Friday, May 30, 2008

Protect and Defend

Now, I'm trying to catch up on all my reading, so I'm writing these posts out of order. Along with this Vince Flynn novel, I've recently read a couple John Nance books, a Jonathan Damien book, and Richard Marcinko books. All these books relate in some fashion to the military, or at least to the the Intelligence branches of the military or FBI in some fashion. I must compliment these authors on their meticulous research. It doesn't hurt that these guys are real-life participants (Nance, Damien, and Marcinko) in the fields they hash out in their novels. I don't know what Vince Flynn's background is, the book jacket says nothing other than that he went to college, but his characterization of the CIA falls right in line with these other authors, so I take it Flynn did his homework.

The protagonist is Mitch Rapp, a top CIA operative thrust into a middle-east political cauldron. The book has a 2007 copyright and you can tell, because it encapsulates the present-day, real-life political and military tensions in the middle east.

The novel goes behind the scenes into Iran, where the government leaders are in deep disagreement about engaging the U.S. in war. A covert Israeli operation that destroys a secret Iranian facility gets pinned on the U.S. by the the Iranians, though the U.S. had nothing to do with it.

As with Jonathan Damien's Catchers in the Sky (a fictional novel about the present day conflicts on the Korean peninsula), ne'er-do-wells take the opportunity to drag the U.S. into military conflict. Enter Mitch Rapp who is tasked with saving the kidnapped CIA Director and keeping the U.S. out of war with Iran.

Mitch Rapp is a very cool operative. Like Dick Marcinko, he is a brutal, merciless killer who luckily is on our side. Unlike Marcinko, Flynn is masterful in his prose and story-telling. Liberals beware, you'll be steaming half-way through the novel. Otherwise, read on!

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