Vince Flynn Books in Order | 3 Ways to Read Mitch Rapp Books

With many books set in the Mitch Rapp universe, there are three ways you can read the popular Vince Flynn books in order.

Fans of political thrillers adore Vince Flynn’s writing and captivating story-telling. If you’re looking for an exciting, thrilling read, the storyline of Mitch Rapp will be sure to entrance you with its action-packed adventure.

Mitch Rapp is the main character in most of Vince Flynn’s political thriller works. Rapp is an aggressive CIA counterterrorism agent who is willing to go further than most. Fueled by his personal trauma, Rapp quickly ascends the ranks in the CIA and he becomes an invaluable weapon.

Vince Flynn Books in Order

About Author Vince Flynn

Vince Flynn worked in many different fields before he landed on writing. He worked in marketing, nearly entered the United States Marine Corps, and then worked with real estate. But his love of books eventually led him to pursue writing his first novel.

During this labor of love, Flynn wrote during the day and bartended at night for five years. He received multiple rejection letters before he decided to self-publish his first book Term Limits. The book was an instant success. Within a week’s time Flynn had an agent and a two-book publishing deal.

What followed were more than a dozen books published during the next two decades. While Term Limits does not follow Flynn’s infamous and most well-known character Mitch Rapp, it does take place within the Rapp universe.

His books have since garnered the attention of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush who are fans of Flynn’s work.

Tragically, Flynn died from prostate cancer in 2013 while working on the fourteenth Mitch Rapp novel: The Survivor. He had sold more than 15 million copies of his books by the time of his death. The decision to select Kyle Mills to continue the series was made jointly by his estate and publisher.

The Mantle of Mitch Rapp

In addition to being a popular author himself, Kyle Mills was the perfect person for the job. A self-acclaimed Flynn fan, Mills already knew what it was like to step in for an author posthumously. Mills has written three Jason Bourne books to continue the Covert One series following Robert Ludlum’s death in 2001. 

Mills has written ten other books, including several for his own Mark Beaman series and standalones.

However, in early 2023 it was announced that the Mills era of Mitch Rapp books was coming to a close. Mills is stepping away from writing in Vince Flynn’s stead in order to return to his own creative writing and characters. The last Mitch Rapp book by Mills was the September 2023 release Code Red.

Picking up the mantle next will be Don Bentley, who also has previous experience writing on behalf of an author’s estate. Bentley has written for Tom Clancy’s estate within the Jack Ryan universe.

Mills said that with his ninth — and last — Mitch Rapp book, he had concluded the arc he was writing and it felt like the right time to pass the torch.

Bentley’s first book within the series will be published in the fall of 2024.

The Book That Started It All: Term Limits

As previously mentioned, the Mitch Rapp series was not Flynn’s debut publication. Term Limits became an instant bestseller in 1997. Despite being a standalone, it is recommended that you read Term Limits first before reading the Mitch Rapp series.

In starting your Vince Flynn reading journey with Term Limits then moving on to reading the Vince Flynn books in order chronologically, it will help fully explore Flynn’s world-building as he grew as an author. This is especially true since Term Limits does take place within the Mitch Rapp universe.

Term Limits opens with three brutal assassinations over the course of one bloody night. When three of Washington’s most powerful politicians are executed, havoc is wrought. An ultimatum swiftly follows from the assassins to restore power to the people and no one is safe in their pursuit, not even the President.

The main character Michael O’Rourke is a former U.S. Marine and a freshman congressman. Only he holds a clue to the motives of these violent assassins. A haunting incident from his past might help the joint FBI-CIA task force in revealing who these killers are, and where they will strike next.

Term Limits remains one of Vince Flynn’s most popular books.

What is the Order of the Vince Flynn Books?

Below we are going to review three ways that you can read the Mitch Rapp by Vince Flynn books in order. The lists below assume that you will read Flynn’s debut standalone first, Term Limits, by focusing exclusively on his Mitch Rapp series.

Each reading order will feature a subtle shift in the lens through which you view the series. The first reading order is the most straight forward and that is to read the Vince Flynn books in order of publication. This is the order that many followed and shows the evolution and growth of Flynn as an author.

The next way to read these books is by chronological order, which many fans do accept as a proper first start to the books. Ten years into writing the series Flynn wanted to delve deeper into his character and provide an origin story that would explain his attributes, which is what lead to the two prequels. Whether you would prefer publication or chronological order depends on the type of reader you are and if you are a purist for chronology.

Then the third reading order is grouping the books together by author. This is best as a reread or if you are trying to analyze the changes between authors. It is also a reading order that might be a good lens through which to view the series before Bentley begins his tenure.

