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Protect and Defend - Vince Flynn

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Author: Vince Flynn / Genre: Crime / Thriller

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      07.07.2013 10:48
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      Disappointing thriller

      ==Synopsis of the book:==

      Trouble is brewing in the Middle East. Iran are on the brink of developing nuclear weapons and to stop this the Israel manage to plant one of there people in the facility. He manages to destroy it with a bomb creating an environmental disaster. Iran wants to avenge the attack but does not know if it was their deadly rival Israel, Iraq or America who is behind it. Iran makes the most of the disaster and makes the lose of life much higher than it really was to get support and backing from the United Nations.

      Iran calls up one of its terrorists Imad Mukhtar to mastermind their response. While America continue to deny any knowledge of involvement in the attack. With the Iranian government demanding compensation and protest against the dominant world power, telling their people to show their discontent at this action in the streets. World peace is at stake and the President Of America calls CIA hit man Mitch Rapp to help to diffuse and resolve the crisis in any way he can, the will not lead to outright war between the two countries.

      ==My thoughts on the novel:==

      A few weeks ago I read my first novel written by Vince Flynn called 'Act of Treason'. This I really enjoyed so I decided I must read another one to see how it compared. Sadly in my opinion this suspense thriller did not compare at all well and I found it a disappointing read. Yes you still had plenty of action so there was in the main plenty to enjoy, it for me lacked too much intelligence preferring brawn over brain and I thought given the subject matter of International Relations there would be more thinking used within the story.

      Anyone who knows me knows I love thrillers and mysteries more than any other kind of book. Yet in many ways this book reminded me of a Lee Childs novel, it lacked real depth and although the fight scenes were excellently described I found the story a bit wooden and hard to totally believe in. Despite what was being brought up being possible, I felt the author treated non American countries with a lack of respect and intelligence.

      When I read my first Vince Flynn book I had very low expectations. This was for a variety of reasons the most important being it was a new author to me and at that an American one. That is not to say I consider all American writers bad, it is more the cultural differences between our two countries and this is probably not helped by the fact I have never been there so I cannot appreciate the differences. However that story pleasantly surprised me, I think that it was because it dealt with a terrorist attack on a Presidential Candidate something that interest me where as this dealt with more International relations and terrorist, religious and other ethic groups.

      And while ordinarily this should be something that I should be interested in I found it hard to understand the variety of groups involved and to remember what their aims and objectives where. This despite the authors best intentions of advising the reader of such, I found I didn't really understand the politics of it added to which I found many of the names hard to pronounce and remember. As a result I read without really knowing who was on whose side and who could be trusted.

      The story started with almost a return to the end of the previous story with Mitch Rapp concluding his business with one of those involved in that story. I thought this was an odd way to start because had I not read the previous book I might have wondered what it was all about. However on the positive side it did in my opinion introduce the lead character in all his glory showing exactly what he was capable of doing.

      The story then moved on to the Iranian Nuclear facility and the terrorist that was attempting to blow it up. This was interesting and I got to know and understand exactly why he was taking this course of action. What I have found is Vince Flynn is very good at describing both a scene and the International context within it. I found this quite entertaining but because we were with the terrorist there was a lack of mystery and so when the Iranian government started blaming primarily the Americans for the tragedy it was hard to take it too seriously as we knew who was behind it.

      For me the story then deteriorated as it became a slower pace. It dealt with all the ramifications of what had happened and followed basically the Iranian and American governments responding to what the other was saying. If I was particularly interested in foreign policy I might have found this more interesting but as it was I found it slow and again hard to remember where some ethnic and religious groups fitted into the story.

      It was only after the story was well over half way that my interest returned when the talking stopped and the action began again. This was well thought out and really showed the author had a keen eye for detail when dealing with an action scene. I liked the way the author does not always make things easy or simple for Mitch and his team and it is this unpredictability that helps bring more suspense to the story especially with him being in many ways a 'loose cannon'.

      The second half of the story was enjoyable and it had a good pace about it. With the author explaining what was happening through several characters eyes you got the feeling of seeing the complete picture, even if you did not necessarily agree with all the view points. Yes I still struggled with remembering some of the unusual Iranian names and knowing exactly who could be trusted. The story now had real purpose and the author demonstrated how important what was happening was in a global setting.

      The conclusion was a little bit of a damp squid for me, but then that was very likely doing to be the case given the excitement in the build up. Again it all seemed to fall into place a little bit too easy and I thought it could have been made harder and more complicated. Although what did surprise me was it was followed by an epilogue, that explained what happened next. Always a good idea given the action we had seen before. But what surprised me was there was another chapter following the this. I have never known this and it did round the story of in a satisfactory way.

      Mitch Rapp is the lead character within the story and I very strong one at that. I can't honestly say I like him but I do understand him better now and know why he works the way he does. For me he is too much of a maverick and sometimes I find his abilities a little hard to except. Although by sharing his thoughts and actions you do get to know him and understand better why he is doing what he does. I like the way he interacts with people and the way he will take no prisoners if he believes he is right.

      Having enjoyed the first book by Vince Flynn I felt this one was quite disappointing. The stories length was about right but and I know you need to fully explain all the sides views in a crisis, I felt this went on far too long leaving a lot of the story quite dull. As a result I think I will not be reading another in this series for a while. I think you can get to much of terrorism and I feel I need a break from this style of story that can be predictable.


      This is not a book I feel hand on heart I can recommend. I found it quite boring in parts and because I did not know the foreign terrorist and religious groups I found it confusing. As a result I found myself waiting for the action to start and when it did it was very good and well described but it didn't make up for having to wait so long for it.

      ==Other Information:==

      Kindle version: 4.99
      Paperback version 5.49
      Pages: 417
      Publisher: Pocket Books
      ISBN-10: 1847390803
      ISBN-13: 978-1847390806
      Year first Published: 2008

      Thanks for reading my review.

      This review is published on both Ciao and Dooyoo under my user name.

      © CPTDANIELS July 2013


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