Ranking The Best of Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp Books (Updated)

In the late 1990s, when Vince Flynn published his first book featuring counter-terrorism hero, Mitch Rapp, few could have predicted the series would go on to spawn 24 novels (and counting) as well as movie adaptations. After Flynn died far too young at age 47, having completed 13 novels, the series continued through author Kyle Mills, who wrote nine additional Mitch Rapp books (some of which are on this list and rank among the best in the series). The Rapp character was finally brought to big screen in 2017 with American Assassin, an adaption of Flynn’s bestselling novel of the same name.

Now, The Mitch Rapp series enters a new era with Don Bentley, whose novel Capture or Kill will hit shelves later this year. Prior to taking over the Mitch Rapp series from Kyle Mills, Bentley’s bestsellers included work from the Tom Clancy series and the Matt Drake series. Long live Mitch Rapp.

Here’s our take on the best Mitch Rapp books so far.

#1 – American Assassin

Vince Flynn American AssassinHere, we get a Mitch Rapp prequel – essentially the story of how Rapp was trained and other events leading up to the Beruit Embassy bombing of 1983.

There are scenes featuring Rapp and a psychologist that have the potential to flesh out Rapp’s character, during which Rapp has the opportunity to define patriotism, revenue, retribution, and more.

Before he was considered a CIA superagent, before he was thought of as a terrorist’s worst nightmare, and before he was both loathed and admired by the politicians on Capitol Hill, Mitch Rapp was a gifted college athlete without a care in the world.

And then tragedy struck.

Two decades of cutthroat, partisan politics has left the CIA and the country in an increasingly vulnerable position.

Cold War veteran and CIA Operations Director Thomas Stansfield knows he must prepare his people for the next war.

The rise of Islamic terrorism is coming, and it needs to be met abroad before it reaches America’s shores.

Stansfield directs his protégée, Irene Kennedy, and his old Cold War colleague, Stan Hurley, to form a new group of clandestine operatives who will work outside the normal chain of command—men who do not exist.

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#2 – Code Red (Kyle Mills) 


Kyle Mills’ ninth Mitch Rapp book takes the series into Syria.

Mitch Rapp hates owing anyone a favor—especially when it’s the world’s most powerful crime lord.

But when DamiCode Red a Mitch Rapp book by Kyle Millsan Losa calls, Mitch is honor bound to answer.

The Syrian government has created a highly addictive new narcotic that it plans to distribute throughout Europe. It’s a major threat to Losa’s business and he’s determined to stop it by any means necessary.

Rapp is the perfect choice for the mission. Not only does he have extensive experience operating in the Middle East, but he’s also entirely expendable.

As he crosses into war-torn Syria, Rapp quickly discovers a shocking truth.

The new drug isn’t being produced by Damascus to prop up the government’s collapsing finances.

Instead, it was created by Russia’s asymmetrical warfare unit as a weapon against the West.

With far more than Damian Losa’s interests at stake, Rapp devises a desperate plan that forces him and his team onto a battlefield where the United States is virtually powerless, and allegiances shift almost hourly.

Further, if Russia uncovers their plot, it will set off a confrontation between the two countries that could change the course of history.

As of press time, Code Red as a whopping 16,000 ratings on Amazon.com. Nice work, Mr. Mills.



#3 – Enemy of the State (Kyle Mills)

Vince Flynn Enemy of the StateAfter 9/11, the United States made one of the most secretive and dangerous deals in its history. The evidence against the powerful Saudis who coordinated the attack would be buried. In return, King Faisal would promise to keep the oil flowing and deal with the conspirators in his midst.

When the king’s own nephew is discovered funding ISIS, the president suspects that the Saudis never intended to live up to their agreement. He decides that the royalty needs to be sent a message and that Mitch Rapp is just the man to deliver it. The catch? America can’t be seen moving against an ally. Rapp will be on his own. Forced to make a decision that will change his life forever, Rapp quits the CIA and assembles a group of independent contractors to help him complete the mission.

