So, how have fans reacted to my take on one of history’s most iconic thriller characters?
Pretty well so far.
As best I can tell, about ninety-five percent of readers think I got Mitch exactly right. Of the remaining five percent, about half didn’t seem to want the series to continue and the other half thought I’d turned Mitch into a thug.
To answer that question, you have to remember that the character has had a long, complex life—evolving from the angry college grad in American Assassin to the ruthless warrior we find in The Last Man.
Starting with Pursuit of Honor, Mitch begins to feel more angry and frustrated than he has in the past. He assaults Mike Nash for disagreeing with him, cripples bar bouncers, and entertains the idea of working for a Russian mobster. In The Last Man, the first 100 pages are primarily a description of Rapp arm-twisting both friend and foe.
I think the reason for this is twofold. First, the death of his wife and unborn child was a blow he struggled to absorb. And second is the fact that as 9-11 fades in the minds of many Americans, he sees our vigilance waning.
The reaction of a small minority notwithstanding, I actually made a conscious effort to pull Mitch back from the brink. He starts thinking about getting his life together and even entertains the idea of having another relationship. I intend to continue that slow realignment with the eventual goal of taking him back to what he was in earlier books.
At his foundation, though, Mitch will stay the same: A patriot. A man with laser-like focus who doesn’t suffer political fools well. A loyal comrade in arms. But most of all, a soldier with the skill and courage to protect the country he loves.