(This list is of ten important things that the reader should know after reading this book.)
1. Mitch Rapp – The character of Mitch Rapp is something that you should know after reading this book. He is the protagonist of the story. He is an American CIA agent. He is more highly trained then special ops and gets the job done every time. Even through his shell of a “tough guy”, he shows emotion from time to time.
2. The Middle East – This story is set in the Middle East, and more specifically, Iran and Iraq. This is important because this region of the world has a general dislike of all things American. This dislike for the U.S., which is more of a hatred in Iran, is the reason behind Irene Kennedy’s kidnapping. After the Israeli attack on the nuclear facility at Isfahan, the Iranians assume it is the U.S. and try to get revenge for what has happened.
3. President Amatullah – He is the president of Iran. He is a very important character because he is the one who decides to have Kennedy kidnapped. He also makes the decision to have an Iranian submarine fire on an Iranian ship and sink it. He does this to create the illusion that the U.S. sunk the ship. Both of these actions escalate the conflict between the U.S. and Iran very nearly starting an all out war.
4. The method of changing location almost every chapter – The author changes the location basically every chapter and it allows him to have something exciting happening all the time. For example, if there is a boring part happening in Iran with minister Ashani, it could switch to a gunfight in Mosul. It gives the opportunity to give information at one location and then switch to something more exciting. It keeps the reader interested.
5. The fact that the book is set in current times – The fact that the book is about current times, is important because it is easier to relate to. If you were to read a book set in the 1900s that was about two enemies similar to Iran and America, you might not understand the differences between the two societies. The fact that we understand our relationship with Iran makes this conflict understandable.
6. Imad Mukhtar – The character of Imad Mukhtar is very important to the story. He is one of the main members of Hezbollah, a Lebanese terrorist group. He is the one who orchestrates the attack on Kennedy’s convoy and the following kidnapping. His capture of Kennedy is one of the main events in this book. The fact that it is Kennedy that Mukhtar kidnaps makes Rapp even more motivated to find and kill Mukhtar.
7. The title of the book – Protect and defend is a meaningful title. Whenever someone enters the government, they make an oath to protect and defend the constitution of the United States. In this book, Rapp mentions how he is doing things that are outlawed in the constitution in order to protect the constitution. Cruel and unusual punishment is illegal, but he tortures prisoners in order to find out where Irene Kennedy was taken. He does this for the country which he also swore to protect, the United States.
8. The bombing of the Isfahan nuclear facility – The bombing of the Isfahan nuclear facility is the catalyst for this entire book. If the Israelis had not bombed the nuclear facility at Isfahan, the plot would have died and this book wouldn’t exist. The Iranians release propaganda against the Americans shortly after the bombing because of their hatred toward America. They also believe that the U.S. did it because it is their tradition to blame all of their problems on the U.S.
9. Minister Ashani – The Iranian minister of intelligence is caught in the crossfire of this whole incident. He realizes that a war with the United States would be one of the biggest mistakes that his country could make at this juncture. He travels to Mosul to meet with Kennedy and travels, under Amatullah’s order’s, with Imad Mukhtar, who kidnaps Kennedy after Ashani’s meeting with her.
10. The quote, “’I was only following orders.’ ‘So am I.’ Rapp pulled the trigger on the 9mm and shot him in he chest” (392). – This quote is at the end of the book. It is between Rapp and one of Imad Mukhtar’s men who was torturing Kennedy. It also applies to the rest of the book. Rapp does many things which some people could consider immoral or cruel, but he is following orders. For example, when he tortures the three prisoners, it is to find Kennedy, which Rapp has been commanded to do at all costs by the President himself.