Excerpt from Protect and Defend by Richard North Patterson, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Protect and Defend

by Richard North Patterson

Protect and Defend by Richard North Patterson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Dec 2000, 544 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2001, 608 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


A rough celebratory chorus rose from below. Mustering a faint smile, Bannon shook his hand.

"Congratulations," the Chief Justice murmured and then, after a moment's pause, he added the words "Mr. President."

At 12:31, both sobered and elated by the challenge awaiting him, President Kerry Kilcannon concluded his inaugural address.

There was a deep momentary quiet and then a rising swell of applause, long and sustained and, to Kerry, reassuring. Turning to those nearest, he looked first toward Lara Costello. Instead, he found himself staring at Chief Justice Bannon.

Bannon raised his hand, seeming to reach out to him, a red flush staining his cheeks. One side of his face twitched, and then his eyes rolled back into his head. Knees buckling, the Chief Justice slowly collapsed.

Before Kerry could react, three Secret Service agents surrounded the new President, uncertain of what they had seen. The crowd below stilled; from those closer at hand came cries of shock and confusion.

"He's had a stroke," Kerry said quickly. "I'm fine."

After a moment, they released his arms, clearing the small crush of onlookers surrounding the fallen Chief Justice. Senator Chad Palmer had already turned Bannon over and begun mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Kneeling beside them, Kerry watched Palmer's white-blond head press against the Chief Justice's ashen face. Chad's cheeks trembled with the effort to force air down a dead man's throat.

Turning at last, Palmer murmured to Kerry, "I think he's gone."

As ever in the presence of death, Kerry experienced a frisson of horror and pity. Chad touched his arm. "They'll need to see you, Mr. President. To know that you're all right."

Belatedly, Kerry nodded. He stood, turning, and saw his mother and Lara, their stunned expressions mirroring his own. Only then did he register what Chad Palmer, whose former appellation for Kerry was "pal," had called him.

At once, Kerry felt the weight of his new responsibilities, both substantive and symbolic. He had asked the country to look to him, and this was no time to falter.

Kerry stepped back to the podium, glancing back as paramedics bore the Chief Justice to an ambulance. The crowd below milled in confusion.

Gazing out, Kerry paused, restoring his own equanimity. Time seemed to stop for him. It was a trick he had learned before addressing a jury and, even now, it served.

Above the confusion, Kerry's voice rang out. "The Chief Justice," he announced, "has collapsed, and is on his way to the hospital."

His words carried through the wintry air to the far edge of the crowd. "I ask for a moment of quiet," he continued, "and for your prayers for Chief Justice Bannon."

Stillness fell, a respectful silence.

But there would be little time, Kerry realized, to reflect on Roger Bannon's passing. The first days of his administration had changed abruptly, and their defining moment was already ordained: his submission to the Senate of a new Chief Justice who, if confirmed, might transform the Court. The ways in which this would change his own life--and that of others here, and elsewhere--was not yet within his contemplation.

  • 1
  • 2

Excerpted from Protect and Defend by Richard North Patterson Copyright© 2000 by Richard North Patterson. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Before We Sleep
    Before We Sleep
    by Jeffrey Lent
    Katey Snow, aged seventeen, leaves home one night. "There was a void within her and one that could ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Hermit
    by Thomas Rydahl
    If you can be comfortable with Scandinavian noir played out against the sun-drenched backdrop of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Radium Girls
    The Radium Girls
    by Kate Moore
    In 1915, Austrian-born Sabin von Sochocky developed a luminescent paint that used radium to create a...

Win this book!
Win News of the World

News of the World

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Weight of Ink
    by Rachel Kadish

    An intellectual, suspenseful, and entertaining page-turner.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T's S I Numbers

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.