Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “American Assassin (Mitch Rapp, #1)” as Want to Read:
American Assassin (Mitch Rapp, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

American Assassin

(Mitch Rapp #1)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  78,814 ratings  ·  3,642 reviews
Mitch Rapp is a gifted college athlete who just wants retribution for the Pan Am Lockerbie attack. He trains six months intensely with other clandestine operatives, under CIA Operations Director Thomas Stansfield and protégé Irene Kennedy, to stop terrorists before they reach America. The assassin leaves a trail of bodies from Istanbul across Europe to Beirut, where he nee ...more
Hardcover, 435 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Atria Simon & Schuster
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about American Assassin, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Suzanne Smith Santellanes I agree- Lee Child's Reacher series is good, David Baldacci's - John Puller series & Camel Club series. For crime series with less military - Michael …moreI agree- Lee Child's Reacher series is good, David Baldacci's - John Puller series & Camel Club series. For crime series with less military - Michael Connelly's- Harry Bosch series, Mickey Haller series, William Kent Krueger's - O'Connor series, C.J. Box's- Pickett Series, Steve Hamilton's - McKnight series.... hope he finds any of these enjoyable! I know my Dad has also enjoyed Clive Cussler's books... I haven't gotten to him yet! :) Good luck!(less)
Michael Flynn doesn't do a very good job of explaining this, but long story short: this book is a prequel to the rest of the series, which began in 1999. By m…moreFlynn doesn't do a very good job of explaining this, but long story short: this book is a prequel to the rest of the series, which began in 1999. By making a few assumptions based on what the book tells us, it takes place in roughly 1990. (less)
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick ForsythThe Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
Best Spy Novels
1,138 books — 2,044 voters
American Assassin by Vince FlynnKill Shot by Vince FlynnTransfer of Power by Vince FlynnConsent to Kill by Vince FlynnProtect and Defend by Vince Flynn
Best Thrillers Ever
276 books — 289 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  78,814 ratings  ·  3,642 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of American Assassin (Mitch Rapp, #1)
Sep 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
They need to hire me to proof for them. I’ve come across more than a few books with an unacceptable amount of typos here lately. Is no one reading this stuff before it goes to press?

And I’m not that much of an anal freak, but 20 typos before page 78 is too many.

The reason for my annoyance is because Vince Flynn is a great writer, and I believe I read he is dyslexic, thus he does not have a dedicated team supporting him. That’s a shame because his Mitch Rapp novels tap into the raw emotion of rea
David Johnston
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some people are addicted to drugs. I am happily addicted to Vince Flynn's books and the exploits of his truly American hero, Mitch Rapp. My wife and daughter share my addiction, but they have not had their fix yet because I got to read Flynn's newest book first. Which is only fair since I bought it. My only complaint is that now I will have to wait another year for the next book. Withdrawal can be tough.

Oh, about the book? C'mon, it's Vince Flynn and Mitch Rapp. This one is about how Mitch got h
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: meh
Look, here's something about us diehard action-thriller fanboys - we will forgive an author's imprudence with a few weak spots in the plot now and then as long as we get our action-gasm in totality but what we don't do is tolerate preachy one-sided-win story. Two ingredients which this author is dishing out in heaps in this book.

I am not even going to talk about the piss poor editing, its the gross injustice that has been meted out to Mitch Rapp that I am very disappointed with. It took Mr. Fly
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
After the first quarter of this novel, which is unnecessarily long, the book gets significantly better. It’s good to finally see Vince Flynn back in form with his Mitch Rapp character after a long lull. 9 of 10 stars
* A Reader Obsessed *
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: z-2017, audio, not-mm
3.5 Stars

I’m not gonna lie. The majority of the reason why I started this series was because a certain somebody is starring in the movie version out this September. So as a fangirl, it’s only prudent and necessary to see what this is all about. It’s also not a secret that I love me a military spy action thriller, and with the added bonus of DoB?? That combo is just too hard to resist.