They’ve barely begun unraveling the connections between the Saudi government and ISIS when the brilliant new head of the intelligence directorate discovers their efforts. With Rapp getting too close, he threatens to go public with the details of the post-9/11 agreement between the two countries.

Facing an international incident that could end his political career, the President orders America’s intelligence agencies to join the Saudis’ effort to hunt the former CIA man down.

Rapp, supported only by a team of mercenaries with dubious allegiances, finds himself at the center of the most elaborate manhunt in history. It’s only a matter of time before he’s caught or killed. Will it be enough to turn the tables on the Saudis and clear his name?

You already know the answer to that question. Still, the journey is well worth taking. Read it.

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#4 – Transfer of Power

Transfer of Power - a Mitch Rapp Novel On a busy Washington morning, amid the shuffle of tourists and the brisk rush of government officials, the stately calm of the White House is shattered in a hail of gunfire.

A group of terrorists has descended on the Executive Mansion, and gained access by means of a violent massacre that has left dozens of innocent bystanders murdered.

Through the quick actions of the Secret Service, the president is evacuated to his underground bunker, but not before almost one hundred hostages are taken. 

While the politicians and the military leaders argue over how to negotiate with the terrorists, one man is sent in to break through the barrage of panicked responses and political agendas surrounding the chaotic crisis.

Mitch Rapp, the CIA’s top counterterrorism operative, makes his way into the White House and soon discovers that the president is not as safe as Washington’s power elite had thought.

Moving stealthily among the corridors and secret passageways of the White House, stepping terrifyingly close to the enemy, Rapp scrambles to save the hostages before the terrorists can extract the president from the safety of his bunker.

In a race against time, Rapp makes a chilling discovery that could rock Washington to its core: someone within his own government is maneuvering in hopes that his rescue attempt will fail.

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#5 – Memorial Day

Vince Flynn memorial dayThis entry features Flynn at his best.

Illustrating in vivid detail how a nuclear weapon might be smuggled into the U.S., Flynn meticulously details how terrorists might plan to detonate it during Memorial Day celebrations in Washington D.C.

Rapp is in top form here, second guessing even the President in convincing manner to ensure that America can sleep well at night.

Fearless counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp is called upon to fight against the world’s most deadly terrorists in this harrowing political thriller

It’s just seven days before Memorial Day, and the nation’s capital is buzzing with last-minute preparations for the unveiling of the magnificent new memorial honoring the men and women who fought in World War II.

Despite the hopeful energy of the city, Mitch Rapp senses trouble.

A spike in CIA intelligence has pointed to a major terrorist attack on the United States.

Now it’s up to Rapp to pull out all the stops. 

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#6) Enemy at the Gates

Enemy at the Gates - a Mitch Rapp book

Mitch Rapp, the CIA’s top operative, searches for a high-level mole with the power to rewrite the world order in this riveting thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Vince Flynn, written by Kyle Mills.

Mitch Rapp has worked for several presidents over his career, but Anthony Cook is unlike any he’s encountered before.

Cunning and autocratic, he feels no loyalty to America’s institutions and is distrustful of the influence Rapp and CIA director Irene Kennedy have in Washington.

When Kennedy discovers evidence of a mole scouring the Agency’s database for sensitive information on Nicholas Ward, the world’s first trillionaire, she assigns Rapp the task of protecting him.

In doing so, he finds himself walking an impossible tightrope: Keep the man alive, but also use him as bait to uncover a traitor who has seemingly unlimited access to government secrets.

As the attacks on Ward become increasingly dire, 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.

Only the pursuit of power remains.




#7 – Consent to Kill

Vince Flynn's Consent to Kill
Vince Flynn’s Consent to Kill

This Rapp outing features Flynn’s crispest writing to date, made all that much more intriguing by the 20 million dollar bounty put on Rapp’s head that makes him the hunted rather than the hunted.

Not for long, however, as Rapp goes on the offensive. Even hardcore Rapp haters may find this one irresistible.

For years, Mitch Rapp’s bold actions have saved the lives of countless Americans.

He has killed with impunity, tortured to avert disaster, and shown he will do whatever it takes to prevent terrorists from fulfilling their bloody wishes.

His battles for peace and freedom have made him a hero to many, and an enemy to countless more. In the tangled, duplicitous world of espionage, there are those, even among America’s allies, who want to see Mitch Rapp eliminated.

They have decided the time has come. 

Now, the powerful father of a dead terrorist demands vengeance in its simplest form — an eye for an eye, and Rapp instantly becomes the target of an international conspiracy.

This time, he must use all of his vigilance and determination to save himself before he can turn his fury on those who have dared to betray him.

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#8 – Kill Shot

Kill Shot book cover by Vince Flynn

Flynn’s second installment in the Mitch Rapp series is a classic.

In the year since the CIA trained and then unleashed him, Mitch Rapp has been steadily working his way through a list of men, bullet by bullet.

With each swift and untraceable kill, the tangled network of monsters responsible for the slaughter of 270 civilians in the Pan Am Lockerbie attack become increasingly aware that someone is hunting them.

Rapp’s latest target takes him to Paris but in the split second it takes the bullet to leave Rapp’s silenced pistol, everything changes.

The tables have turned, and Rapp finds himself brutally outnumbered.

In the same instant, he has become a liability.

Operating on his own and outside the control of his handlers, it soon becomes clear that nothing is more dangerous than a wounded and cornered man. Because if anyone can survive and come out on top, no matter whom he must kill to get there, it’s Mitch Rapp.

Enjoy as Rapp finds himself in the fight of his life.

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#9 – The Last Man

Vince FlynnJoe Rickman, head of CIA clandestine operations in Afghanistan, has been kidnapped. His four bodyguards are executed in cold blood.

But Mitch Rapp’s experience and nose for the truth make him wonder if something even more sinister isn’t afoot.

Irene Kennedy, director of the CIA, has dispatched him to Afghanistan to find Rickman at all costs.

Rapp, however, isn’t the only one looking for Rickman.

The FBI is too.

It quickly becomes apparent that they’re less concerned with finding Rickman than placing the blame on Rapp. 

With CIA operations in crisis, Rapp must be as ruthless and deceitful as his enemies if he has any hope of finding Rickman and completing his mission.

But with elements within his own government working against both him and American interests, will Rapp be stopped dead before he can succeed?

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#10 – The Survivor (Kyle Mills)

Vince Flynn - The SurvivorJoseph “Rick” Rickman, former boy wonder at the CIA, stole a massive amount of top secret and hugely compromising intel concerning classified operations all over the world, offering it (and himself) to the Pakistani secret forces.

Only his plans went awry when CIA director Irene Kennedy sent Mitch Rapp to hunt him down.

It turns out that killing Rickman didn’t solve anything.

In fact, the nightmare is only intensifying.

Rickman stored the potentially devastating data (CIA assets, operatives, agents) somewhere only he knew.

Somehow, from beyond the grave, he still poses a mortal threat to America.

Now it’s a deadly race as both the Pakistanis and the Americans search for Rickman’s accomplices and the information they are slowly leaking to the world.

Will Rapp outrun and outthink his enemies, or will the Pakistanis find it first and hold America hostage to their dream of becoming the world’s new nuclear superpower?

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Mitch Rapp Series Books in Order of Publication

Vince Flynn
Transfer of Power (1999)
The Third Option (2000)
Separation of Power (2001)
Executive Power (2003)
Memorial Day (2004)
Consent to Kill (2005)
Act of Treason (2006)
Protect and Defend (2007)
Extreme Measures (2008)
Pursuit of Honor (2009)
American Assassin (2010)
Kill Shot (2012)
The Last Man (2012)
Kyle Mills
The Survivor (2015)
Order to Kill (2016)
Enemy of the State (2017)
Red War  (2018)
Lethal Agent (2019)
Total Power (2020)
Enemy at the Gates (2021)
Oath of Loyalty (2022)
Code Red (2023)
Don Bentley 
Capture or Kill  (2024)

Bella Wright

Bella Wright blogs about books, film and media.

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