Vince Flynn Books in Order – Mitch Rapp Series In Order

When it comes to the Vince Flynn books in order for his Mitch Rapp novels, I would strongly say that reading them in order should be required, but more on that a bit further down.

Here is the Mitch Rapp series in order by the American author Vince Flynn and then Kyle Mills. The publication order is a bit different in that 2 books were written much later in the series, however, they are actually prequels, as they depict a young Mitch, just getting his job and starting his first assignments.

New Mitch Rapp Books

Code Red
Code Red, (Mitch Rapp #22), 2023

Mitch Rapp Series in Publication Order

  1. Transfer of Power, 1999
  2. The Third Option, 2000
  3. Separation Of Power, 2001
  4. Executive Power, 2002
  5. Memorial Day, 2004
  6. Consent to Kill, 2005
  7. Act of Treason, 2006
  8. Protect and Defend, 2007
  9. Extreme Measures, 2008
  10. Pursuit of Honor, 2009
  11. American Assassin, 2010
  12. Kill Shot, 2012
  13. The Last Man, 2012
  14. The Survivor, 2014
  15. Order to Kill, 2016
  16. Enemy of the State, 2017
  17. Red War, 2018
  18. Lethal Agent, 2019
  19. Total Power, 2020
  20. Enemy at the Gates, 2021
  21. Oath of Loyalty, 2022
  22. Code Red, 2023

Mitch Rapp Series In Chronological Order

Starting with The Survivor, the Mitch Rapp series is continued by Kyle Mills

  1. American Assassin, 2010
  2. Kill Shot, 2012
  3. Transfer of Power, 1999
  4. The Third Option, 2000
  5. Separation Of Power, 2001
  6. Executive Power, 2002
  7. Memorial Day, 2004
  8. Consent to Kill, 2005
  9. Act of Treason, 2006
  10. Protect and Defend, 2007
  11. Extreme Measures, 2008
  12. Pursuit of Honor, 2009
  13. The Last Man, 2012
  14. The Survivor, 2014
  15. Order to Kill, 2016
  16. Enemy of the State, 2017
  17. Red War, 2018
  18. Lethal Agent, 2019
  19. Total Power, 2020
  20. Enemy at the Gates, 2021
  21. Oath of Loyalty, 2022
  22. Code Red, 2023

American Assassin, the 1st book in chronological order is actually the 11th book in the publication order, being published right after Pursuit of Honor.

Kill Shot is the 12th in publication order, being published after American Assassin and before Vince Flynn’s The Last Man.

Standalone Novel by Vince Flynn

Term Limits, 1997

Should We Read the Mitch Rapp Series in Proper Order?

Do you have that feeling of starting to read a book only to discover that it’s the 5th one in a popular series and now you don’t understand what is going on, what have you missed in terms of plot and who the heck are these characters anyway?

Well, I honestly hate it, especially when I get references with stuff that happened in previous books and now I need to go back and read the series in order from the start to get those references in the first place. This is why I love to read the Mitch Rapp novels in order. If you do start the series, start with American Assassin before anything else.

I’ve read all the Mitch Rapp books, so I say yes, we should read them in order. The reading list is not only about character development in the books, but also about the fact that many of the plotlines actually build up one on top of the other one.

The Mitch Rapp series featuring the popular CIA operative is one of my favorites in the modern spy thriller genre with a dash of international intrigue. Vince Flynn really knew how to write his books (sadly he passed away in 2013 of prostate cancer at the young age of 47).

I’ve also read his stand-alone novel, Term Limits, another spy thriller which is worth checking out. Vince Flynn’s debut novel set the story in the Mitch Rapp universe, however, it does not feature Mitch Rapp. The story takes place before Transfer of Power.

I first came across the Mitch Rapp book series years ago after reading books by Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy and John Le Carre (actually the John Le Carre was my first introduction to spy novels in the first place). I got hooked.

Reading about the Cold War, about one country’s fight against the other with other means than pure war, about puzzles to be solved, heroes to be made and countries to be saved, about CIA and other international “fun” agencies…I was hooked right from the start.

Vince Flynn came out with a great series about CIA superagent Mitch Rapp, a prolific undercover counter-terrorism CIA operative who is literally terrorism’s worst nightmare. Mitch Rapp always solves the cases which makes him both equally loved, feared and hated by politicians on Capitol Hill.

American Assassin, the first book written in the Mitch Rapp series, was made into the movie American Assassin in 2017 with Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, and Sanaa Lathan. While both the book and the movie are great, they both have some major differences, which is something that many book readers don’t find pleasing.

