It's one of the most dangerous and volatile countries in the world: Yemen. A Middle Eastern hotbed of corruption and insurgency and the perfect training ground for Islamic terrorists. When FBI agents John Corey and Kate Mayfield are assigned to overseas posts in Sana'a, Yemen's capital city, they are tasked with hunting down a high-ranking Al Qaeda operative. This man, known as The Panther, is wanted for terrorist acts and multiple murders and the US government is determined to bring him down, no matter the cost. As latecomers to a deadly game, John and Kate don't know the rules, the players or the score. What they do know is that there is more to their assignment than meets the eye - and that the hunters are about to become the hunted. In an action-packed and terrifying race to take down one of the most ruthless men alive, Nelson DeMille reunites readers with his charismatic hero John Corey.
©2012 Nelson DeMille (P)2012 Hachette Audio
"DeMille's strengths are legend. His characters are rounded and appealing... His writing is fluid and accessible and his plots are tremendous." ( The Sun)
"Corey: a wise-ass with a splendid line in sarcasm, even in the most violent of circumstances." (The Times)
"Written with a neat wry humour, it's full-on and fast-paced." (Daily Mail)
I've read all of Demille's novels. What keeps me coming back is his use of language - it's precise and evocative where needed, and well-paced at all times. "The Panther" maintains the standard. It's a classical story in the Demille style and isn't let down by mis-steps in plot or characterization. However, the same can't be said for the narration or the narrator.
George Guidall - his ability to add mood to a narrative when required and to highlight plot movement is legendary. By contrast, Scott Brick has an annoying and off-putting habit of wringing every ounce of gravitas from the simplest text - particularly irritating when the text is descriptive only. When I saw that he was narrating, I was tossing up whether to buy the audio version or opt for the digital edition to read on my Nexus 7 instead. I persevered with the audio book, hoping that someone at Audible.com might have told Scott to up his game. Sadly, his reading of "The Panther" was worse than most. I found myself screaming at him to wake up and learn his trade. So please, in future Audible.com, don't let him near a book of this quality until he has gone back to school and learnt the art of of story-telling. In writing the above criticism, I am well aware of the plaudits that have gone the way of Scott Brick, not the least of which was the naming of him as "Narrator of the Year". I was incredulous when I read his list of awards and have thought that it must be me who is the idiot here. For those who want an example of the lack of timbre, tempo and depth to which I refer, simply listen to the opening paragraph of Demille's latest masterpiece where Brick breathlessly sets the scene. This intro is meant to be descriptive, but because Scott maintains his anxious and eager enthusiasm from the get-go, we're not gently lead into the plot development. On the contrary, we're expected to maintain our heightened fervour throughout. (Contrast this with George Gudall's introduction in the latest Daniel Silva thriller - "The Fallen Angel". Like "The Panther", the intro sets the scene. It is conveyed to us - the listeners - in a way that demands attention, because the details are important for later plot development. But George knows there's more to come that will need his narrator's skills, and that those skills will need to be attuned most keenly to the overall plot development. His tone and pace tell us exactly where the text before him stands in the totality of the plot. He's not trying to ring some dramatic blood from the story where the author never intended any. He's simply telling it as it is.) I only wish that Scott could do the same.I recently re-played an old copy of Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment" (circa 1984) and was agreeably surprised to have it confirmed that the narrator's skill is not new - in fact, it's something that's been around since cavemen sat in front of their fires regaling each other with tales of their exploits. I have no doubt that the best and most revered of those storytellers were those who were able to build tension based on the development of the plot - not slam into it from the first word. As a final example, and final word, on this topic, Scott Brick's narration of the author's dedication is instructive. It reads: "To the memory of Joan Dillingham, who maintained her Viking spirit throughout her beautiful life." Authors' dedications are a personal tribute to folk who have had an impact on the authors' lives, and it's the author's way of acknowledging that fact. It has nothing to do with the tale being told; it is a statement of fact. One might reasonably expect, therefore, that the dedication, if read, would be delivered with some deadpan solemnity at the very most, just as one might reasonably expect that it would NOT be delivered with the breathless enthusiasm that the climax of the plot deserves. Unfortunately, Scott fails to understand this most basic requirement. In short, (and I'm sorry to say this, Scott), you ruined a fantastic story.
A man's got to do what a man's got to do..
Demille has been a great story teller with engaging books such as Word Of Honor, Up Country, Spencerville, where action, introspection (characters beautifully carved out) , a pinch of sex and of humor would keep high your attention and your interest through the end of the book. Those days have gone. The book is endless and it is a challenge to get through the end. The character of John Corey has worn out and it is both boring and pathetic with his jokes of a 15 years old... Neléson Demille, you can do better ..
