Review

Protect and Defend

by Vince Flynn

Vince Flynn's new novel, PROTECT AND DEFEND, clocks out at 100
pages an hour. I timed it myself --- from the very beginning, where
CIA operative Mitch Rapp engages in a bit of housekeeping left over
from ACT OF TREASON, all the way through 400 pages of
edge-of-the-seat narrative, to the conclusion, where Rapp engages
once again in a bit of housekeeping. Four hours, 403 pages. I
missed dinner and time spent with my wife, but this one was way too
good to put down.

PROTECT AND DEFEND gets rolling when the site of Iran's nuclear
weapon program is summarily taken off the checkerboard by a guy
with two saddlebags and a milk cart. Seriously. I'm not giving
anything away here, either. Buy the book and read it just to find
out how this gets done. The government of Iran is beside itself
and, of course, is quick to blame the United States, even though we
are as surprised as everyone (well, almost everyone) when the
facility collapses.

Rapp figures out how it was done and comes up with a brilliant idea
that will not only embarrass Iran even more but also overthrow its
hostile government. Part of the plan involves a risky back-channel
meeting near the Iran-Iraqi border between CIA Director Irene
Kennedy and Azad Ashani, head of the Iranian Ministry of
Intelligence and Security. Ashani sees no future for his country in
the continued strife with the rest and is interested in taking the
first tentative steps toward achieving peace.

What he does not know, however, is that Imad Mukhtar, a master
terrorist in the employ of Hezbollah, has been recruited by Iran's
president to turn the process into a bloodbath for the U.S. When
the meeting goes horribly wrong, Rapp --- hamstrung in a city where
his allies are greatly outnumbered by his enemies and under
pressure from second-guessing quislings in his own government ---
has only a few desperate hours to unravel Mukhtar's plot, which is
part of a much larger plan to bring the world to the brink of
war.

It cannot be said often enough: Flynn gets it. He understands how
the world operates and infuses his characters with a consistent and
coherent realism that is itself informed by a keen sense of
clear-headedness and observation. Reading Flynn, particularly in
PROTECT AND DEFEND, is like throwing open a window and taking in a
breath of fresh, cold air that invigorates and enlightens without
sacrificing entertainment value.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 23, 2011

Protect and Defend
by Vince Flynn

  • Publication Date: October 30, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • ISBN-10: 074327041X
  • ISBN-13: 9780739490587