Depending on what kind of reader you are, you can start with Transfer of Power, which was the first book publi
Twenty-three-year-old Mitch Rapp was recruited by Irene Kennedy into a group of highly trained yet clandestine operatives, a division of the CIA. A top athlete, Rapp was incredibly fit and after six months of intense training, he was on his way to his first job in Istanbul. He gave a final thought to the more than two hundred passengers who had lost their lives that day in the Pan Am Lockerbie terrorist attack – retribution was looking good.

As Rapp worked his way across Europe, he finally found
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Political thriller fans
Recommended to Matthew by: Corey
I have read a couple of the other books in the Mitch Rapp series in the order they were published. Those books came later in the story timeline than American Assassin. When I found out that they published a couple of prequel books, I figured I would go back and give them a try.

American Assassin is just about what you would expect from a political/military/spy thriller. That is not a bad thing! You get all kinds of plotting, action, and badassery. As this is a prequel in the series, it is not in
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Let me start with a couple of important points before I get knee deep in my review. First, this is my first time reading a Vince Flynn “Mitch Rapp” book. I have a friend who enjoys reading Lee Child’s “Reacher” series like I do, and he recommended this series to me. Second, I understand there was a less than stellar editing work done on this book in the series as noted in several of the Goodreads reviews I read online. I agree with these points, but am moving past them.

Now for my review… Wow! I
Oh Dylan, Dylan, Dylan my good dude why.

Where do I start? The character development is piss poor. So our good Mitch Rapp (wtf is this name? it sounds so dumb??) lost his father at 13yo because of a heart attack and his highschool sweetheart in a terrorist attack so he's super familiar with death (ok?) and his heart is bursting with REVENGE. Coincidentally he's picked out by Langlsey wich is like a branch of the CIA, even thought he didn't do antyhing to be noticed (ok??) and he's sent off to a s
Edward Lorn
Feb 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Thoughts while reading:

Forgot I was reading about grown men for a second. Would've sworn that I was reading about teenage boys in a juvie facility, or some shit. Also, five times so far (every ten pages or so) the author has brought up the size of men's testicles. This person has large balls, this fella must have big balls, that dude's balls must be big, and so on. I'm guessing Flynn was a nut man?

Ridiculous macho porn for men who insist on talking like Snake Plisken. DNF.
Jan 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was exceptional with one disclaimer... it was obviously rushed to publishing with little editing. While waiting for my copy to arrive I read that other fans had noticed more than the occasional typos in the text and were bothered by them. I wondered if perhaps they were being a little over the top. Unfortunately, I found myself equally bothered. It is understandable that sometimes a "i" will be replaced with an "l" (as in the word "cabbie" being written as "cabble" in the last portion of th ...more
A.M. Khalifa
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book, and Mr. Flynn was an exceptionally gifted writer. May he rest in peace.
Lewis Weinstein
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ok, so it's really mindless macho action from beginning to end, but you know what you're getting and Flynn does it well. For me, it's a break from research & writing, so it serves a useful purpose. ...more
Kylie H
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has been on my TBR list for a long time, I had been reluctant to read it as there are so many comparisons to Lee Child that I expected to be disappointed. However, I can now see why the comparisons have been made as this was just as good!
As with Reacher we have a hero that is the complete package. Smart, strong and not too arrogant. The story unfolded beautifully but was violent and described a lot of torture (best to avoid if you find this off putting). I will definitely be continuing wit
Doug Bradshaw
Jul 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is good tough American male stuff. I enjoyed as much as some of you women readers enjoy a romance novel with handsome vampires and whatnot. It made me almost laugh to read it, like going back in time to the joy of reading my first three or four Ludlum novels.

This is the 11th book in a series about a CIA assassin named Mitch Rapp. It is the prequel to the other already told stories and I was told I may as well read it first. It's not quite as sophisticated as Jack Bauer and "24", but it has
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, cia-spies

”Retribution is a punishment that is morally right and fully deserved.”

This was even better than expected! It’s Tom Clancy minus the infodumps, James Bond with out the misogyny and absurdity, Jason Bourn without all the mystery - This. Was. Good.

Mitch Rapp is a gifted college athlete who lost the love of his life when terrorist put a bomb on Pan Am Flight 103- it exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. This transformed Rapp and he came to the notice of Irene Kennedy, CIA, who had been looking
Jul 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
A decent prequel to the entire MITCH RAPP series, though i did not feel it was Flynn's best. It introduces us to the renegade agent that RAPP becomes and how he got that ice water running through his veins. ...more
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
I was curious about the Vince Flynn series featuring Mitch Rapp since the books do well on the NY Times Bestseller list and I like thrillers. I was less than thrilled to see endorsements by folks of the Glenn Beck ilk. Nevertheless, I read this book, and likened it to a "less well-written-than-the-Bourne-series" book. In other words, I prefer the writing of Robert Ludlum. This is a spy versus spy story, with the requisite close calls, seemingly impossible dilemmas, and shoot-outs. A bit too much ...more
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serial-thrillers
#1 in the Mitch Rapp Series.
This book was first published in 2010 and 8 years later it is to be released as a movie.
I can see why producers would turn this into a movie as it is one heart pumping adrenalin rush from page one onwards.
Mitch Rapp is one young man with a huge chip on his shoulders that verges on a death wish. Mitch lost the love of his life in a cruel, mindless act of terrorism. In the book it was the bombing of Pan AM flight 103 in Lockerbie Scotland. The movie no doubt will be dif
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ok, how in the world have I missed this author, these characters, these books?! You know that feeling you get when you realize you found a new (to you) outstanding author and he/she has piles of books you have not yet read? I think I may have teared up a little, but if not an actual tear, I at least danced. At the risk of oversimplifying... this book rocked! It reminded me a bit of a Lee Child book where the main character is still affiliated with the military. Great characters, deep courage and ...more
Gloria ~ mzglorybe
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you want to start the Mitch Rapp series, start here. Do NOT pass this series up if you are a fan of this genre. This is the best political espionage/military series we've (family members) ever read. After Book #1 the rest of the novels are fast-paced, edge of your seat, very hard to put down. This first book gives the reader a glance at what the protagonist was like in his youth, in this case, prior to Rapp's recruitment into this covert mercenary group right out of college.

The first half of
Review of the audiobook narrated by George Guidall.

I'm impressed. I've watched plenty of spy thriller movies, but this was my first novel in the genre. I was expecting dumbed-down action with one dimensional characters and that was not at all what I got. Mitch Rapp is intriguing, exciting and likable, yet has some real flaws. Hurley is a bad-ass, I loved that character. Flynn narrowing avoids making the bad guys too cliche and we are left with a fast moving plot with a great pay-off.

I wasn't aw
4 Stars

Fast-paced with a tight plot, American Assassin is the introductory story (in a long and ongoing series) following CIA counter-terrorist super-spy Mitch Rapp.

Although the 11th published release of the series, American Assassin is set first, chronologically speaking, and showcases how (and why) young Mitch was originally recruited by the CIA.

I enjoyed the hell out of this story! Here, Flynn created an impressively written action/thriller story, featuring some damn cool characters.

I'll m
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
American Assassin is definitely an addition to the spy thriller genre. It felt fresh and relevant in 2018. Rapp is an interesting character. I appreciate the drive for vengeance (something many wanted after 9/11). I also enjoyed that he isn’t your typical, former military man turned spy. The only drawback is the climax and resolution felt hurried. I also feel like the love interest plot line is a little James Bond. Overall, it was an enjoyable, fast-paced read that never failed to entertain.
Les Aucoin
Feb 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
Flimsy. Wholly lacking merit, even in the mindless "beach book" world that Flynn inhabits. Where it not for the brand he created among knuckle-draggers years before publishing became impoverished/selective, this author would never break through with this claptrap. I'm trying earnestly to write a political thriller with a modicum of merit. Flynn's only value to me is to demonstrate what to avoid. ...more
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loads of action combined with politics, espionage, and a heavy smattering of profanity, gore, and violence. Audiobook narration is superb. George Guidall is outstanding.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, 2017, series-dnf
Hoo boy. First things first: If you're interested in reading this because of the upcoming film, you'll likely be disappointed. The plot of this book and the plot of the movie seem completely different, with the only similarity being the presence of the main character.

