Vince Flynn’s Enemy at The Gates
Mitch Rapp Book 20
Atria/Emily Bestler Books
September 14th, 2021
Vince Flynn’s Enemy at The Gates by Kyle Mills brings back Mitch Rapp, Irene Kennedy, and Scott Coleman. There is no coincidence that the 20th book in the Mitch Rapp series coincides with the 20th anniversary of September 11th.
In this thriller, Rapp and Kennedy are dragged into a world where the lines between governments, multinational corporations, and the hyper-wealthy fade. An environment in which liberty, nationality, and loyalty are meaningless with only the pursuit of power remaining.
Mills has gone beyond just the Islamic threat. “The world has changed since Vince has gone. He would never imagine the divisions within the US. The threat profile is much more complex: China, an unfriendly competitor, Russia, an Internet troll, and the threat from within. I think at the time Vince was writing the fundamental threat was Islamic terrorism. Just like when Tom Clancy was writing the fundamental threat was the Soviets. Mitch sees the polarization in America where certain people root for America to have problems so they can use it against their foes.”
The book opens with a meeting between the new President, Anthony Cook, and CIA Director Irene Kennedy, who is very distrustful of him. Meanwhile, Mitch is contemplating his future realizing he is not getting any younger. He feels a strong draw to a quieter life with Claudia and Anna in South Africa, getting out of the CIA, and diving back into the world of competitive triathlons. But life does not go as planned. Irene asks him for his help after discovering evidence of a high-ranking mole scouring the Agency’s database for sensitive information on Nicholas Ward, the world’s first trillionaire. She asks Mitch and Scott to protect him and find the scientist Ward hired to develop a vaccine for all viruses. In the coming decades, Ward’s technologies will help make Saudi oil worthless. And along with Dr. David Chism, Ward hopes to transform health care worldwide. Ward is a menace to the general world order, and to Cook’s financial empire. With the help of the Saudis, President Cook and the First Lady hire the crazed Ugandan warlord Gideon Auma, aka God’s representative on Earth, to neutralize David Chism and stop the research. Cook and his wife will do anything in their power to rid themselves of Kennedy and Rapp who they see as an existential threat.
“I wrote this quote. ‘Power is like a drug. In the right dose it saves lives. Too much though, and it becomes deadly.’ And the other quote, ‘We give willingly to precisely the ones who shouldn’t have it.’ Washington does not reward loyalty and courage. Those who get the power are the ones that thirst for it the most. The goals of politicians are to create strife and not to solve any problems. We are to blame because we reward these people by voting them into power.”
President Cook is easy to hate and along with his wife, Catherine, they are a formable duo to challenge Mitch and Irene. They are both egotistical, self-centered, cunning, autocratic, and feel no loyalty to America’s institutions. Plus, they are distrustful of the influence Rapp and CIA director Irene Kennedy have in Washington.
‘Cook is Smart, charismatic, and ambitious. He uses the cracks in America’s democratic institutions to increase his own and his wife’s power and wealth. For the first time in their life, Mitch and Irene are working for a president who doesn’t like or trust them. In the next book it comes down to President Cook realizing that Irene and Mitch and Ward know what he did. It will be Mitch and Irene versus the President who has a lot of resources. My goal is to tie things up in the next book with the Cooks.”
This story has counterintelligence, geo-politics, wealthy individuals who want to change or at least influence the world order, and betrayal at the highest level. The last sixty pages are classic Vince Flynn: suspenseful, gripping. captivating, and riveting. This story does have somewhat of a cliff hanger, leaving readers to wonder what will happen next. But that is also classic Vince Flynn a la Separation of Power and Executive Power.