Lethal Agent, a “Vince Flynn” novel by Kyle Mills
Mitch Rapp saves the world. It’s a familiar theme. Vince Flynn died 16 years ago, but the publisher has continued to crank out Mitch Rapp stories written by Kyle Mills. This installment is at times exciting and fun to read (or in my case listen to), despite the fact that Lethal Agent is not a very original plot. The story starts off right where the last Mitch Rapp thriller finished, with the mastermind of ISIS, Sayid Hallabi, who “died” at the end of the last book, crawling out of a dusty cave and hatching a new plan to destroy Western Society. This time, it’s a mutant virus (again, not an original idea), and only Mitch and his crack fighting force can thwart the destruction of the world as we know it. Mitch battles battalions of terrorists and drug cartel soldiers single-handedly, escapes from impossible perils, and walks unarmed into the lion’s den to thwart the evil Arab from smuggling the lethal agent into the U.S.
Along the way, the author spends a lot of time (really, a LOT of time) expounding on the sad state of American politics, the weakness of Western leaders, the moral decay of the U.S. population, and in general the barren future we all face on planet earth. Mitch does some soul-searching about whether he really wants to risk his life to save this degrading country (he does). There are the usual politicians in Washington who care only about their own election or power and not really about protecting the American People or bettering society. The media is corrupt, the military and CIA are powerless to prevent the pansy/corrupt politicians from making a mess of everything, etc. Only Mitch and his crew have a true moral compass, and the means to protect everyone else.
It would be a big yawn, except that Mr. Mills splices in enough action sequences and movie-hero stunts and gun battles to keep us interested. Sure, Mitch is a cartoonish super-hero figure, but darn it, he’s fun to read about. I’d watch this movie, even though nothing about it would be surprising and the social commentary is pretty ordinary. Trying to make this installment of the Mitch Rapp series more introspective and serious by throwing in a lot of politics is a good way to stretch out the book to an appropriate length, but in the end it’s another chapter in the serial, and it frankly would be better without so much filler. But even as it stands, it’s a fun and entertaining read. Don’t think too much.
One note about the narrator, George Guidall. He has done Mitch Rapp before, and he has a staccato delivery that works with the subject matter. Sometimes the semi-mumbling speech pattern gets annoying, but that’s Mitch we’re annoyed with, not the narrator. The voices and pacing make it very easy to listen to in the car (where I do most of mine). Very high marks for him. I’m not sure the experience would have been tolerable with a lesser voice behind the microphone.