#1 Vince Flynn Books in Order of Publication

The first way to read the Vince Flynn books in order is in the order of publication. However, it is important to remind you once more about the book that is missing from this list.

Term Limits is a great place to start when reading Vince Flynn’s bibliography. Beginning with his only standalone is also still in keeping with the publication order of his books. Flynn’s debut and first bestseller is full of important world-building that amplifies his Mitch Rapp series.

Reading these books in order of publication is the most straight-forward way to enjoy the books. It is also the order in which many fans first read the series.

  1. Transfer of Power (1999)
  2. The Third Option (2000)
  3. Separation of Power (2001)
  4. Executive Power (2003)
  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 by Kyle Mills (2015)
  15. Order to Kill by Kyle Mills (2016)
  16. Enemy of the State by Kyle Mills (2017)
  17. Red War by Kyle Mills (2018)
  18. Lethal Agent by Kyle Mills (2019)
  19. Total Power by Kyle Mills (2020)
  20. Enemy at the Gates by Kyle Mills (2021)
  21. Oath of Loyalty by Kyle Mills (2022)
  22. Code Red by Kyle Mills (September 2023)
  23. Capture or Kill by Don Bentley (Expected: September 3, 2024)

#2 Vince Flynn Books in Order Chronologically

One downside to reading the Mitch Rapp series in publication order is that halfway through you will stumble across two prequels that feel out of place. That is why our second recommended reading order is to follow the chronological order.

There is only a subtle difference between these two reading orders, but it is an easy shift to recommend reading the books in this order. This will help you understand the character motivations and strengthen both the world- and character-building.

After 10 years writing the character of Mitch Rapp, Flynn chose to go back to the beginning of Rapp’s career. These prequels are his origin story. The added context gives you a glimpse into how he became the hardened CIA operative in later books. With this additional context, Rapp’s behavior and the risks he takes become more understandable.

American Assassin and Kill Shot, the eleventh and twelfth book published respectively, are by-and-large accepted as the proper first and second book within the Mitch Rapp series. This is despite being published a decade after the first book was published.

  1. American Assassin
  2. Kill Shot
  3. Transfer of Power
  4. The Third Option
  5. Separation of Power
  6. Executive Power
  7. Memorial Day
  8. Consent to Kill
  9. Act of Treason
  10. Protect and Defend
  11. Extreme Measures
  12. Pursuit of Honor
  13. The Last Man
  14. The Survivor by Kyle Mills
  15. Order to Kill by Kyle Mills
  16. Enemy of the State by Kyle Mills
  17. Red War by Kyle Mills
  18. Lethal Agent by Kyle Mills
  19. Total Power by Kyle Mills
  20. Enemy at the Gates by Kyle Mills
  21. Oath of Loyalty by Kyle Mills
  22. Code Red by Kyle Mills
  23. Capture or Kill by Don Bentley (Expected: September 3, 2024)

#3 Mitch Rapp Books in Order by Author

Finally, the third way to enjoy the Mitch Rapp books is by acknowledging the shift in authorship between Vince Flynn and Kyle Mills. This reading order is only going to grow even more interesting with Don Bentley’s upcoming tenure.

So, this reading order is a great new lens through which to enjoy this series, especially as a reread in anticipation of Bentley’s first Mitch Rapp book.

Mills has been beloved by fans for his handle on Flynn’s original characters. In fact, many were unable to identify the shift in voice within that transitional novel, The Survivor, which Flynn had been writing before his death. It would later be revealed that Flynn only wrote a few pages of the book.

Mills credits part of his success for his genuine love of the character and books. In announcing the takeover, Bentley echoed that sentiment by saying that he wanted to become a writer because of Vince Flynn, who is his favourite author of all time.

Mitch Rapp Books in Order by Vince Flynn

  1. American Assassin
  2. Kill Shot
  3. Transfer of Power
  4. The Third Option
  5. Separation of Power
  6. Executive Power
  7. Memorial Day
  8. Consent to Kill
  9. Act of Treason
  10. Protect and Defend
  11. Extreme Measures
  12. Pursuit of Honor
  13. The Last Man

Mitch Rapp Books in Order by Kyle Mills

  1. The Survivor
  2. Order to Kill
  3. Enemy of the State
  4. Red War
  5. Lethal Agent
  6. Total Power
  7. Enemy at the Gates
  8. Oath of Loyalty
  9. Code Red

Mitch Rapp Books in Order by Don Bentley

  1. Capture or Kill by Don Bentley (Expected: September 3, 2024)

Book-to-Screen Adaptation

Vince Flynn’s popular Mitch Rapp character inspired a film production. The movie is based off Flynn’s prequel American Assassin, which has become the first book in the Rapp series. American Assassin premiered in 2017 and stars Dylan O’Brien as Mitch Rapp with Michael Keaton as Mitch’s CIA instructor Stan Hurley.

