The Last Man (Mitch Rapp Series #13)

The Last Man (Mitch Rapp Series #13)

4.3 459
by Vince Flynn

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An invaluable CIA asset has gone missing, and with him, secrets that in the wrong hands could prove disastrous. The only question is: Can Mitch Rapp find him first?

Joe Rickman, head of CIA clandestine operations in Afghanistan, has been kidnapped and his four bodyguards executed in cold blood. But Mitch Rapp’s experience and nose for the truth make him

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An invaluable CIA asset has gone missing, and with him, secrets that in the wrong hands could prove disastrous. The only question is: Can Mitch Rapp find him first?

Joe Rickman, head of CIA clandestine operations in Afghanistan, has been kidnapped and his four bodyguards 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, and 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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Editorial Reviews

Too driven to be stressed out, Mitch Rapp is now on the trail of the terrorists who kidnapped a top CIA spymaster who oversaw all the agency's clandestine operations in Afghanistan. A pulse-pounding installment to a thriller favorite series.

Product Details

Center Point Large Print
Publication date:
Mitch Rapp Series, #13
Edition description:
Large Print
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.40(d)

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The Last Man



THE four dead men were lined up on the living room floor of the safe house. Mitch Rapp started with the one on the left. The bearded face, the dark, lifeless eyes, and the dime-sized bullet hole that marked the center of the man’s forehead were all expected. One bullet, nice and neat—the way Rapp would have done it. The next two bodyguards looked the same, including red pucker marks in the center of their brows. The fourth Afghani was a different story. He’d been shot through the back of the head. A quarter of his face was now a jagged crater of flesh, blood, and bone. The exit wound told him the man had been shot by something a lot bigger than a 9mm—probably a .45 caliber with ammunition that pancaked and tumbled for maximum damage. There was nothing about this mess to give Rapp any assurance that things would be fine, but this last little twist cracked open the door on something he did not want to consider.

Rapp set the troubling thought aside for a second, tried to imagine how it had gone down. The early signs pointed toward a well-coordinated assault. The perimeter security had been breached; phone line, cameras, motion sensors, heat sensors, and even the pressure pads had all been taken off-line. The backup connection through the satellite dish on the roof had also been disabled. Whoever had attacked the safe house had the knowledge and skill to hit the place without setting off a single alarm and alerting the quick-reaction force less than a mile away at the air base. According to the experts at Langley this was never supposed to happen. Four years earlier they had claimed the safe house was impregnable against any threat that the Taliban or any other local group could come up with. Rapp had told those same experts that they were full of shit. He’d never seen an impregnable safe house for the simple reason that people had to come and go.

As with most CIA safe houses, this one was intentionally bland. There was no American flag flown out front and there were no snappy Marines standing post at the main gate. This was a black site where the more unpleasant aspects of the war had been coordinated. Langley didn’t want any official records of the comings and goings of the drug dealers, warlords, arms dealers, local politicians, police, and Afghan Army officers who were on the take.

The house looked like your run-of-the-mill two-story blockhouse in Jalalabad. There were quite a few upgrades that made it unique, but from the outside it looked dingy and run-down just like all the other houses in the neighborhood. The cinderblock wall that surrounded the property was coated with a special resin designed to prevent it from exploding into a million pieces and shredding the house in the event of a car bomb. The simple-looking front door contained a one-inch steel plate and a reinforced steel frame. All of the windows were bulletproof Plexiglas and the high-tech security cameras and sensors were concealed so as to not attract the attention of the neighbors. Langley had even taken the unusual precaution of buying the houses on each side and moving in the bodyguards and their families. All to protect one man.

Joe Rickman was the most cunning and brilliant operative Rapp had ever worked with. They’d known each other for sixteen years. At first Rapp didn’t know what to think of him. Rickman was pure vanilla. There wasn’t a single physical characteristic about him that was memorable. At five-feet-ten he was neither tall nor short. His mousy brown hair matched his dull brown eyes, and his weak chin completed the bland lines of his roundish face. On the rare occasion that you heard him speak, he was never animated and his voice was pure monotone—the kind of thing that could put the most restless baby to sleep.

Rickman’s forgettable face allowed him to blend in and those who met him were almost underwhelmed by his presence. For Rickman that was just fine. Much of his success was built on fools underestimating him. He’d worked for the CIA for twenty-three years and it was rumored that he had never set foot inside headquarters. Only a few months earlier Rapp had asked him if the rumor was true. Rickman responded with a soft smile and said that he’d never been invited.

