In this eagerly awaited follow-up to The Lion's Game, John Corey, former NYPD Homicide detective and special agent for the Anti-Terrorist Task Force, is back. And, unfortunately for Corey, so is Asad Khalil, the notorious Libyan terrorist otherwise known as "The Lion". Last we heard from him, Khali had claimed to be defecting to the US only to unleash the most horrific reign of terrorism ever to occur on American soil. While Corey and his partner, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, chased him across the country, Khalil methodically eliminated his victims one by one and then disappeared without a trace.
Now, years later, Khalil has returned to America to make good on his threats and take care of unfinished business. "The Lion" is a killing machine once again loose in America with a mission of revenge, and John Corey will stop at nothing to achieve his own goal - to find and kill Khahil.
©2010 Nelson DeMille (P)2010 Hachette
DeMille is one of my favorite authors, Brick is my very favorite male narrator and John Corey is the type of guy I want to marry. And, yeah, I know he's a fictitious character. I found the book suspenseful. There are certain things we know will happen, but don't know how or when. The story brought home how 9/11 affected New Yorkers more than the rest of the country. While I did enjoy the book on the whole, there were aspects that bothered me. 1. It was never explained how Khalil knew about the skydiving appointment. I couldn't help but think that had to have been obtained from someone close to the Coreys. 2. In some parts, the book was very close to crossing the line between thriller and gore. But perhaps I'm just squeamish. 3. Brick's narration was inconsistent. After listening for a few minutes, I did check to see if it was Brick narrating. This one started out monotone, overwrought, with a cadence that annoyed me. It was as though Brick's voice had aged. But from time to time, his "regular" John Corey voice came through. 4. Corey's smartass remarks went a little too far, even for me. 5. Overboard on the unPC jokes. We get it, Corey is unPC. But it was a good enough story that I was able to enjoy the book and narration. It was like watching Albert Pujols at bat, anticipating a home run and settling for a solid base-hit.
I LOVED the first book and I am a huge Nelson DeMille fan, but this one just didn't do it for me. It had a harder edge than the first book, but less action in my opinion. There was a lot of needless F-Bombs dropping too. It was just OK for me.
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.
Been reading DeMille forever- he is always a good read. Yes some are better than others, but on the whole very enjoyable.
As a New Yorker this book may resonate more with me than with some others, still it was very enjoyable to listen to this one.
Well worth the price of admission.
NY, NY 2010
Every sequel faces a number of challenges. First is what to do for character development for the reappearing characters. Nothing new was learned about John Cory, no substatial new characters were introduced and nothing was done to elaborate on the 2-demensional Kate. Kate with her beauty, power, education and gender-challenging position in the FBI combined with the absurd relationship evolution with Cory in the previous episode could have been developed in any number of ways, but instead she is sidelined.
Another challenge is building on the previous plot without repeating it. this was a complete repeat.
Cory was most interesting in contrast to the feds and especially Kate. Almost none of that here. It was an NYPD show without the interesting aspects of the NYPD. NYPD just serve as the 'establishment' who demonstrates that their plodding methods aren't effective against 'this' kind of bad guy and provide an authority for Cory to disrepsect.
The killing-machine villian who was so frightening because of his elaborate, surpising methods and his speed has developed an appetite for prolonged hand-to-hand combat. The swift, clever Kalil reduces the ranks of Lybian cab drivers and disaffected Serbians, contibutes nothing at all to the doomsday sub-plot and then devolves into Dolf Lundgren in the final showdown. Only knowing about explosives and such from book and movies, I was never really convinced that a conventional bomb set off in the middle of an enourmous crater was going to harm anything other than dump trucks.
Yes! To NOT miss all the little details that led to the ending.
The strength that John Corey has to bringing down the Lion.
Emotion, excitement and enthusiasm.
Have To Read
Nelson DeMille is one of my favorite authors, hands down, BUT this book rambled. Some chapters went on so long I wanted to skip forward but was afraid to miss something vital so just endured. A good book, good story, but get an abridged version if there is one. Or read the book so you can skim when needed.
DeMille had me reeled in with The Lion's Game since the bad guy got away I just had to read the sequel. I like this Corey character and his quick wit and smart mouth. This book is different in the fact it's written in more of the 3rd person than The Lion's Game so that took a bit off of it for me, however, it still has good gut grabbing action from page 1.
You have to listen to (or read) "The Lion's Game" to fully experience this novel. John Correy is at his best here, hiding both his arrogance and his insecurity behind a sharp, sarcastic wit, alternating shocking brutality with unexpected humor. The series was getting a little forced, but DeMille has done a great job with this follow-up.
The story itself has its unbelievable moments, and the main villain, the Lion, has changed, perhaps without the author fully realizing it, since the original. In that one, he was understandable, using violence to avenge wrongs done to Islam and sometimes himself, rarely risking the mission for personal reasons. In this book, he is less coldly rational, more driven and overcome by his desire for personal revenge, more driven by rage than resolve. He is still the calculating mastermind, but more arrogant. The change made him less original, but then again, it's an action thriller, so character consistency isn't really the point.
The story is a great revenge tale, full of danger, heartbreak, brutality, and triumph and all the usual stuff you expect from the drama, mixed with Correy's sarcastic humor and DeMille's excellent writing style. If you liked the first book, you'll like this one. Both writer and reader seem more sharp and inspired than in the previous couple of installments--and those weren't bad, anyway. The only letdowns, in my opinion, was a little less precision in the details--Khalil's murders in the first book were told with horrifying suspense and clarity--and a little less consistency in the characters--both Correy and Khalil do unexplained things that seem at odds with earlier books--but overall it's an excellent John Correy novel.
While Scott Brick did such a great job in Lions Game and Night Fall, he is very disappointing here. He makes John Corey sound so smug and totally overreads the character so that he sounds like a SNL character. I had to stop listening after about 35 minutes.
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