Minnesota author Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp series to continue

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Minnesota author Vince Flynn's main character Mitch Rapp will live on in stories written by someone else, the late best-selling author's publisher said in a news release.

The Vince Flynn Estate, along with his editor, Emily Bestler, announced that bestselling author Kyle Mills will carry on the legacy of Rapp, a CIA agent and counterterrorism operative who starred in 13 of Flynn's 14 novels.

"I'm really honored to have been asked to continue the Mitch Rapp series," Mills said in the news release. "Vince was a great guy who helped me out in my career and as a diehard Rapp fan, I know how devastated his readers are. They're big shoes to fill, but I'm looking forward to the challenge of continuing an iconic thriller character."

Mills will complete "The Survivor," the book Flynn was writing at the time of his death on June 19, 2013, and write two more Rapp novels, publisher Simon and Schuster says. "The Survivor" is scheduled to be released next year.

"To Vince's wonderful fans, thank you for your love, support and patience," said Lysa Flynn, Vince’s widow, in the release. "Vince was very proud of his team and we are confident that Kyle Mills will be a great addition."

Mills said he plans to continue with the story threads left hanging from Flynn's last completed book, "The Last Man," which was published in 2012, the Associated Press reports.

This isn't the first time Mills has carried on a character created by another author. He's written 13 books, including three in the style of Jason Bourne creator Robert Ludlum, who died in 2001, the AP says.

To prepare himself to finish Flynn's novel, Mills told the AP that he re-read and took pages of notes on all of Flynn's previous novels.

The Associated Press has a list of other literary characters who have outlived their creators, including Ian Fleming's James Bond and Margaret Mitchell's Scarlet O'Hara.

Flynn, who was born in St. Paul, died at age 47 after battling prostate cancer for two years. Flynn's first novel, “Term Limits,” was self-published in 1997 and later picked up by Pocket Books. Flynn went on to sell more than 58 million copies of his 14 books.

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