Review: Vince Flynn’s Enemy of the State – A Mitch Rapp Novel by Kyle Mills

enemy-of-the-state-9781471157752_hrWhen the CIA learns that the nephew of the King of Saudi Arabia is funding an impending ISIS attack on American soil, US President Josh Alexander finds himself unable to officially act. Nonetheless determined to retaliate, he calls upon legendary operative Mitch Rapp for a blacker-than-black mission to assassinate Prince Talal bin Musaid. If he accepts the mission, Rapp would need to cut all ties with the agency and his allies, and utilise the criminal contacts of his partner / lover Claudia to accomplish his objective. Failure would result in Rapp being disavowed, left to fend for himself. The safety blanket he has benefited from during his two decades as a counter-terrorism agent would be ripped out from under him. Rapp would be alone, and on the run, a target of worldwide intelligence services. You got it: he would be an — [insert audible gasp] — enemy of the state. Hardly a tantalising proposition, but this is Mitch Rapp we’re talking about, the equivalent of Britain’s James Bond, whose dedication to the protection of his country circumvents any concern for personal safety. Naturally he accepts the President’s clandestine mission.

 

Enemy of State is the sixteenth Mitch Rapp thriller, the third penned by Kyle Mills, who took over from Vince Flynn following the author’s death, and readers who’ve enjoyed the previous fifteen novels will find much to enjoy here. The action comes thick and fast, and while there’s never any doubt as to who’s in the right and who’s in the wrong, there’s always something thrilling about seeing a long-running protagonist cut loose and abandoned by his allies. Trouble is, that particular plot thread — an outcast Mitch Rapp — isn’t utilised to its fullest extent. The manhunt for Rapp could’ve — and in my opinion, should’ve — been prolonged, and it would’ve been exciting to see Rapp face up against former friends. Unfortunately that must remain the stuff of fan fiction. Instead, Rapp’s enemy status serves only to convolute his search for the prince; it plays an important factor in proceedings, of course, but it feels a tad under cooked.

 

Enemy of the State is good entertainment for readers with a penchant for fast-paced thrills, with enough evildoers left over to ensure Mitch Rapp’s return. Will satisfy fans —and newcomers, too.

 

ISBN: 9781471157752
Format: Paperback (234mm x 153mm x mm)
Pages: 400
Imprint: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Publish Date: 7-Sep-2017
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Review: Dead Lions by Mick Herron

dead-lionsSlough House — a disregarded echelon of MI5 — is comprised of disgraced and incompetent agents, who are assigned an endless supply of demeaning and feckless tasks in an effort to wear them down until the pull the pin on their careers. Ruled by the legendary Jackson Lamb — possibly the most abominable protagonist to have ever been spotlighted in espionage fiction —  the inhabitants of Slough House are skilled operators, whose vices and mistakes have demolished whatever usefulness they might have to the service. But when a former agent, Dickie Bow, is found dead on a London bus, Lamb and his subordinates take it upon themselves to investigate. Bow’s final text message — “cicadas” — has ominous repercussions:  it signifies the awakening of a sleeper cell of foreign agents, which dates back to the Cold War. Suddenly, Lamb’s Slow Horses are in a race against against time to determine their enemy’s target, and stop it from taking place.

Slow Horses was a remarkable spy novel, and this second in the series, Dead Lions, is a fine sequel. With the pieces already set up on the board, Mick Herron wastes no time in thrusting readers into a whirlwind, multi-stranded plot, which is orchestrated with Bach-like precision. Herron’s stories have the same complexity as Le Carre’s, but are written with the economy of Richard Stark, and this combination makes for an incredibly page-turning read. There is a large cast of characters involved, but each are fleshed out, and boast distinctive personalities; a rarity in this genre, when one could easily swap out James Bond for Jason Bourne, or Sean Dillon, or Jack Ryan, and not really notice any discernible difference.

Mick Herron has breathed new lie into the landscape of the espionage novel. I haven’t breezed through a series of books this quickly in a long, long time. As I write this, I’ve started the third novel, Real Tigers, and may well dig into Herron’s other novels while I wait for Spook Street in February.

ISBN: 9781473641112
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 129mm x 23mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: John Murray Publishers Ltd
Publisher: John Murray General Publishing Division
Publish Date: 8-Sep-2016
Country of Publication: United Kingdom