Kyle Mills is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-two political thrillers, including Enemy at the Gates, Total Power, and Lethal Agent for Vince Flynn and The Patriot Attack for Robert Ludlum. He initially found inspiration from his father, an FBI agent and former Interpol director, and still draws on his contacts in the intelligence community to give his books such realism. Avid outdoor athletes and travelers, he and his wife split their time between Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Granada, Spain.
Q: How did the inspiration for this story’s theme of asymmetrical warfare come about?
Kyle: 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.
Q: Why did you choose Russia as the adversary in this story instead of China?
Kyle: 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.
Q: You decided not to continue the storyline from where the last book ended. Could you explain why?
Kyle: 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.
Q: Could you elaborate on the quote about Mitch being Kennedy’s right hand for decades, and how losing him might be a fatal blow to her?
Kyle: 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 into the politicization of the intelligence community and the regular government.
Q: In the context of your story, would you say Syria is depicted as a narco-state?
Kyle: Because of Western policy they are starved of money so the Assad regime has a criminal enterprise to make money to control the country.
Q: Can you describe the character Losa in your book?
Kyle: 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.
Q: How would you characterize Semenov in the narrative?
Kyle: 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.
Q: Since this is your final installment in the Rapp series, what are your future plans?
Kyle: 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.
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.