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New DeMille book opens with a bang

'The Lion's Game' by Nelson DeMille

February 18, 2000
Web posted at: 10:14 a.m. EST (1514 GMT)

"The Lion's Game" is the new page-turning thriller featuring the second go around for former NYPD Detective John Corey. Corey previously appeared in DeMille's last novel Plum Island.

"The Lion's Game" opens with a bang as Corey, grudgingly working alongside the Anti-Terrorist Task Force, is awaiting the arrival of Libyan terrorist Asad Khalil by a commercial transcontinental flight arriving from Paris. It appears that Mr. Khalil is turning himself over to the American intelligence community as an informer. Due to a tension filled series of tragic circumstances, the transfer does not go exactly as planned and Khalil is able to escape into the New York area. It is at this point that the crack team of FBI/CIA investigators, along with John Corey, spring into action trying to anticipate Khalil's next move and the true reason for his "defection" into the United States.

Asad Khalil is obviously not your run-of-the-mill terrorist. He is a ruthless, intelligent man on a mission. Nelson DeMille is also very smart in his characterization of Khalil. The novel takes real events, specifically the U.S. bombing of Libya, and presents the reader with a villain who is considered a hero in his native land as he goes about completing his personal mission while regaining his country's honor.

Opposing him is John Corey and the ATTF. Corey is a sarcastic ex-cop who is anything but politically correct. While his coworkers do get annoyed by Corey, his character is developed in such a way that you cannot help but admire how he gets the job done in spite of law enforcement bureaucracy.

The novel flows like a tennis match, with chapters alternating from Corey's point of view to that of Khalil. The chapters with Corey are laugh-out-loud funny. There were several times I received strange looks from coworkers as I reacted to Corey's take on life, liberty, and the pursuit of fellow investigator Kate Mayfield.

I have purposefully left out some of the plot details so you can discover them for yourself. While the 600-plus pages of "The Lion's Game" may seem intimidating, it is a quick read because you will want to know how this cat and mouse or, more appropriately, this coyote and road-runner chase will end.

Jim Argendeli is an avid reader and book collector who lives with his wife in Georgia.

Review of 'Timeline' by Michael Crichton
November 17, 1999
Review of 'Flash Forward' by Robert J. Sawyer
September 3, 1999
Review of 'The Barrens and Others' by F. Paul Wilson
March 1, 1999


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