New York Times bestselling author Vince Flynn returns with his most explosive political thriller yet. A tour de force of action-packed suspense, Protect and Defend delivers an all-too-realistic and utterly compelling vision of nations navigating the minefield of international intrigue. A true "heavyweight in the political thriller arena" (Minneapolis Star Tribune), Vince Flynn has created a flesh-and-blood hero that readers can cheer for and a "finger-blistering page-turner" they won't dare put down.
In Protect and Defend, the action begins in the heart of Iran, where billions of dollars are being spent on the development of a nuclear program. No longer willing to wait for the international community to stop its neighboring enemy, Israel launches one of the most creative and daring espionage operations ever conceived. The attack leaves a radioactive tomb and environmental disaster in the middle of Iran's second largest city. An outraged Iranian government publicly blames both Israel and the United States for the attack and demands retribution. Privately, Iran's bombastic president wants much more. He wants America and Israel to pay for their aggression with blood.
Enter Mitch Rapp, America's top counterterrorism operative. Used to employing deception, Rapp sees an opportunity where others see only Iranian reprisals that could leave thousands of Americans dead. Rapp convinces President Josh Alexander to sign off on a risky operation that will further embarrass the Iranian government and push their country to the brink of revolution. As part of the plan, CIA director Irene Kennedy is dispatched to the region for a clandestine meeting with Azad Ashani, her Iranian counterpart.
But Rapp isn't the only one hatching plans. Iran's President Amatullah has recruited Hezbollah master terrorist Imad Mukhtar to do his dirty work. For decades Mukhtar has acted as a surrogate for Iran, blazing a trail of death and destruction across the Middle East and beyond. When Kennedy's meeting with Ashani goes disastrously wrong, Rapp and Mukhtar are set on a collision course that threatens to engulf the entire region in war. With the clock ticking, Rapp is given twenty-four hours, no questions asked, to do whatever it takes to stop Mukhtar, and avert an unthinkable catastrophe.
After taking care of a loose end from Act of Treason (2006), Mitch Rapp looks into the destruction of Iran's secret nuclear weapons facility in bestseller's Flynn's predictable eighth thriller to feature the counterterrorism agent. Given the absence of any indication of either a U.S. or an Israeli air strike, Rapp takes the opportunity to persuade the U.S. administration to plot an operation to destabilize the fanatical Iranian regime by having an Iranian dissident group claim responsibility for what he suspects was an inside job by an Israeli spy. When the Iranian government sinks one of its own ships and blames the U.S., Rapp and CIA chief Irene Kennedy travel to Iraq to try to defuse the crisis, only to fall victim to an ambush (reminiscent of one in Tom Clancy's A Clear and Present Danger) that results in Kennedy's abduction. Rapp races the clock to rescue his boss before she's tortured into revealing what she knows. Despite a backstory replete with personal loss, Rapp comes across as a one-dimensional killing machine, willing to do whatever needs doing to complete the mission. (Oct. 30)
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-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-2 of the 2 most recent reviews
1 . Exciting throughout!
Posted May 07, 2010 by Bill Hawkins , FresnoSuper story, kept my interest throughout.
2 . One of Flynn's best!
Posted April 09, 2009 by SBonner , Albuquerque, New MexicoI have read several of Vince Flynn's books but this book I could not put down. One of Flynn's faster paced novels and very current in today's world. Now if I could find another book like this one with Rapp doing the stuff he does best!
October 28, 2007
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Excerpt from Protect and Defend (The Mitch Rapp Series: #10) by Vince Flynn
Puerto Golfito, Costa Rica
Mitch Rapp ran his hand along her smooth, naked thigh, up to her waist, and then down along her flat stomach. His body was pressed against hers; front to back, her head resting on his arm. This moment had not been part of the plan, but it shouldn't have surprised him. There had been signposts; furtive glances, comments made only half in jest. The tension had built for the better part of a year. Each of them silently wondering. Neither knowing for sure if it would ever go to that next level. And then they arrived at the private villa overlooking the tranquil beach. The warm, humid air, the crashing surf, the shots of tequila; all coalesced to create a situation of overwhelming sexual tension.
Rapp kissed her bare shoulder, nudged a lock of her silky, black hair with his nose and listened to her breathing. She was sound asleep. He lay still for a long moment, completely intoxicated by the smell and touch of the beautiful woman lying next to him. He hadn't felt this alive in a long time, though guilt was still hovering in the recesses of his conscience, waiting to come rushing back at any moment. He could sense it gnawing at the edge of his psyche. Trying to get back in. Forcing him to think about things he wished he could forget, but knew he never would.
Pulling himself away from her, he rolled onto his back and stared up at the ceiling fan. Candles danced with the breeze and threw a faint light on the slow-turning blades and the dark, stained timber rafters above. Beyond the open balcony doors the waves rolled onto the beach. It had been two years since a bomb had destroyed his home on the Chesapeake Bay, killing his wife and the child she was carrying. Not once since that tragic day had he slept soundly, and tonight would be no different.
They'd come for him on that fall afternoon -- not her. His guilt over her death drove him to the heights of rage and the valleys of sorrow. He had been a fool to think he could settle down and have a family. There were too many enemies. Too many relatives of the men he had killed. Too many governments and powerful individuals who would like nothing more than to see Mitch Rapp lying facedown in a pool of his own blood. There had been moments -- moments of deep despair where Rapp had quietly wished one of them would succeed. He welcomed the challenge. Just maybe, someone would get lucky and put him out of his
The odds of that happening tonight, however, were slim to nonexistent. Contrary to what his current prone position and the woman lying next to him suggested, Rapp had not traveled thousands of miles for a romantic getaway. Simply put, he had journeyed to this tropical location to kill a man. A narcissistic political operative who had selfishly put the needs of his party and himself above those of America. His scheming had changed the course of the last presidential election and resulted in the deaths of dozens of innocent people. With each passing week, it become more obvious that the man thought he had gotten away with it. In fact, only a few people did know of his involvement, but unfortunately for the target, they were not the types to let treason go unpunished.
Rapp and his team had kept an eye on the man for the better part of a year. At first the surveillance was extremely passive. He was on one coast, and Rapp and his people were on the other. They tracked him electronically through his credit cards and ATM withdrawals. As the months passed, and the target began to let his guard down, they stepped up the surveillance. Listening devices were placed near his home, office, and boat, and his cell phone calls were monitored. Spyware was installed on his computers and they began tracking his every move, looking for a pattern or an opportunity.
That was how they discovered the trip he had planned,
a monthlong excursion from San Diego down to Panama and back. The target was planning on putting his brand-new two
million-dollar boat through his own personal sea trial. Rapp got his hands on the complete itinerary for the trip and sent an advance team to scout the ports of call. Terminating the target in a remote Third World country was infinitely better than doing so in America.
It turned out Puerto Golfito was the perfect location. Relatively small, the fishing village had a growing tourist industry. Cruise ships now dropped anchor a few times a week to disgorge their passengers. Commerce was on the up, real estate was booming, and the entire city was in a state of flux. It was the perfect environment for two people to come and go unnoticed. As far as operations went this one was not all that challenging. Even so, one aspect of the plan was giving Rapp some concern. The naked woman lying next to him was adamant that she be the one to send this man to his grave.