However, many major plot points changed in adapting American Assassin from book to screen. The movie remains a loose inspiration of Flynn’s characters and motivations. It delivers on drama and action, but if you’re a die-hard fan of the books, don’t expect an identical interpretation.

What are the Mitch Rapp Books About?

Most of Vince Flynn’s books follow CIA agent Mitch Rapp in his undercover pursuit to defeat terrorism. Readers have been captivated for more than two decades now by the pernicious character of Rapp.

He will stop at nothing in his counter attacks against terrorists. A deadly weapon in his own right, Rapp will go further than most to see justice served. These high stakes and risky endeavors make for a compelling read that is hard to put down.

When Rapp was a young college student, a tragic terrorist attack killed his high school sweetheart. From this moment onwards Rapp is fueled by revenge and retribution. Initially operating on his own, Rapp is then recruited and trained by the CIA.

His first official mission is to counter foreign terrorism before it reaches American soil. The series follows Rapp throughout his career as he carries out multiple assassinations around the world and escapes close calls time and time again.

Summary of Vince Flynn Books in Order

The books created by Vince Flynn guarantee fast-paced, action-packed thrillers. The aggressive character of Mitch Rapp will go to extremes to succeed in his mission of counterterrorism and nothing can get in his way.

Whether you’re new to the series or a long-time fan from Flynn’s self-publishing days, find a brief summary of the first five Vince Flynn books in order from the Mitch Rapp series below.

American Assassin Vince Flynn Books in order

1. American Assassin

Before tragedy struck, Mitch Rapp was a standard gifted college athlete. But now he wants retribution for the Pan Am Lockerbie terrorist attack, which killed his girlfriend. Initially content with pursuing his revenge independently, Rapp is then recruited by the CIA.

Rapp quickly climbs the proverbial ladder in an intense training program. The goal: Stop terrorists before they reach American soil. American Assassin sees Rapp take chances where others would play it safe and leave a trail of bodies in his wake. In Beirut he will need every bit of skill he has acquired in order to escape with his life.

Kill Shot

2. Kill Shot

It’s been a year since Mitch Rapp was trained and unleashed by the CIA. Since then, he has taken down the killers responsible for the Pan Am Lockerbie terrorist attack. His hunt now leads him to Paris where he finds himself snared in a deadly trap.

Rapp is framed for the murder of nine people, including Libya’s oil minister. With the threat of an international crisis, Washington wants to clean its hands of Rapp and deems him a liability. Thus, Rapp must fend for himself and operate alone.

However, it soon becomes clear that nothing is more dangerous than a wounded and cornered Mitch Rapp.

Transfer of Power

3. Transfer of Power

The third Mitch Rapp book opens with a horrifying scene as a group of terrorists gain access to the White House amid a hail of gunfire.

Through a violent massacre that leaves dozens of innocent bystanders murdered, the terrorists have control of the Executive Mansion. The president evacuates into his underground bunker, but almost one hundred hostages are taken. As negotiation talks begin with the terrorist group, one man is sent in for the rescue. Mitch Rapp has ascended to role of the CIA’s top counterterrorism operative.

There is no one is more skilled for the job. He must scramble to save the hostages and rescue the president as he makes a chilling realization: Someone within the American government is maneuvering in hopes that his rescue attempt with fail.

The Third Option

4. The Third Option

When diplomacy fails and military intervention is inappropriate, Mitch Rapp is the third option. The CIA’s top counterterrorism operative, his latest target is a German Industrialist who has been selling equipment to the world’s most notorious terrorism sponsor.

But this just might be his final mission. Rapp soon realizes that he has been deemed an expendable asset amidst a succession upheaval in the CIA.

Again, he must fend for himself as his mission becomes dangerously compromised. No one counted on him being able to return, or how far he will go to uncover who set him up.

Separation of Power Vince Flynn Books in Order

5. Separation of Power

In the fifth installment of this series, Mitch Rapp is up against a ticking clock and impossible odds. The newly-appointed CIA director is the target of an inside plot to destroy her and prematurely end the President’s term.

Meanwhile, Saddam Hussein is close to igniting a nuclear arms race. With the looming threat of World War III the President calls in his secret weapon: Rapp. But will Rapp succeed against these impossible odds with only two weeks to do so?

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3 thoughts on “Vince Flynn Books in Order | 3 Ways to Read Mitch Rapp Books

  1. I just finished reading all of Vince Flynn’s books in order and I really enjoyed them! I think it’s a great way to read them and I learned a lot about the characters and the plot.

  2. Great post! I’ve been wanting to read the Mitch Rapp series for a while now, and this list of Vince Flynn books in order is super helpful. Thanks for sharing!

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