Well, yeah, there is. The plot actually. Although the basic story sounds like a no-brainer for a good book, deMille this time simply didn't manage to pull it off. Maybe it was just one "we are hunting the Arabian terrorist with a chip on his shoulder" story too much. It's hard to be precise for me here, but the story seemed a little tedious, although there was a lot going on and the desciptions in Jemen were very good and gave me a nice picture of the surroundings it seemed that the story was not really moving forward. It was a little like story for story's sake.
In addition John Corey for the first time (read them all) really really got on my nerves and I would have liked to kick his wisecracking butt back to NYC. Introducing another alpha male - Paul Brenner - whom I liked very much in "General's Daughter" and "Up Country" was not the stroke of genius it first seemed to be. First of all he was only a supporting figure which he doesn't deserve, and second he is a wiseass too and two wiseasses where too much this time. In addition Brick uses the same intonation for both of them and that sometimes gets confusing in certain dialogs.
What I really couldn't understand though was the bad guy. After such terrific villains as the Lion, Frederic Tobin or our favorite CIA guy Ted Nash (R.I.P.) to name only a few, this guy - the Panther - seemed to be totally pathetic and not an opponent at all to any of our three heroes. The guy is arrogant, stupid and basically only a thug and worst of all incompetent as a terrorist. I mean killing tourist is not a terribly nice thing to do but it really doesn't take a genius to accomplish it. His final hideout was a joke and the story's end beyond anticlimactic. In essence I was glad it was over but if the ending had been better it might have made the whole book a bit better. Maybe it's time for John Corey to change profession or maybe to hunt some other bad guys. Maybe really something of the "Wrong place wrong time" feel I got from Plum Island, or maybe a good detective story like in "The Book Case" Would love to hear more from Corey's NYPD days.
Badly. This one doesn't stand up to any of them.
Quite well. Always liked the guy and he did his job as expected. His main problem was that he used the same intonation for both Corey and Brenner, which probably couln't be helped since he read all Corey as well as all Brenner books.
Well it didn't exactly inspire me to go to Jemen, but that most likely wasn't the intention. John Corey made a strong case for staying clear of the area.
Say something about yourself!
I listen to the book whilst travelling to and from work, and at times you can't help but smirk and laugh at some of john's internal musings. I have followed DeMille for many years and he has yet to write a dud in my opinion.
As a non American I found the politics of the American agencies interesting - and perhaps this became the central part of the story for me. . The story was well constructed and the history of Yemen helps one understand how the Middle East situation continues decade after decade or century after century. My confusion about why the allied forces are in the Middle East continues, and my heart breaks for all those men and women who are fighting a seemingly un winnable war on my behalf. While the book was not just a political comment, mainly it raised political thoughts and comments for me
I like the humour and found the narration engaging. Perhaps I could best sum it up as a typical DeMille book - good story thread with interesting background that can keep you thinking about the wider issues.
I've read (and then listened to) all of Nelson DeMille's John Corey thrillers, and both the writing and the reading are always superb. Scott Brick again does a very fine job in bringing this novel to audio, wonderfully transposing the witty one-liners and the excitement of the story into a listening experience.
The overall descriptions of Yemen (the country) and of course the exciting finale.
As always: John Corey. Scott Brick IS John Corey.
I chuckled throughout listening... right?
Looking forward to the next instalment... keep'em coming, Nelson.
I very nearly didn't buy this book given other readers reviews. I thought it was more than just very good. Demille has not in my experience written a bad book and this had a great plot , a story well told, and the narration was excellent. If you are a Demille fan then this is for you
Nelson DeMille and Scott Brick make a good team. Even though the story is essentially scary the humour and understanding of the un-P.C John Corey hits the spot. We can hope for book 7.
i didnt like the 1st person narrative
didnt finish it, i loved the Lion and the Lion games
I liked listening to this book, specially reading by Scott brick. It gave an in depth knowledge of inside enemy's mind and nature. The details are realistic and accurate. Only some ( I think twice ) unnecessary joke which can upset some people.
Anything Nelson DeMille pens has instant appeal for me. Always packed with action, Anti-Terrorist Task Force agent John Corey and his wife Kate are in the Yemen. The subject matter is Al Qaeda and one of its high ranking elusive operatives and yet the wise cracks from John Corey are endless.and guarantees many humorous moments throughout . Love the length of his books as it gave us so much information about the Yemen and it was certainly a real education and most enjoyable read for me.
"An absolutely fabulous read"
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
John Corey is a very funny character whose witty asides really made this book work for me. I have not tried a Nelson Demille book before but it will not be the last I will certain read others with the John and Kate characters.
The narrator was a really good choice the voice was perfect.
Not my favorite book, long ,very slow, with grating mispronunciations. One should be used to the American inability to pronounce Middle Eastern names, but Aden is not pronounced Rden, and chai is as Church not Charlotte.
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