kyle Mills.

John reminisces about his first conversation with Kyle Mills.

Kyle Mills

I first met Kyle Mills in the late 90s. It was a sunny afternoon, and we sat outside at a Portland Starbucks. He was a new author, and I a new bookseller. As he signed our stock I learned about his amazing story. His first book, RISING PHOENIX, is the story of a maverick FBI agent, who races the clock against someone who is poisoning the narcotics supply. The story is a great first book, but it is the jacket that will capture your attention first. The entire back cover is an endorsement by one of Kyle’s father’s best friends – Tom Clancy. Yep, that Tom Clancy.

In addition to nearly a dozen of his own thrillers, Kyle has written two Covert-One novels picking up the Robert Ludlum bestselling series with THE ARES DECISION and THE UTOPIA EXPERIMENT. A third book, THE PATRIOT ATTACK, releases September 29th.

When Vince Flynn died in 2013 fans feared that his passing would be the end for Mitch Rapp, but the CIA bad ass wouldn’t go away quietly. In fact he is a SURVIVOR, and Kyle Mills is the one who is keeping this character fresh and exciting, as Rapp continues to out think and outrun America’s sworn enemies.

Kyle Mills has some common background. As he tells it, “Even Mitch and I share a little history. If you recall, he joined the CIA in reaction to the love of his life dying in Pan Am 103. My father was the FBI’s lead man in the investigation of that terrorist attack. In fact, it happened during my college graduation dinner in London where he was stationed at the time. His assistant came to the restaurant and told him that a plane had gone down in a small Scottish town. That was the last I saw of him for months.”

The Survivor by Kyle MillsTHE SURVIVOR picks up right where THE LAST MAN left off, and Mills has matched Flynn’s style and voice, gracefully capturing the nuances of Mitch Rapp’s character. I am sure that this book would make Vince Flynn proud – and we can’t help but wonder where Mitch’s story goes next.

Good reading,

John

The Dagger of the Assassin

The Dagger of the Assassin

DaggerThe assassin seems to have been edging his way into the suspense genre for some time now, wrapped in a dark mystique and lurking in the pages of political thrillers, epic and urban fantasy, and even young adult titles. Using what some may deem morally reprehensible processes or tactics they practice the grey areas of their profession, taking out enemies and assorted bad guys leaving minimal collateral damage. We quickly find ourselves drawn to the anti-hero or sympathetic villain, who must do what needs to be done, without the slightest concern for personal welfare – their duty to god and country, or the higher calling always comes first. Operating in the shadows, these are the characters that draw us in, capturing our imaginations.

“Assassin” has different meanings. Maybe it those who kill powerful people for political, religious, or even moral reasons, sometimes doing the world a service. However, in most fantasy literature, an assassin is a person who kills people for money, some practicing a distorted code of right and wrong – others totally free of such entanglements.

The origins of the assassin can be traced back to just before the First Crusade, around 1080, their history preserved within European sources such as the writings of Marco Polo, where they are depicted as trained killers, responsible for the systematic elimination of opposing figures. With origins with the Nizari branch of the Muslims, these “assassins” were renowned as militant fanatics, fully committed to carry out every request of their leaders.

As I explored this topic I was shocked how prevalent the assassin’s role seems to be in the books on our shelves. Nearly 50 books actually have the word assassin in the title – Ted Bell’s ASSASSIN, Larry Bond’s SOUL OF THE ASSASSIN, Stephen Coonts’ THE ASSASSIN, Barry Eisler’s THE LAST ASSASSIN and REQUIEM FOR AN ASSASSIN, Robert Ferrigno’s trilogy – HEART, PRAYERS, and SINS OF THE ASSASSIN, Brad Meltzer’s THE FIFTH ASSASSIN, THE ETHICAL ASSASSIN by David Liss, and of course Vince Flynn’s classic THE AMERICAN ASSASSIN, and many more.

However, many more assassin lay hidden inside the covers of such books as the GREY MAN novels by Mark Greaney (GREY MAN, BALLISTIC, and DEAD EYE), David Baldacci’s Will Robie Series (THE INNOCENT, THE HIT, and THE TARGET), THE BUTCHER’S BOY, SLEEPING DOGS and THE INFORMANT by Thomas Perry, and who can forget Jack Coughlin’s sniper Kyle Swanson – the latest and seventh in the series being ON SCOPE, but the consummate man behind the gun is none other than Stephen Hunter’s “Bob the Nailer” Bob Lee Swagger – POINT OF IMPACT, BLACK LIGHT, TIME TO HUNT, THE 47TH SAMURAI, NIGHT OF THUNDER, I SNIPER, DEAD ZERO, THE THIRD BULLET and SNIPER’S HONOR.

Power Down Ben CoesBen Coes burst onto the scene IN 2010, introducing us to Dewey Andreas in POWER DOWN, followed by COUP D’ETAT, THE LAST REFUGE and EYE FOR AN EYE. Scot Harvath is the creation of Brad Thor. Harvath is a secret service agent, ex-navy seal, and big time ass kicker. It all started with THE LIONS OF LUCERNE back in 2002, followed PATH OF THE ASSASSIN, STATE OF THE UNION, BLOWBACK, TAKEDOWN, THE FIRST COMMANDMENT, THE LAST PATRIOT, THE APOSTLE, FOREIGN INFLUENCE, THE ATHENA PROJECT, FULL BLACK, BLACK LIST, HIDDEN ORDER and ACTS OF WAR. The Thor Scott Harvath series has recently been reproduced in three volume collector’s editions.

Assassination is one of the oldest tools of power struggles between nations or political opponents, as well as the expressed method of terror by certain psychopathic orders. During the Cold War, the U.S. attempted several times to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan supported an order that stated, “No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.”

However, in 1986, Reagan ordered an attack on the barracks where Muammar al-Gaddafi was known to be sleeping. Since the rise of al-Qaeda, all US administrations have backed “targeted killings.” In May of 2011 an operation, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, was carried out in a Central Intelligence Agency-led operation resulting in the death of Osama bin Laden.

Does art imitate life or vice versa – you be the judge – there is plenty to read!

John

Spy vs. Spy

Spy vs. Spy

John le CarreWhen the cold war ended and the last spy came in from the cold, it was predicted that the espionage novel would fade with the “duck and cover” films. No longer were we under the constant threat of annihilation – we were finally free from the fear of nuclear war, and our way of life seemed secure. So did the spies created by John le Carré, Frederick Forsyth, and the rest of those who so skillfully managed the genre disappear from the literary scene? The answer is a resounding no. The world, as it turns out, isn’t safe after all.

A new kind of threat emerged and the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich was where it was born. A Palestinian group calling themselves Black September took 11 members of the Israeli Olympic Team hostage and eventually killed them. Terrorism was born that dark day in Germany, and we have watched it spread throughout the world, eventually landing on our own shores.

Since that time our enemies have taken many names – PLO, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Hamas, and now Isis have grabbed the headlines, all state-sponsored terrorist groups with the expressed objective to destroy the West, its allies and its influence. In recent days Isis, a self-declared Islamic State that has seized over a third of Iraq, has boldly executed US trained Iraqi defense forces, destroyed religious sites including Jonah’s tomb, ordered the genital mutilation of all women between the ages of 11 and 46, and ordered all Christians to convert, leave or die.

In a world turned upside down a new breed of thriller writers emerged, establishing a new genre replete with 21st century characters shaped to meet the challenges of this new threat, a threat with a growing arsenal of weapons and tactics each intended to use violence against civilians. Ken Follett, Robert Littell, Robert Ludlum, and Tom Clancy took the lead in introducing us to this new era of thrillers, soon followed by Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, and of course, Daniel Silva.

Jason MatthewsJason Matthews, a 33-year veteran of the C.I.A. who “served in multiple overseas locations and engaged in clandestine collection of national-security intelligence” arrived with RED SPARROW, turning his considerable knowledge of espionage into a startling debut.

I AM PILGRIM is the best spy novel I have read in ten years – written by Terry Hayes. The first novel by Hayes, a filmmaker with a huge resume with Mad Max, the Road Warrior, and Beyond Thunderdome to his credit, is sure to follow with many more installments.

 

American Assassin Matthew PalmerMatthew Palmer is a twenty-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, currently serving as political counselor at the American Embassy in Belgrade. His recent debut, THE AMERICAN MISSION, is a top notch political thrill ride that delves into very complicated world of central African politics.

As a long time fan of the spy novel – Matt Damon was only ten years old when I first read The Bourne Identity – I have followed the genre’s transit to its current form with more than casual observation. The new breed of thriller writer has incredible style, an authentic voice, bringing to life characters that demonstrate reckless courage in the face of overwhelming odds. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

John

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