Mitch Rapp is back in Red War in what I believe to be Kyle Mills’ best work yet. A task I didn’t think was possible after my personal favorite Order to Kill since taking over writing duties in 2014 for the series. Red War starts off with the Russian President Maxim Krupin watching his country evolve into something a little more daring, something that just a few years ago would have been unthinkable. The “pampered” new generation is growing stronger and their numbers increasing while Krupin barely sees through blurred vision and the increasing waves of nausea he keeps experiencing literally force him to sit down as he loses his balance. All due to health issues he is forced to hide from his country, his government, even those closest to him as to not show any weakness they may be able to exploit. All of this to paint a desperate man utilizing drastic measures to cling to power.
Starting off with Grisha Azarov, the Russian super-soldier created by Kyle Mills in OTK returns and is quite a changed man. No longer is he taking performance enhancing drugs and training regularly, no longer is he a calculating killer we met in OTK. Still very dangerous, but clearly not in peak physical shape. Or I should say not in the peak physical shape he is used to. Once in the book, due to all the events that have occurred, Grisha is questioning his ability to operate. Mitch is trying to get to the bottom of it, attempting to see if this is pure mental drawback or if he is truly lacking in the physical arena. So, Mitch asks him something along the lines of… “What are we talking about here, Grisha. Could you still run a marathon? Grisha responds with “Of Course.” “How fast?” Mitch asks. Grisha does his terminator thing and calculates a precise time that is literally 50% faster than the average time of U.S. marathon runs in 2016, and 13 minutes slower than the current marathon record holder. (yes, I googled that for this review). Suffice to say, he is still one of the top operators in the world and I look forward to more of Grisha Azarov in future Mitch Rapp thrillers.
Now, on to the main guy, Mitch. Kyle does a wonderful job keeping the attention on him and keeping our favorite American Assassin at the top of his game. In Red War, we get to see Mitch do something he hasn’t done in a very long time. He goes toe-to-toe with a very strong adversary, and our hero does not disappoint. All that training we read about so long ago in American Assassin, then mentioned briefly again in Act of Treason, his skills are still there, and Kyle does not disappoint. His humor, his tactics, his training are all explored and there is absolutely no sign of him slowing down any time soon.
Irene Kennedy is of course back, and she deserves a shout out due to a very impressive spy maneuver she executes that I did not see coming. When I am reading, there is nothing more fulfilling then being surprised in a scene. Kyle manages to do that quite a few times in Red War, however one of the most surprising scenes involve Irene visiting a traveling Russian politician in his hotel room.
Red War is a fast moving, action filled thriller that takes us from the jungles of Costa Rica, to the beaches in Latvia, to the dangerous terrains in Russia’s mountainous no man’s land while delivering constant surprises, action, and suspense. Kyle Mills has once again delivered what I believe to be this year’s number one thriller. Pre-order your copy today and set aside a day, this is one of those must-read thrillers that you cannot put down and must finish in one sitting.
Author: Kyle Mills
Series: Mitch Rapp #17
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Release Date: September 25th, 2018
Lima Charlie Review Rating: 10/10
Reviewed by: Slaven Tomasi of Lima Charlie Editing & Reviews