For example, in the American Assassin movie, there is a bomb, which is not present in the book. Also, Ghost, who appears in the movie, doesn’t exist in the book at all. In fact, there is a lot in the movie that the books don’t include at all. Also, the main motivation for counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp is the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, is replaced in the movie with a terrorist attack on the beach where his girlfriend to whom he just proposed is killed. Last but not least, Irene Kennedy, the CIA director in the book is a tough, bad-ass woman who really helps the books shine. In the film, while the actress playing it was good, there was still something missing to her character maybe because they had to squeeze a whole lot of paper in a two-hour movie.

I enjoyed both the political thriller book and the movie American Assassin for what they are, so I didn’t feel bad for the many differences from book to movie. Granted, it has been a good while since I’ve read the particular Mitch Rapp book, so I was anyway a bit fuzzy on the details. Thus, there was not all that much for me to complain about in the first place.

Should you read the American Assassin by Vince Flynn before watching the movie? I don’t think you need to, but if you enjoy the Mitch Rapp novels, you might as well do it.

Overall, the the Mitch Rapp novels are ideal for fans of political thrillers featuring an assassin as their main character.

What Is the Latest Book in the Series?

The latest Mitch Rapp book, written by Kyle Mills is titled Code Red, released September 2023.

Vince Flynn Biography – About the Author

Vince Flynn author of the Mitch Rapp series

New York Times bestselling author Vince Flynn was born in 1966 in Saint Paul, Minnesota as the fifth of seven children. In 1984 he graduated from  Saint Thomas Academy, and in 1988 he graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in economics. He passed away June 19, 2013.

Once he left school, he started working for Kraft Foods, in the position of sales and marketing specialist. I found this information quite interesting, as I also worked for a competitor of Kraft Foods, for Unilever, in a very similar position for several years. Of course, I couldn’t have met the author since I was living in Europe at the time.

He worked at Kraft Foods Company until 1990, when he switched careers with the intention to become a pilot with the United States Marine Corps. Sadly, due to the author being diagnosed with concussions and convulsive seizures which he experienced while growing up, he was disqualified from the Marine Aviation Program just one week prior to him leaving for Officer Candidate School, which is a training program that aims to evaluate potential Marine Corps Officers.

Vince Flynn had also dyslexia. Back in the day, there was not all that much information about dyslexia, but Vince was trying to overcome it by keeping a strict daily regimen of reading and writing. During this time he fell in love with books and decided to become a writer as well.

In the meantime, to pay his bills, and since he could no longer work with the Marine Corps, he went to work at United Properties as a commercial real estate leasing agent, a job which could turn out to be quite lucrative for him.

Eventually, he quit his job, moved to Colorado, and started writing books full-time. He wrote and published on his own his debut novel, Term Limits, set in the same universe as Mitch Rapp. The hardcover edition of the book was eventually published by Pocket Books, which is part of the Simon & Schuster publishing company. The book was featured on the New York Times bestseller list for several weeks.

He very much wanted to continue writing books, especially since several of his first novels, including of the most popular of Vince Flynn’s books like Transfer of PowerThe Third Option, and Separation of Power, which were all on the NYT bestseller list.

In 2010, the author was diagnosed with a rare form of prostate cancer. While getting treatment, he continued to write his bestselling novels. Over the years, he wrote 14 books, out of which 13 are part of his popular Mitch Rapp series. The last book that he was working on, which he couldn’t complete before his demise The Survivor (he only managed to write the first few chapters),  was eventually written by Kyle Mills, who has, in the meantime, written two additional Mitch Rapp books, with the latest, Enemy of State, being published in 2017. Kyle Mills was asked to finish The Survivor and write two new books by Vince Flynn’s estate and by Simon & Schuster.

If you are reading the Vince Flynn books in order, it is well worth picking up the rest of the series written by Kyle Mills as well. I have read them and, honestly, I haven’t found a major difference in the writing style between the two authors. Kyle Mills definitely knows how to bring the series justice.

One of the things Kyle Mills did was to actually read the Mitch Rapp series in order of chronology for all the books and write no less than 150 pages of notes about the author’s style, characters, and words mostly used.

In an interview, Kyle Mills said,

As a Vince Flynn fan, you come to know and love that character. As an author, you need to create that. I’d hate to pick up a Mitch Rapp (book) and not have it feel authentic.

The Vince Flynn Mitch Rapp books are quite accurate. In fact, George W. Bush mentioned once about the author that in his books he was coming too close to the real truth as to how the CIA agents were operating around the world.

