Protect and Defend by Vince Flynn

Protect and DefendProtect and DefendProtect and Defend by Vince Flynn is Vince Flynn’s eighth novel featuring Mitch Rapp, the CIA undercover agent. Rapp is a controversial figure who will stop at nothing or anyone to achieve his goal in keeping his country safe from terrorism. He answers only to Irene Kennedy the head of the CIA who usually has to cover his back against the onslaughts from the media.

The story begins in Iran where, with Iran having spent billions on building a controversial nuclear reactor, the Mossad successfully plant an agent within the facility and he proceeds to set detonator charges around the facility, blowing it up from within. Iran immediately accuses Israel and America of bombing the facility and plot a large scale revenge.

Hezbollah leader Imad Mukhtar comes to Iran to implement his own devilish plans for a devastating revenge on America – a plot which includes sinking one of Iran’s own tankers in order to incite the Arab world even more. While the Iranian government are all baying for blood, one of their ministers, Ashani, has seen evidence that the explosion did not come from bombers but from within. Believing that to go out on a full scale war is the wrong ploy; he arranges a meeting with Irene Kennedy to discuss alleviating the tensions.

However, everything goes wrong when Mukhtar arranges for Kennedy to be kidnapped during the visit and Rapp is suddenly in a race for time to rescue her before the terrorists can extract any intelligence from her. When he begins to use extreme measures – which include torture – to extract information from three captives, he faces opposition from the US government. However, the president grants him twenty four hours to make progress or he must desist his tactics.

While Ashani is desperately trying to defuse the situation, Mukhtar is trying to bring the entire Middle East up in arms against Israel and America. Rapp is suddenly the only man who can prevent this happening but the clock is ticking.

This was one of Flynn’s better efforts, with a good plot and pulsating drama. Flynn once again brings up the ‘end justifying the means’ conundrum as America has to decide whether to put convention before security or vice-versa. A good read.

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