Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nelson DeMille and Scott Brick: A Marriage made in Heaven!

Human beings are a strange, dichotomous entity! How is it that the very term "war on terror" makes the hackles on the back of my neck rise up. Can one even wage war on a thing? Against an idea? Why even wage war at all? Yet, since my very young reading days, I have been enamoured of spy thrillers. I cut my teeth on early Ken Follet and Jack Higgins, then matured to all works by John LeCarre. I adore Joseph Kanon but Nelson DeMille is a real guilty pleasure. How wonderful that he'll be joining us in March at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival along with audio narrator extraordinaire, Scott Brick. http://www.readfest.org/

I have been listening to The Lion and would have had it finished long ago if my physical activity hadn't been curtailed. Still, I can dust or iron while confined to the house and listen away with abandon. First of all, let me say with no nuance, DeMille's books are violent to the max so be prepared. This one begins with a horrific scene - one wonders how Mr. DeMille thinks this stuff up - in which Kate Mayfield and her husband John Corey, stars of five books now in a series, are skydiving in upstate New York, their idea of a weekend of rest and relaxation!

John, new to the sport, jumps first, but looking back for Kate, senses that something has gone awry. Yes, it has. Kate is free falling with the weight of another person on her back and as they spin closer to John's chute, he quickly surmises that Kate is in big trouble. None other than Asad Kahlil, a Libyan terrorist who was introduced in a previous book, The Lion's Game, has Kate by the throat and a nasty looking knife in his hands. In an instant, and before anyone on the ground can even comprehend what's happening, Kahlil slices Kate's jugular and cuts himself loose.

The thing about Mr. and Mrs. Corey is that you just can't help but love them and I, for one, can't imagine these books without them! They exude sexual tension, bantering with that witty repartee that's reminiscent of Sybil Shepherd and Bruce Willis way back on their TV series Moonlighting. Am I dating myself? DeMille uses snarky humor to help make the senseless violence palatable and no one other than Scott Brick could deliver the lines so brilliantly. As all of you audio fans know, the reader can make or break a story and Scott Brick IS John Corey!

John and Kate met when they were members of the Anti-Terrorism Task Force for the FBI. In the course of their work they've made their share of enemies and to DeMille's credit he gives his bad guy, Kahlil, a raison d'etre for the swath of death and destruction that he renders from coast to coast. His entire family was killed in a bombing raid by U.S. forces. One might say that our chickens have come home to roost as Kahlil travels the country seeking revenge on anyone even remotely involved.

For full out fun reading that moves quickly and has the reader teetering between gasping in horror and laughing out loud, you can't beat Nelson DeMille. He manages to give shots at everyone in equal measure, typecasting the head of the FBI investigative unit, while giving his alter-ego, rogue agent John Corey, former NYPD, the smarts to outwit his co-workers and a terrorist. It's ok that he does this. Americans love their super heroes and Corey satisfies our need to a tee.

No comments: