Reviewer: John W. Dean, (New York Times Book Review)
"Patterson's latest is a thoroughly convincing account of a controversial Supreme Court confirmation proceeding. To elevate the drama, Patterson has mixed the incendiary politics of abortion into his fictional chronicle of the reputation-destroying proceedings now customary to a contested Senate confirmation. The combination proves potent."
Reviewer: Chris Petrakos, (Chicago Tribune)
"Patterson raises his narrative to fever pitch by giving nearly every main character a secret that he or she is trying to protect.... One of the novel's main themes is a familiar one: attacking the personal lives of politicians comes at a great price to the country. Patterson does a superb job of showing how destructive such attacks can be.... Patterson's tale is consistently entertaining."
Reviewer: Judith C. Greer, (Salon)
"Americans want our political campaigns and legislative battles to be a variation on the melodrama of UNCLE TOM'S CABIN and PROTECT AND DEFEND, the equivalent of exciting Western shootouts, desperate romantic rivalries or come-from-behind sports sagas. We want to believe that virtue, however severely challenged by the forces of evil, will inevitably triumph and that losers just weren't "good" enough, and therefore didn't deserve to win. And to win, a hero or heroine has to be truly good, almost perfect except for a few likable shortcomings. That's what makes for satisfying genre fiction and movies, but the laws that protect and regulate abortion don't get applied to perfect, fortunate characters like Mary Anne Tierney and Kerry Kilcannon; they dictate the lives of real, flawed, unlucky people. And as long as Patterson is writing about 'ideal' cases like Mary Anne and Kerry, no matter how balanced he tries to be, he's not writing about the reality of abortion..."
Reviewer: Bruce Fretts, (Entertainment Weekly)
"[Patterson] nails every detail of gotcha culture.... And Patterson's a whiz at decoding partisan doublespeak.... [He] ultimately acquits himself by drawing PROTECT AND DEFEND's two central players with masterful depth..."
Reviewer: Robert Ward, (San Francisco Chronicle Book Review)
"There are a million books out there on the racks now posing as intelligent legal thrillers. Most of them are anything but. PROTECT AND DEFEND is the real thing, a super-smart political novel with narrative drive and real heart."
Reviewer: Tom Nolan, (Wall Street Journal)
"PROTECT AND DEFEND, a gripping legal-political-ethical thriller, is surely Mr. Patterson's best work yet."