At the time, Rapp took the comment as a self-deprecating attempt at a little levity. Later he realized Rickman was dead serious. Rickman was one of those people who were tolerated only during tough times—usually war. For the last eight years he’d run America’s clandestine war in Afghanistan. More than a billion dollars in cash had passed through his hands. Most of it was used to bribe people into playing on the right team, but a fair amount of the money was used to kill enemies and for a laundry list of other unpleasant things that went with the territory. People back at Langley didn’t want to know what Rickman was up to. They only wanted results, and that was something Rickman was exceedingly good at. Underneath Rickman’s bland façade was a cunning mind that was perfectly suited to the duplicitous, infinitely complicated world of espionage.

Rapp understood the tinge of fear in his boss’s voice when she’d called him a little over two hours ago. When the morning guards showed up, they had discovered the bodies and the absence of Joe Rickman and had immediately alerted John Hubbard, the CIA’s Jalalabad base chief. Hubbard rang his boss in Kabul and the shit rolled uphill from there. Rapp received a call from CIA Director Irene Kennedy while he was sitting down for breakfast in the big mess hall at Bagram Air Force Base. He had just arrived in-country the previous evening on a high-priority mission that was now on hold. Kennedy passed along what little information she knew and ordered Rapp to grab the next Blackhawk to Jalalabad. Rapp didn’t argue. He and four of his team members made the trip and were on the ground in Jalalabad before nine in the morning. Hubbard met them with a three-SUV convoy and a security detail and they rolled to the house.

Langley would want Rickman back, but Rapp got the strange feeling that all things considered, they would prefer the black-ops boss delivered in a body bag. It would be impossible to keep the kidnapping a secret. Rickman’s operational knowledge and reach was too vast to ignore. Entire teams would already be gathered at Langley, working around the clock to assess the damage. If Rapp didn’t find Rickman quickly, then complex, expensive operations would have to be unwound or assets would start showing up in morgues all across the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and beyond. Sooner or later Congress would get wind of the disaster and they would want answers. For a good number of people back at Langley, the only thing worse than Rickman spilling the Company secrets to an enemy would be Rickman testifying before Congress.

Rapp had a long and somewhat complicated history with Rickman. He respected the man, but it had taken a while. Rapp was considering how he would handle a possible order to eliminate Rickman when the towering Hubbard approached.

“This shit is really bad.”

Rapp nodded. “It’s about as bad as it could get.”

Hubbard rubbed his bald head and asked, “How in the hell are we going to find him?”

“At this point I’m not sure.” Rapp knew their chances for success were remote, but they had to start somewhere. “This is going to get really nasty, and if you don’t have the stomach for it, Hub, I suggest you go back to the base and lock yourself in your office.”

Hubbard studied Rapp for a moment and then nodded. “You don’t have to worry about me getting all sensitive on you. I’ve been over here for two years. I’ve seen all kinds of crazy shit.”

Most of that “crazy shit” was stuff done by the enemy. This time they would be the ones crossing the line. “I know you have,” Rapp said, “but trust me, if we’re going to get him back we are going to have to be more ruthless than you can imagine, and if at any point you start to have doubts, that’s fine, step aside, but I need you to promise me you’ll stick your head in the sand and keep your mouth shut.”

Hubbard gave him a nervous smile. “I can do a Sergeant Schultz when I need to.”

“Good,” Rapp replied, even though he had his doubts.

“So where do you want to start?”

Rapp returned his attention to the row of dead men. “The bodyguards.”

Hubbard turned his six-foot-five-inch frame toward the row of men and pursed his lips. “I think we can rule these four out.”

Rapp focused on the man with the cratered face. An inside job was the obvious conclusion, but the bodyguards were all hardened Northern Alliance types. It was possible that one of them could have been bribed into giving up the crucial information on the security system, but unlikely. If one of them had turned, however, it was also possible that the Taliban, or whoever was responsible for this, had decided to kill the inside man as soon as they got what they wanted. The wrench in the works was that Rapp was pretty certain the Taliban had nothing to do with this. He pointed at the man missing part of his face. “Focus on this one. I want to know everything there is to know about him . . . especially his family. Do his parents or wife or kids have medical problems? Does he have a drug problem? Anything you can find.”

“And the other eight?”

A team of interrogation experts from D.C. were in flight but not expected to land for another thirteen hours. “If you have the manpower, you can get started with them, but I doubt they’d hang around after something like this. What would you do if someone gave you a pile of cash to betray your buddies and a man like Rick?” Rickman’s first name was Joe, but everyone who worked with him called him Rick.

“I’d run.”

“That’s right.” Rapp pointed to the man who’d been shot with a .45 caliber. “Focus on this one for now.”

“So you think the Taliban turned him?”

Rapp ignored the question for the moment and asked, “Who moved these bodies?”

“What do you mean?”

“The bodies,” Rapp said as he pointed at the row of four. “They weren’t shot here. Look at the blood on the floor. They were dragged here after they were killed.” Rapp pointed at the stairs. “One of them was dragged down from the second story.”

