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A BOOK REVIEW BY ALEX GRANT

THE PROTECTOR
DAVID MORRELL / WARNER BOOKS
MAY 2003 / HARD COVERS @ $36.95 Can.

'frantic boiling-point non-stop action'

Canadian ex-patriate David Morrell’s 19th thriller THE PROTECTOR - his first novel was FIRST BLOOD in 1972 – is a state-of-the art textbook account of how modern-day bodyguards keep life and limb together, using many tricks of the trade that are persuasively described. But do not try these at home, huh? Only a super-human could survive the gauntlet run by our hero right from page one after which frantic boiling-point non-stop action is the keyword.
Tough guy and former Delta Force member Cavanaugh is assigned to protect a biochemist with a deep dark secret: the formula to a designer mind-bending drug that can addict any human being. His client Prescott is a very devious and manipulative fugitive whose betrayal results in a total wipe-out of Cavanaugh’s unit at Global Protective Services.
Understandably Cavanaugh, himself now on the lam and assisted only by his wife, Jamie wants revenge. Not only has he been plagued by the tenacious minions of a Colombian drug-lord wanting the formula but a top- secret government operation has targeted him and his wife Jamie. Bereft of allies and expecting his days to be numbered our hero and heroine fight back determined to protect one another tooth-and-nail and jointly expunge the failure he has endured from undue naivete about those he chose to trust. His pride in his profession and his self-respect have been seriously impaired as well as his buddies massacred. And he must retain even rebuild the confidence his partner always had for his professional skills, even though he tried to keep work and marriage totally separate, until now
Morrell specializes in the provision of every last detail about weaponry in the Tom Clancy manner – every bullet and helicopter is given its due specifics with awe and appreciation about the ingenuity of their creators. For some of us this litany of technology can prove tedious and distracting but of course the mind-set of a man like Cavanaugh who has to rely upon the technology is rather plodding and literal.
A smidgen of gallows humour added to this pot-boiler makes it far more palatable and distracting than its heavy-duty worship of the security business at the onset would have you expect.

© Alex Grant May 2003
alexgrantreviews@hotmail.com

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