The Protector
David Morrell
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The Protector
David Morrell
496 pages
May 2004
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Opposing forces with different agendas converge in David Morrell's The Protector, but one man is the intended target. That man hires a company of "protectors", all veterans of special operations training. Their mission: engineer his disappearance. But wherever the client goes, violence follows.

Using a private company like Global Protective Resources, men like biochemist Daniel Prescott hire the best in specially trained ex-soldiers -- in this case Delta-Force -- to optimize their finely-honed skills for self-preservation. It's not uncommon for the United States government to occasionally contract with such companies, which are highly conversant with low-profile methods and the need for secrecy.

Cavanaugh is assigned to protect Prescott, whose problem is two-fold: one set of pursuers wants to capture him and another wants to kill him. As planned, Cavanaugh spirits Prescott to safety, meeting up with his assigned Global Protective team at a safe house where they prepare the next phase of the plan: new identification. Suddenly the team is under attack, Prescott is gone and Cavanaugh is running for his life. Wounded and on the move, Cavanaugh desperately tries to reconcile Prescott's real purpose, since their pursuers are using technology only available to the military. To his own detriment, Cavanaugh discovers exactly what special weapon Prescott has developed that makes him such a valuable target. And, it seems that the seemingly innocuous Prescott is intent on the destruction of anyone with knowledge of his plans or new identity.

David Morrell delivers a constant barrage of nerve-wracking action that accelerates with each situation, using a virtual arsenal of technological and psycho/physiological innovations that change the face of modern warfare. The implications are frightening: the proliferation of sophisticated weapons in ever more hysterical brinkmanship. Mixed into this manic techno-stew are the small details, the human reactions that render the characters all the more flawed and believable. When Morrell turns up the heat, the whole mixture boils over into a final violent confrontation. This novel will have you looking over your shoulder for a while and rethinking the uses for duct tape.

© 2003 by Luan Gaines for Curled Up With a Good Book

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