The original Lion's Game had an awkward balance to it. You could, at the very least, see that violence is a spiral. This book takes violence and the emotional content in a World Wrestling Federation direction.
DeMille now tells us what to think at every turn, and the universe is now black and white. Corey is now a Lee Child character, all alone, but always the smartest thing around. Well, Jack Reacher isn't a law enforcement professional, I guess, so the stretch for Corey is inane. The points are hammered home with a pile driver, with endless passages devoted to the rawest of emotions.
The books used to be very funny. Now they are very heavy handed. I've reached the end of the line with DeMille, but I heartily recommend anything before Wild Fire, the Gate House, and the utterly miserable The Lion. I didn't get through half.
I didn't like The Gate House, and it was not read by Scott Brick. I know this is an old title, and I looked for an audio edition from farther back. I'm not sure if this is completely new or a re-release, but it's a good pairing of Brick and DeMille.
I guess there are a three veins of DeMille fiction. The first is Cathedral and Charm School, Up Country and this book. The characters are strong, the detail is exceptional, and the plots move along quite well for very long books. So this is just a great part of this early period.
The Gate House and The Gold Coast are in a different category. One is great, but the later book was very disappointing.
The final category are the Corey Books. When Brick does Corey, it's what audiobooks should be. I think Night Fall and The Lion's Game are outstanding. I genuinely hope the follow-up to Lion's Game is great. Plum Island is good, but the Corey character is a little soft here and there. Wild Fire lacks the finesse of Lion's Game, and seems like the weakest Corey book.
In many ways, DeMille defines the thriller category. Many other writers are completely formulaic, macho that is cartoonish, or with endless plot gimmicks. So hopefully the second part of Lion's Game avoids some of the pitfalls in The Gate House.
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