Now the book itself is pretty much a handbook on toxic masculinity. It starts out pretty spectacularly, with the author likening a lack of honor to "emasculat[ion]" and "questioning the size of [one's] balls for as long as [one] li
Jan 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Although I don't think many people actually follow what I say, I have to retract the criticism I made of Flynn's last few books. Actually, I'm not going to retract them, because they were true--Flynn was letting his ideology get in the way of the storytelling. Rather, I will say that he's returned to the stuff that made his earlier work great--compelling characters, amazing story lines, and a breathtaking adventure that leaves you sorry when the book ends.

Flynn takes his hero, Mitch Rapp, back t
Alex Cantone
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, read-2020
Rapp could feel the weight of his decision. A door was closing. He had picked one path over another and this one was undoubtedly the one less travelled. It was overgrown and more treacherous than his imagination could do justice to…

The events take place 4-5 years after the Pan-AM Lockerbie disaster (Dec 21 1988), in which Mitch Rapp’s fiancé was killed. In this prequel, most of Part 1 (~150 pages) takes place at Lake Anna, Virginia and covers Rapp’s backstory – recruited by Irene Kennedy – and h
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shallow and predictable. Don't bother, you've seen this character and read this story a hundred times before. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Wrong Page Number 3 15 Feb 03, 2020 06:22AM  
Goodreads Librari...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Change Cover 7 31 Jan 29, 2020 04:04AM  
Dylan O'Brien Will Play Mitch Rapp in American Assassin 17 90 Jan 25, 2019 11:21AM  
Movie Upadate. 103 546 Jul 21, 2018 09:04PM  
SSG: Spy/Spec-Ops...: * Just finished! 2 49 Jan 15, 2018 10:52AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please add details 3 21 Mar 09, 2016 05:03PM  
Suspense 12 99 Apr 09, 2015 08:53PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Lions of Lucerne (Scot Harvath, #1)
  • Vince Flynn Complete Series Reading Order
  • Path of the Assassin (Scot Harvath, #2)
  • Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, #1)
  • The Gray Man (Gray Man, #1)
  • State of the Union (Scot Harvath, #3)
  • The Survivor: by Vince Flynn and Kyle Mills (A Mitch Rapp Novel Book 12) | Unofficial & Independent Summary & Analysis
  • Dark Guardian: A New Dawn (Dark Guardian, #2)
  • Dark Guardian: Legends (Dark Guardian, #3)
  • One Rough Man (Pike Logan, #1)
  • The Kill Artist (Gabriel Allon, #1)
  • Never Go Back by Lee Child -- Summary and Review
  • Power Down (Dewey Andreas, #1)
  • Ana Rocha: Shadows of Justice
  • Dark Guardian (Dark Guardian, #1)
  • The Camel Club (The Camel Club #1)
  • The First Commandment (Scot Harvath, #6)
  • The Terminal List (Terminal List, #1)
See similar books…
The fifth of seven children, Vince Flynn was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1966. He graduated from the St. Thomas Academy in 1984, and the University of St. Thomas with a degree in economics in 1988.

After college he went to work for Kraft General Foods where he was an account and sales marketing specialist. In 1990 he left Kraft to accept an aviation candidate slot with the United States Marine

Other books in the series

Mitch Rapp (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Kill Shot (Mitch Rapp, #2)
  • Transfer of Power (Mitch Rapp, #3)
  • The Third Option (Mitch Rapp, #4)
  • Separation of Power (Mitch Rapp, #5)
  • Executive Power (Mitch Rapp, #6)
  • Memorial Day (Mitch Rapp, #7)
  • Consent to Kill (Mitch Rapp, #8)
  • Act of Treason (Mitch Rapp, #9)
  • Protect and Defend (Mitch Rapp, #10)
  • Extreme Measures (Mitch Rapp, #11)

Articles featuring this book

"A spy, like a writer, lives outside the mainstream population. He steals his experience through bribes and reconstructs it."...
49 likes · 44 comments
“Revenge is more wild, less calculated...deeply personal. Retribution is a punishment that is morally right and fully deserved. (Mitch Rapp)” 42 likes
“If you're not busy living, you're dying.” 37 likes
More quotes…