The author mentioned in an interview that his Mitch Rapp books are “entertainment, educational and serve as cautionary tales.”

The first book in the Mitch Rapp thriller series is Transfer of Power, which is actually the author’s second book written.

Vince Flynn’s books were sold more than 15 million books in the U.S. alone. Two ex-presidents, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were among his serious fans.

Before dying, the author was living with his wife, Lysa, and their three children in St. Paul in Minneapolis. Vince Flynn author died in 2013 after a difficult two-year battle with his cancer which has metastasized in the meantime.

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18 Comments

  1. @Jason American Assassin, although written some 10 years after Transfer of Power, is chronologically the first in the Mitch Rapp series. If you want to see how the author’s writing style has evolved over the years, you should start with Transfer of Power, but for the character progression, definitely start with American Assasin, in my opinion.

  2. This looks like an older post so hopefully I’ll get a response but I just picked up American Assassin at my local Goodwill last night. I had started reading one of his other novels Pursuit of Honor but didn’t finish it. I am curious about something though. I’m reading Flynn’s books mainly because I want to study his writing style because I’m actually writing a book myself. I won’t go into details but it’s a sci-fi story. Because I had started about halfway thru his series, not really knowing the character development of Mitch Rapp, is it still the best idea to read American Assassin first or should I read Transfer of Power first? I want to get a feel for how he develops Mitch Rapp to perhaps better understand how to develop my own character(s) in my book. Maybe I’m overthinking things but I’m curious about which book to read first.

  3. I seem to have lost what happened to Stan Hurley. The last I remember is when he drops Mitch off to go upstairs and kill some people who were going to out Mitch and Stan. Stan picks him up on the street after, apologizes and that is it. What did I miss?

  4. I have read all of Mr. Flynn’s (RIP) books several times and will do so again! A truly an outstanding author! I beat prostate cancer and really thought it very rare to take someone so young! God rest his soul, there will not be another like him for a very long time!

    1. Stan as you may know was dying to lung cancer (months to live) and he keeps the assassin that killed Mitch’s wife from killing Mitch and it the course of that he gets shot and killed.

  5. I will read all Vince Flynn books. Well written and so realistic you would think he had a direct line to all the events.
    So very saddened by his premature death.

  6. I read every book written by Mr. Flynn and enjoyed every one of them. His death is our loss!

  7. I have loved Vince’s books for many years. I hope to see them in years to come.

  8. I am not even an American ( I am Australian) but I have read all of Vince Flynn’ s books and loved every one of them. . Although some of the politics leaves me a little confused!!! he is a wonderful writer of this genre. I was devestated to hear that he had passed away much much too early. My deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends, it is a huge loss.

  9. I am not a book reader in the slightest but over 5 years I have read all Vince Flynn books apart from the last in the Rapp series. (Only books I have actually read since school). Everytime I pick up the next book I’m hooked love them.

    Just found out Vince has passed away and I’m absolutely gutted, loved his writing and a sad loss. R.I.P Vince thank you.

  10. Talk about getting “hooked” on an exceptional series of well written books. A friend of mine introduced me to “Kill Shot” about two months ago. I am now on my 8th book in the series. For me anyway the best way to get my daily “Mitch Fix” is on audio book. I do a lot of driving so windshield time is Vince Flynn time. Enjoying “Consent To Kill” right now. My daily fix has met once again.

  11. As litteraly anyone who has ever know me would tell, I am not a “reader”. My job discription has changed and I have found free time in the day now. I was turned on to this series from a friend who gave me access to his audible account. American Assassin was my intro, Wow!! I have since been purging Amazon for Mitch Rapp/ Vince Flynn books. My wife and teenagers have asked me if I am having a mid- life crisis? Hell if I know. But I enjoy this character and series so much. I don’t like to put these books down after opening them. I was stunned and shocked to find the Mr. Flynn has passed. I will continue to our purchase these books, rather than check these books out at the library. I am finding joy in books for the first time in a long time. Thank you Mr. Flynn.

  12. So sad to know that Vince Flynn has died at such a young age. I have loved reading all of his books and couldn’t put them down until finished. A brilliant writer. A terrible loss.

  13. I feel like I have lost something very special. I have all the books about Mitch Rapp and would like for the series to continue, but I don’t feel anybody else could compare to Vince Flynn.

  14. I’m really sorry to see Mr.Flynn past away. He was my favorite writer. My condolences to his family and friends

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