Counting Down the Best Villains in the Mitch Rapp Series: Part 5 (only one villain left!)

For those that haven’t noticed, there’s been a lengthy delay between posts. The reason for that is simple, The Survivor came out and I wanted it to have it’s time to shine. Also, the latest entry in the Rapp franchise had an enormous effect on my final rankings – but more on that in the next post.

I could write more about how much I love The Survivor (I do!) and how lucky we are as fans to have Kyle Mills on board (we are!), but why drag this out any further?

Protect and Defend
Protect and Defend, by Vince Flynn

2.) Stu Garret

Normally I don’t start with the characters death, but for Stu Garret I’m going to make an exception. When Protect and Defend opened and Rapp was in Costa Rica, swimming out to Stu’s yacht, I had just one thought: About dang time!

Come on, admit it. When Stu wakes up to relieve himself in the ocean during the middle of the night, with Rapp secretly waiting to pounce on him, you got excited! We all got excited. How can anyone not get excited at that moment?!

Mitch smashed Stu’s head into the floor of the yacht, then pulled Garret overboard and continued swimming further and further down into the ocean. Stu fought back but, obviously, was no match for Mitch Rapp.

Soon it was all over. One of the most repulsive (and just plain annoying) characters Vince Flynn ever created, finally died.

Backing up a bit

The fact that people hated Stu Garret so much speaks to Flynn’s genius. He had this amazing ability to create terrific antagonists who were so easy to hate. But he also knew just how to deal with them, including the proper time and way for Rapp to “dispose” of them.

Never has that been more true than with Garret, who first appeared in Term Limits but didn’t die until Protect and Defend – eight books later.

To put that into perspective, consider that Vince Flynn published Term Limits in 1997, and Protect and Defend in 2007. He literally let the fan hatred for Garret build for a decade (a decade!) before killing him off.

Always seems slips away

Stu Garret is a snake. Simply put, he’s rude, obnoxious, full of himself, and out of his freaking mind. He’s also a coward, never standing up to anyone in a position to push back at him. Well, he did once – but that was against Mitch as he dragged Stu deeper and deeper into the water – and we know how that ended!

In Term Limits, Garett, who was President Steven’s chief of staff, partnered with Mike Nance and Arthur Higgins to have Senator Olson and Congressman Turnquist killed. Their plan was to make it look like Coleman and his team were at fault, but the Michael O’Rourke and Thomas Stansfield uncovered the truth.

Ultimately Coleman killed Nance, which was later reported as a freak accident involving his horse, but nothing happened to Garett. It was decided by the president that the public would be better off not knowing about Nance and Garret’s involvement. Stu, unfortunately, got away.

Act of Treason

In Vince Flynn’s 2006 novel, Act of Treason, Stu Garret made his return to the franchise. Garret was the campaign manager for Josh Alexander’s presidential campaign, and once again he proved be a real piece-of-you-know-what!

This time around Stu made friends with Cy Green and Mark Ross, teaming with them to have Alexander’s wife, who was sleeping with a secret service agent behind her husband’s back, killed in an effort to gain sympathy and votes.

Rapp and Kennedy ultimately learned of Stu’s role in the killing of Mrs. Alexander, and Mitch planned to kill him along with Cy Green. Instead, Kennedy decided to keep the truth from Alexander, who had just been elected President, once they learned that he didn’t know about his wife’s affair.

The man was already grieving the loss of his wife, why break his heart any further and reveal her infidelity?

Mark Ross, for his part in the killing, had a heart attack in the oval office courtesy of Irene Kennedy, who slipped something into his drink to induce cardiac arrest.

But once again, Stu Garret got away – though only temporarily.

In the final pages of Act of Treason, Rapp asked Kennedy how long he had to wait before he could kill Garret.

Her answer: “I think at least a year.”

Rapp’s response: “Come on, a year is a long time”

In reality, looking back, that was really Flynn’s promise to his readers. Wait one more year…. In that case we’re Mitch, complaining about how long a year is. Little did we know what the author had in store for us with the very next book!

In the end Vince made good on his promise, and didn’t disappoint!

The yacht

So now here we are, back at the end, on the yacht with Rapp swimming out ready to finally put an end to one of Vince Flynn’s most hated characters.

In his February 2010 Q&A on his website, Vince was asked who his favorite villain from one of his books is. Here’s his answer:

“Stu Garret, the presidential Chief of Staff in Term Limits. He typified the kind of jerk who is often drawn to the halls of power. His demise in Protect and Defend was one of the most satisfying scenes I’ve ever written.”

Vince, the feeling from fans is mutual. That is by far one of the most satisfying scenes in any of your novels. Thank you for finally having Rapp take out Stu Garret!

Why I ranked him here

Creating this list was hard enough when I was simply trying to come up with the ten most hated villains Vince Flynn had created. It was agonizing trying to put them in order, but ultimately I felt pretty comfortable with the end result. That is, of course, until The Survivor came out and drastically changed things!

As for Stu Garret, he’s just so easy to hate. In fact, he’s probably the easiest of all villains in the series to hate, which is really saying something when you consider the other guys on the list. He’s also the longest running antagonist, even though he only appears in three books.

The fact that he seems to get away in two of those books, only to go on and live a rich and comfortable lifestyle when everyone else he’s ever conspired with ends up dead, provided an extra dose of satisfaction when Rapp finally does drag him down into the ocean.

Unveiling the number one villain

Very soon I will be unveiling the number one villain. I have something special planned, a little surprise for everyone, and I promise to publish it just after the fist of the year. I’m only waiting that long so that readers of the series have one more chance to squeeze in The Survivor this holiday season, that way nothing is spoiled when they read my next post.

If you think that’s a dead giveaway, it’s not. Again, I have something special planned!

As always, I leave you with a quote:

Rapp withdrew the blade from Garret’s throat and put it back in it’s scabbard. With his left hand still holding on to Garret’s hair, he said, “And that’s why I’m going to Kill You.”

Vince Flynn (Protect and Defend)


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