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Publisher's Summary

Based on true events, but unlike anything you've ever heard before, number-one New York Times best-selling author Nelson DeMille has created what may be his finest work to date.

At dusk on July 17, 1996, on a deserted Long Island beach, a man and a woman engage in adulterous sex in front of a video camera. Suddenly a terrible blast lights up the dark summer sky. TWA Flight 800 has just exploded in midair with 230 souls onboard, and the video camera has recorded the last moments of the doomed airliner.

Five years later the government has declared the crash a result of mechanical failure. But John Corey, an ex-NYPD detective who is now a contract agent with the Federal Anti-Terrorist Task Force, is persuaded by Kate Mayfield, his wife and task force partner, that the case deserves a second look.

Kate, a career FBI agent, plays by the rules. Corey plays by no rules but his own. Against long odds and warnings from their superiors, they set out to reopen the case and discover its most crucial piece of evidence. The hunt will lead to a conspiracy at the highest levels and a race toward an elusive and lethal truth that could be even more horrifying than the crash of Flight 800, one with unimaginable consequences for America...and the world.

©2004 Nelson DeMille (P)2004 Time Warner AudioBooks

Critic Reviews

"A timely and intense thriller starring a thoroughly likable hero." ( Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Addictive mix of fact & intriguing storyline

Nelson DeMille begins with the horrendous crash of TWA Flight 800 and takes us through an investigation, five years after the fact. Retired NYPD detective John Corey, previously appearing in Plum Island & The Lion's Game, attends the memorial service on the fifth anniversary of the crash with his now wife FBI Agent Kate Mayfield who was involved in the initial investigation of the TWA Flight 800 tragedy. Agent Mayfield was not satisfied with the "official" explanation of the crash but has been warned by her superiors not to further question this explanation or the CIA's animation which supposedly illustrated what "really happened".

DeMille does a brilliant job of walking us through an investigation, examining fact and theory within the framework of the novel to create a book which not only entertains but also informs. And what great entertainment it is. Different aspects of the official investigation have been woven into the story in a way which enhances the listener's understanding the aircraft accident investigation procedures without being over technical and bogging down the story line. DeMille handles the topic with sensitivity for the families of the victims of Flight 800 while taking you on a roller coaster ride of plot twists and turns which culminates with Sept. 11, 2001. Don't start this book without plenty of time to listen because you will not want to put it down.

Scott Brick, as always, adds his superb narrative skills to the audio book. Brick is a virtuoso who captures nuances of accent, dialect and timing which most narrators cannot master without being overdone. He is particularly adroit at bringing female dialog to the listener without it being distracting or turning into a vocal caricature as is often the case when a male narrator attempts female dialog.

The talent of the author and narrator left me wishing that the story would not end. DeMille has an extraordinary talent for creating addictive storylines.

83 of 86 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Abby
  • Bonney Lake, WA, USA
  • 02-10-05

Don't Miss This One

The third John Corey book and absolutely riveting. Funny, suspenseful and wonderfully written. We couldn't wait to get back in the car and finish listening. We drove HUNDREDS of extra miles to see how it came out. Read/listen to the first two, Plum Island and The Lion's Game first so you don't spoil your own fun.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Feeling a little cheated

Like some others, I found the ending rather disappointing. I was prepared for a showdown meeting that never materialized. The suspense kept building and building, then the rug was pulled out from under me.
Apart from that, it was very enjoyable indeed.
As usual, Scott Brick's narration is first rate.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good book, disappointing

No spoilers hear, so don't worry. Loved "Lion's Game" and loved this book for the first 90%. Would have given it 4 to 5 stars until the last 30 minutes. I'd rate the last 30 minutes 1 star, which is horrible for a book driven by suspense.

There, for some reason, the book takes an unexpected turn. The problem? The twist makes no sense, has nothing to do with the book, and leaves the listener with a sense of incompleteness. You find yourself thinking, "why write about all the stuff in the beginning if you are going to end it that way?"

It honestly felt like a cheap ploy by an author who couldn't figure out how to end the book. And then, to add insult to injury, the author confirmed that this was what happened in an included interview! He says, "I couldn't figure out how to end the book and finally my son suggested having it end this way." Thanks a lot man. I was so turned off I might not listen to Wild Fire. Listen for the enjoyment of the first 90% but if you choose to do so remember the whole time that the end will not satisfy you.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good Book Weak Ending

I love the main character and supporting cast of characters. As in the previous book, Lion's Game, John Corey is his usual wise cracking, unrelenting self and the author does a great job interjecting humor into the serious and sobering plot. I remember the TWA 800 tragedy but never realized the huge number of eye witnesses to the crash/attack, so I was very engaged in the storyline throughout the book. All that being said I was anticipating the final show down between Corey and Nash and was disappointed at the actual ending. I would have given the book 4 or 4.5 stars had the ending been more to my liking.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome, thriller.....

This one is timely,and really gets you thinking about Terrorism, and how much the public is "allowed" to know . Makes me distrust the current administration even more so. Although a work of fiction, depending on your political leanings, one can take thisbook in any direction one chooses.
I've enjoyed every book by this author,one of my all time favorite writers!

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Vikki
  • WICHITA, KS, United States
  • 06-23-07

I was riveted...

I got this book because the narrator was rated very highly. And for good reason. This book had me riveted from the first 15 minutes! Fiction, but based on fact made it all that much more interesting.
The ending was nothing like I had expected and I liked that. You won't go wrong with this one.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • Grapevine, TX, United States
  • 11-25-04

This is a treat for deMille fans

I couldn't stop until the last word...and now I want still more. I delight in John Corey's sardonic wit and his ability to put the pieces together, even when no one seems to want them put together. This book is a slight departure from the earlier deMille novels in that it is based on a true recent mystery (TWA Flt. 800) and introduces a more logical solution than "official" explanation of mechanical failure...especially in hindsight, considering the events of the past three years.

I've only recently discovered deMille's novels, but already I'm a fan for life.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jeffrey
  • Harper Woods, MI, USA
  • 12-02-04

Anyone else notice the really bad ending?

I enjoyed Night Fall all the way up to the last chapter, and if it hadn't been for the ending I'd likely have given it 4 stars instead of 2.

An hour or two before the end of the audio book I realized what likely going to happen, but I hoped it wouldn't (but it did).

It seems to me that the author couldn't think of a way to end the story, so he instead chose to make everything that lead the characters up to the big climactic struggle completely moot by removing the climax altogether, killing off many of the supporting characters and destroying all the evidence that had been collected to solve the crime. What a waste. Had this been a physical book rather than an audio book, I'd have flung it across the room in disgust.

I think DeMille felt hamstrung by writing about non-fictional events in that he didn't want to develop a satisfying ending that would have violated current known history. I'd have been perfectly happy with a fictional ending to a non-fictional event. As it is, I feel very, very cheated.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Gail
  • diraz, Bahrain
  • 05-13-05

Poor ending.

Excellent book spoiled by poor ending. Seemed as if the author had ran out of ideas or got bored with his own writing. Have heard all his audio books and will still buy the next.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful