Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Passing of a Rapp Star

Although this turn of events was certainly not unexpected, I still regret having to announce that Vince Flynn, a popular American author of political thrillers, has died. He was only 47 years old.

More than two years ago, Flynn posted a notice on his Web site, explaining that he’d been “diagnosed with Stage III metastatic prostate cancer.” He added, though, that “my attitude is strong, and I feel better than I have in years,” and he looked forward to at least an “extremely good” near-term prognosis. However, the St. Paul, Minnesota, author lost his battle with cancer very early this morning, “surrounded by family and friends.”

Flynn had suffered from dyslexia in his youth, and he told Rap Sheet correspondent Ali Karim in 2008 that it took him a long time to overcome that learning disability:
Not being able to read and write above the level of an eighth-grader was very embarrassing. I was a decent athlete, and that kept me out of trouble. During my junior year in college I decided to confront the problem and forced myself to begin reading for the first time. I started with Trinity, by Leon Uris, and then dug into [Robert] Ludlum, [Ken] Follett, [Jack] Higgins, [Tom] Clancy, and many others. Even though I was a slow reader, I realized early on that my dyslexic mind could predict what was going to happen with each story. Almost overnight I became passionate about the thing I feared most as a child.
After college, Flynn worked as an account and sales specialist for Kraft General Foods, then sought to join the U.S. Marine Corps as an aviator, only to eventually be medically disqualified from that second career. In 1997 he self-published his first novel, Term Limits, and went on to produce 13 books featuring undercover CIA counter-terrorism operative Mitch Rapp, including 2012’s The Last Man, which is due out in paperback this coming August.’s Omnivoracious blog notes that “Flynn’s books were especially embraced by well-known political conservatives. (Flynn was friends with Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.) Flynn attributed this to his books’ patriotic and pro-military themes, and he once said that he felt his books were ‘entertainment, educational, and serve as cautionary tales.’”

His 14th Mitch Rapp novel, The Survivor, is due out in the States from Atria/Emily Bestler Books this coming October.

We send our best wishes to Flynn’s family.

(Hat tip to Mystery Fanfare.)


Anthony Rainone Anthony said...

A huge loss to the thriller community.

John said...

This was one that made me gasp. Too young to go.

I also learend that James Gandolfini (51 - same age as me) died of a heart attack on June 19. So R.I.P to Tony Soprano., too.