Hubbard shrugged. “They were lined up like this when I got here.”

“Did the bodyguards move them?”

“Not that I know of. Do you want me to find out?”

“In a minute.” Rapp looked toward the front door where one of the bodyguards was standing post with an AK-47 gripped in both hands. “The neighbors . . . did they hear or see anything last night?”

“No. Not a thing.”

“No signs of forced entry?”

“Not that we’ve discovered, but they wouldn’t need to force their way in if one of these guys were helping them.”

“So no forced entry . . . four bodyguards . . . four headshots . . . four dead men. Anything about that seem unusual to you?”

Hubbard thought about it for a moment and said, “Not sure what you’re driving at.”

Rapp pointed at the bodies one after another, saying, “Nine-millimeter, nine-millimeter, nine-millimeter, .45 caliber, and my bet is they were all fired from suppressed weapons. Pretty accurate work. Good fire discipline. Look at the walls.”

Hubbard did a 360-degree turn and said, “What about them?”

“You see anything?”


“That’s the point. You ever seen the Taliban operate like this? Four shots, four hits, and not a shot more. The Taliban likes to get the lead out. You know their MO. They would have rolled up on this place with three or four trucks and started unloading RPG rounds at all three buildings. This place would be riddled with bullets. This was done by pros.”

Hubbard made a sour face and then nodded. “Yeah . . . you’re right. The towelheads like to blow shit up. This is more like something our guys would do . . .”

Hubbard kept talking, but Rapp had stopped listening. The idea that U.S. Special Operators had been involved was something he hadn’t considered and something he didn’t want to consider. From the moment Rapp had heard Rickman was missing, there was a gnawing fear that he was about to head down the rabbit hole. Rickman excelled at his job for the simple reason that he could think five, ten, fifteen, even twenty steps ahead of the enemy, and everyone else, for that matter. There had been many times when Rapp didn’t understand what the man was up to because he wasn’t smart enough to follow Rick’s thinking.

“How about those assholes from the ISI?” Hubbard asked.

Rapp had considered the less-than-loyal members of the Pakistani Intelligence Service. They would be on the list as well as others. “Don’t forget the Iranians, the Russians, and the Chinese.” And there was one other possibility that Rapp wasn’t quite prepared to mention.

“My money’s on the ISI. This is just the kind of bullshit they’d pull.”

A thought occurred to Rapp. “Where’s the dog? That big frickin’ Rottweiler that never left Rick’s side?”

“Ajax . . . he died a month ago.”

Rapp was surprised by the news. “What was wrong with him?”

“Don’t know. Rick was pretty bummed out, though. Dog got sick, he took him to the vet and had to put him down. I think Rick said it was cancer or something like that.”

One of Rapp’s team members came down the stairs with a disturbed look on his face. The man had blond hair and blue eyes and was pushing fifty. “Not good,” was all he had to say.

Rapp looked at Scott Coleman and said, “Please tell me you’re talking about something other than the safe. Tell me the safe is untouched and all the cash, drives, and laptop are safely tucked inside.”

Coleman shook his head. “All gone. Completely cleaned out.”

Even though Rapp had expected it, he had held out some hope that he could give his boss a piece of good news. “Shit, I need to call Irene and let her know.” Rapp reached for his phone, but stopped upon hearing a commotion at the front door.

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The Last Man 4.3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 459 reviews.
Brian_Schulenburg More than 1 year ago
Vince Flynn has done it again! The Last Man is an adrenaline packed thrill ride that has more twists and turns than the world's great roller coasters. The book finds American assassin Mitch Rapp knee deep in a in conspiracy and mystery in post-Bin Laden Afghanistan. When Joe Rickman, the CIA's top head of clandestine operations in Afghanistan is kidnapped, a tsunami of epic proportions is set off in the various branches of governments and intelligence agencies around the region and in the United States. Who was behind this coordinated attack and how to recover Rickman becomes the CIA's top priority, for in the head of Rickman lies secrets that could cripple the clandestine operations of America and her allies. What begins as a simple mission gets more and more complicated as Rapp and his team get further into the operation. What makes this and every other Vince Flynn novel so good is the detail and realism that Flynn brings to the project. There have been many in the government, military and clandestine organizations over the years who have questioned where Flynn gets his information, because it is startlingly accurate. Flynn's novel shows some of the serious pitfalls in the U.S. government's current policy of reintegration in post-Bin Laden Afghanistan. While reading my pre-release copy of The Last Man, from Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya was brutally attacked. Flynn's novel helps readers understand some of the current tensions in the Middle East, with a look at the Taliban, Iranians, Pakistanis, Afghans, Russians, Swiss banks, and the United States. The Last Man is a welcome reunion of Mitch Rapp and our current day. Flynn's last two novels, American Assassin, and Kill Shot, were essentially prequels to the story of Rapp, and a very welcome addition to the narrative. Fans of Mitch Rapp will enjoy seeing what the assassin has been up to and enjoy catching up with a number of favorite characters along the way. The Last Man isn't Flynn's best novel, but it certainly a great read and a wonderful addition to the Mitch Rapp library. As in all of Flynn's novels the language is a bit rough with plenty of military bravado and assassin angst thrown in. The detailed descriptions of torture and assassinations may make some readers squeamish. All in all, The Last Man, is a great read that opens the eyes of readers into the complexities of the continuing war on terror. I received a complimentary e-book of The Last Man, from Atria Books, a division of Simon & Shuster for purposes of this review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my first time preordering on my nook, and looks like it will be my last... was going to be reading this while waiting for my wife to go into labor, but i'll just tell her she's going to have to hold our daughter in a little while longer. At least Mitch is back. 5 stars for the book, minus 2 stars for B&N
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read all the books in this serise. This one is my favorite by far. It answers some questions that I had from earlier books, but gives us some new charcters to look forward to seeing in the future. I highly recomend reading it, even if have never read any of the others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Last Man by Vince Flynn is a compelling story that gripped me right from the start. He brilliantly executed it in a manner that provided a constant flow of suspense, all prerequisites for good thrillers. His characters are well-developed and portray their human sides in a manner that make them so true to life Mitch Rapp reminds me of Gavin in Triple Agent Double Cross. This is a book of smooth writing, fabulous descriptions, amazing dialogue and gripping pacing, which are the elements that made this story an accomplished piece of writing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What the heck? This was to be out November 13 - and it is not ready for the NOOK? How long did it sit on someone's desk before they said - oh, oh. We sold a bunch of these for the NOOK - guess we had better get going. Doesn't someone else sell electric books? Well sure there is an error - don't want a bad review do we?
USMCproudmom More than 1 year ago
Pre-Ordered on my Nook...woke up yesterday morning, fired up the Nook and spent the next 1.5 hours reading. Finished the book last night! LOVED IT!!! Totally didn't see some of the twists and turns and LOVED Irene Kennedy in this one! Thanks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thanks Vince for another great book! Didn't put it down. PLEASE, please keep Mitch working!!!! madicnm
pamijoPS More than 1 year ago
I love almost all of Vince Flynn's books, and this one won't disappoint! This is a great series! A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Got The Last Man on my nook on the 13 with no problem. As with all Flynn's books it was great. Can't wait until the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keeps you riveted from the very beginning
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They accepted my money in advance, but didn't supply the book. Last time I will fall for that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book and the series. Vince Flynn was writing the 14th in this series and as you know he has since passed away from cancer. Vince Flynn, his wonderful writing and the character of Mitch Rapp will be missed.
suspenseloverBS More than 1 year ago
RIP Vince - I'll miss you & Mitch
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic, fast-paced read! Better than Clancy!
pizza_queen More than 1 year ago
I love the Mitch Rapp series, but some of them get silly or overly Arab. This one had a great mix of the clandestine, some territory not previously covered and just a tad drama. I like all the characters in this one, too. I enjoyed this Mitch Rapp book above all others (and I've read them all).
cy-12_34 More than 1 year ago
A very exciting and well written book that all lovers of Vince Flynn will find highly entertaining. Mitch Rapp does it again and almost gets killed doing it. I've read all of Flynn's books and I love them all.
Crystal_Lake More than 1 year ago
Vince Flynn is BACK!!! After a sub-par Kill Shot, Flynn is back at the top of his game. I'll chalk up the previous effort to the fact that he was battling cancer. This latest edition brings Mitch Rapp back to the present after two prequels, and the story is quite relevant given the current climate in our country as well as the Middle East. A great read!
DarkPrince More than 1 year ago
Who says that 13 is an unlucky number? This is classic Mitch Rapp with murder, mayhem, suspense and excitement! Keeps you reading from page 1 until the very last page. Will Mitch die or be permanently sidelined? Read the book to find out! It's well worth the time!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was great. I was happy to be back in current time although I enjoyed the two previous books that were set back in Mitch's earlier life. At some point I would love to read Mitch and Donatella's story. Vince Flynn is the best with this genre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! Could not put it down. I love that Vince Flynn doesnt make each subsequent book shorter and shorter like some other series authors. Cant wait for the Rapp movies and for more books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Learned need to archive it. Step two, unarchive. Able to read Last Man by accessing book via home in leiu of library.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another winner in the Mitch Rapp series. I am so saddened by the passing of Vince Flynn. Much too soon to lose such a talent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago