Nelson DeMille ~~ 4 1/2 and 5 Star Reviews

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The Lion

Nelson DeMille

Grand Central Publishing

Mass Market

978‑0446699600

*****

 

Undoubtedly, Nelson DeMille is a masterful storyteller, as his fifteen previous novels will attest to.  He has continued his suspenseful thrillers with The Lion in which he reintroduces his character John Corey from his New York Times best‑selling book, The Lion's Game, which was published in 2000. Corey was battling his nemesis Asad Khalil, a Libyan terrorist, throughout that novel and now DeMille has brought back the characters to send chilling shivers up your spine, but this time it takes place after 9/11/01!

DeMille delivers as the foreseer of events that have been sustained by past predictions that came true. The Lion stands out because of the ability of John Corey, a former N.Y.P.D. Homicide detective who became a special agent for the Anti‑Terrorist Task Force. His fearless attitude in seeking out Khalil and those associated with him is gripping, to say the least. Corey became aware there was a sinister plot to kill him, his wife, and many others who were associated with him in the fight against terror when he found out Khalil was back.

The original novel, The Lion's Game, is referenced and because you have never read it, do not fear because the essential elements are easily transferred to this up‑dated version of conflict between Corey and Khalil. Their past encounters are brought into play and are easily enmeshed, but with subtle twists when they are brought out by the plots related by both of them.

This book is an adult novel and not for the squeamish! Khalil is a treacherous killer who not only kills his victims, but anyone else who has been associated with the action, including those who have assisted him, whether they are from Al Qaeda or otherwise. He does not hesitate to shoot, stab, slash, and strangle his targets. Countless bodies are left strewn about in cabs, planes, and curbsides. He has no mercy as he even beheads a victim!

Death is the main theme of the book.  However, Corey's relationship with his wife is brought into play. She is an FBI agent who works with John Corey on the task force. The story begins with the death of a pilot who had taken part in a bombing mission in Libya that killed many members of the family of Asad Khalil, explaining his quest for vengeance. There is a death‑defying description of an encounter that takes place during a sky diving excursion the Coreys had booked with a local sky diving club. The deception that follows and the subsequent events are spun with extreme details that make the reader feel as though they were either a participant or observer! This book is highly recommended and when you read it, you will see why this author was #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. 

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Clark Isaacs

 

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The Rich and The Dead
Edited by Nelson DeMille
Grand Central Publishing , Hardcover
978-0446555876
*****
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     Normally, a collection of short stories will turn most people away unless they are exceptionally well done. The Rich and The Dead is one of those anthologies; a collection chosen from 200 submissions made by members of the Mystery Writers of America organization. Nelson DeMille, who made the final selection of which ones would be included. edits this collection of tales. His ability is beyond question, since he was president of the organization 35 years ago and has written 14 published novels in his own right. Fittingly, one of his short stories leads off the book.
"Death Benefits" is extremely well written, carrying with it a twisted ending. This story sets the tone for the rest of the book, and readers will find themselves cavorting around with the rich or those who had been rich and were on the verge of losing what was left of their fortunes. What is particularly nice is you can read one story and set aside the rest to enjoy another time. Each section is completely different from the others and has some surprises. If you have read some of the classic mystery stories from authors like Edgar Allen Poe, you will not be disappointed in this collection.
     Some of today's genre of authors often use terse language that seems to be the norm rather than the exception. With that caveat in mind, some of the stories are definitely adult; others are not. If you feel squeamish about some scenarios, you can easily pass over them and go to the next. That is what I like about anthologies. Submissions came from Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Harley Jane Kozak, and S. J. Rozen to name a few. At any given time you will find one of these authors on the bestseller lists for their mystery novels. Confrontation is the by word in most of these stories. Death is a strange theme, but once you start reading it is very compelling to see who shall live and who shall die. Fresh and exciting are most of the stories, but there are a couple which leave you wondering why they were included. Overall, this is a book you can take on a trip or pick up and put down at your leisure. DeMille has selected an unusual collection of macabre tales of real people who just happen to either kill or be killed.

Clark Isaacs

Nelson DeMille on Wikipedia