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The Lion's Game    by Nelson deMille order for
Lion's Game
by Nelson deMille
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2000 (2000)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Lion's Game pits an Arab terrorist against the combined forces of the CIA and FBI. At the forefront of their investigation is the newest member of the Federal Anti-Terrorist Task Force, veteran NYPD cop John Corey. Corey is an irreverent cynic, whose acidic comments on the various law enforcement organizations make the novel very entertaining, despite its sombre topic.

The lion in the game is the Libyan Asad Khalil, who sneaks into the United States under the aegis of U.S. intelligence agents after coordinating a major terrorist attack while in custody. Once in the country he targets the crew of planes that dropped bombs on Al Azziziyah many years before. Aside from his brilliance he is the stereotypical Arab terrorist as seen through the eyes of Western novelists, fanatical and sexually repressed.

John Corey last appeared in deMille's Plum Island and is one of the author's most interesting heroes. His homicide background and connections give him an edge in the investigation which he pursues at high speed with his partner/boss/latest love interest at his side. Her name is Kate and she provides a perfect foil for John's attitude and dialogue. As usual in these novels, the romance develops at the same rate as the investigation unfolds and the personal danger increases.

This is one of deMille's better efforts and Corey his most amusing protagonist. It's an exciting thriller with the author's usual military depth, intricate plot and a few surprises at the end, including a hint of a sequel. If so, I'll look forward to it.

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