Vince Flynn’s Code Red
Mitch Rapp Book 22
Sept 12th, 2023
Vince Flynn’s Code Red by Kyle Mills is the last Mitch Rapp story this author will write. He is departing the Vince Flynn world and will be replaced by Don Bentley. Since he took over writing the series in 2015, Mills has written nine bestsellers including this one.
The plot begins with drug lord, Damian Losa, calling in a marker owed to him by Mitch Rapp after he helped save the life of Mitch’s girlfriend, Claudia. Now Mitch must go it alone into Syria as an emissary for Losa. The mission is to gather intelligence on a new drug being produced and distributed, encroaching on Losa’s domain. Unable to use the CIA resources, Mitch is still able to discover that the new drug is not being produced by Syria but was created by Russia’s asymmetrical warfare, hoping to use it as a weapon against the West.
After Vince died a new era was created by Kyle Mills. Fans of the Mitch Rapp universe will be sorry to see Kyle Mills no longer the keeper but look forward to seeing what Don Bentley has in store.
Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for this story?
Kyle Mills: I am interested in asymmetrical warfare. Conventional warfare is not profitable. Russia is good in mucking around in other countries business by doing assassinations, interfering in elections, and bribing officials. They got a good bang for their buck. I thought what weaknesses Russia can exploit and came up with the drug trade.
EC: Why didn’t you make the enemy China?
KM: I don’t think they were involved in asymmetrical warfare to the degree the Russians have. I wanted Mitch Rapp to be in an Arab setting because that is where he operates best. I do not think the Chinese have it in for the US the way the Russians do.
EC: Why didn’t you pick this book up where the last one left off?
KM: I did not want to leave the next author with a strong arc that they might not be interested in. I thought this was more like the old school Mitch Rapp stories where he is working within an Arab country, kicking some a- -, and in the end he comes home not sure where he is going from here. I wanted to leave basically a blank page. I kept the main supporting characters for Mitch: Irene, Claudia, Anna, and Scott. Don can expand that world however he wants to.
EC: Can you explain this quote, about Mitch, “He has been Kennedy’s operational right hand for decades. Losing him would be a significant blow to her, maybe even a fatal one.”
KM: I was referring more to the fact that the previous President Cook and the First Lady had all these allies in the intelligence community who opposed Irene. These people who admired dictators are still there. Irene is now at the helm and does not know who to trust. Yet, Mitch is still someone people are afraid of so they would think twice about crossing Irene. It delves the politization of the intelligence community and the regular government.
EC: Is Syria really a narco state?
KM: Because of Western policy they are starved of money so the Assad regime has a criminal enterprise to make money to control the country.
EC: How would you describe Losa?
KM: He is kind of like a dark reflection of Irene Kennedy. He is Irene Kennedy if she had no morals or loyalty. He does not care about anyone else.
EC: How would you describe Semenov?
KM: I do not like Russians because they are the vandals of the world. He represents those who want to destroy everyone around the Russians by any means necessary. He has an inferiority complex. He is incredibly destructive. He could have been a brilliant guy but wants to screw the West.
Elise Cooper: Since this is your last Rapp book what are you going to do?
Kyle Mills: I am going to work on a series I want to resurrect. It will be a sequel of a book I wrote, titled Fade. It has the most beloved character I ever wrote. He gets shot and died, but now I figured out a way he could have survived. I thought about this character for ten years now. I wanted to revise him, and this seemed like a good time. I am writing it now. I just wrote a proposal on it and gave it to my agent.