Order to Kill is built around Russia’s economic desperation in the face of depressed energy prices. The leader of the country is starting to lose his grip on power and has to take drastic measures to restore prosperity to his country. His goal is to use ISIS to create chaos in Saudi Arabia and the other oil producing states.
The plotline gave me a chance to explore a phenomenon I’m fascinated by—the geopolitical instability caused by low energy prices.
In your new book, you discuss the dangers of nuclear weapons and America’s relationship with Pakistan. It seems like a complicated one. What is America’s current relationship with Pakistan like?
A horrifying disaster. Pakistan is basically a failed state and one of the most anti-American places in the world. It has a significant nuclear arsenal and the US pumps massive amounts of money into the country to keep it stable.
Of course, most of that money ends up in the pockets of corrupt officials, terrorists, and the military.
How did you get connected with the late great Vince Flynn?
I’d always been a fan of the series and had experience writing for Robert Ludlum’s Covert-One series. It seemed like a natural fit and I was excited about the possibility of Mitch Rapp living on despite Vince’s passing. The world needs him.
Where do you get your inspirations from? In your bio, it states that your father was an FBI agent. Do you use him as inspiration?
My father was an FBI agent for many years as well as the legal attaché to the UK, and the director of Interpol. Growing up surrounded by government agents, military, etc. has made my life as a writer much easier. I have a broad cast of characters I can draw on and it gives me a leg up when it comes to research.
What 2-3 takeaways would you like readers to leave with after reading your book?
In my mind, the most interesting theme in Order to Kill is the weakness of Russia. Many people see it as a resurgent country but, in fact, it’s a basket case. It’s the largest country in the world with incredible natural resources, but can’t even manage to generate an economy the size of Italy’s. Worse, it’s run—almost owned—but a man who can never afford to lose power.
The bear is an apt analogy for Russia, but now it’s wounded and starving. That may make the country even more dangerous than it was at the apex of the Soviet era.