Select one of the keywords
Wild Fire    by Nelson deMille order for
Wild Fire
by Nelson deMille
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, Audio, CD

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

My favorite of Nelson DeMille's characters is back for an encore - irreverent cynic John Corey was a veteran NYPD homicide cop in Plum Island, a new member of the Federal Anti-Terrorist Task Force in The Lion's Game, and continued in the ATTF - having married his boss/partner, FBI Agent Kate Mayfield - in Night Fall, in which the 9/11 destruction of the Twin Towers played a pivotal role. Now, John Corey reminds us, 'we are living in a state of perpetual color-coded anxiety ... For damn sure, it's not going to be green again in my lifetime.'

Nelson DeMille repeats the conspiracy theory theme of the previous episode, though with a different twist (a few players also reappear) this time around. As the story opens, Corey's colleague, Harry Muller, is sent on a surveillance op, to check out 'a bunch of rich, right-wing loonies' who hang out at an Adirondack luxury hunting lodge owned by Bain Madox, who's also president and owner of Global Oil Corporation. Corey finds Harry's assignment odd, while Harry ends up dead after unwillingly attending an Executive Board meeting of the Custer Hill Club, focused on Project Green, aka Nuclear Armageddon. Present at the meeting are a Deputy Secretary of Defense, a top national security advisor to the President, an Air Force General, and the CIA liaison to the White House.

Of course, Corey pushes himself - and Kate - into the investigation and, as always, ignores orders and confronts Madox directly. He finds that they have much in common, but soon is sure that Madox killed Harry. Though Corey wins some support from State Police Major Schaeffer, he and Kate end up on the run from their own people - as well as John's old enemy, Agent in Black Liam Griffith - as they race to work out the meaning of Harry's last message - 'MAD NUK ELF' - and to find out and prevent what Madox has unleashed upon a (mostly) unsuspecting world. They end up in a direct and very dangerous confrontation with the villains - Kate kills a ghost, hidden BearBangers save the day, and they narrowly avoid a nuclear holocaust.

I love the ongoing banter between husband and wife, Corey's attitude, his preoccupation with bears in the woods, and his comments about politically correct language like extremists: 'Why call them terrorists or murderers? That's so judgmental. Adolf Hitler was an extremist. / We weren't going to win the war on terrorism until we won the war of the words.' Having recently watched Jack Bauer in 24, I was struck by similarities between the two heroes - in particular their propensity to act without authority. Though neither is a team player, Jack tends to be more polite to his superiors than John does. But Bauer believes the end justifies the means, while Corey takes the opposite position - and though I enjoy 24, I prefer John Corey's ethics. Don't miss Wild Fire; it's a gripping, edgy, intelligent read.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews