Nelson DeMille Rocks!!

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*** My Guide to Nelson DeMille ***

I’m a huge fan of DeMille and most of his books.  His protagonists are sarcastic, middle-aged men that come off as sexy, intelligent ball-busters.  I’ve read all but three of his books, and hope to tackle those soon.  In the meantime, I humbly offer a short and imperfect guide to his books…

His books (Newest first) -

  • The Custer Hill Club (unreleased, still writing)
  • Night Fall (2004)
  • Up Country (2002)
  • The Lion’s Game (2000)
  • Plum Island (1997)
  • Spencerville (1994)
  • The General’s Daughter (1992)
  • Gold Coast (1990)
  • The Charm School (1988)
  • Word of Honor (1985)
  • The Talbot Odyssey (1984)
  • Cathedral (1981)
  • Mayday – written by DeMille & Thomas Block (1979)
  • By The Rivers of Babylon (1978)

** Series **

Paul Brenner featured in:

  • The General’s Daughter (1992) &
  • Up Country (2002)

NYPD detective John Corey featured in:

  • Plum Island (1997)
  • The Lion’s Game (2000)
  • Night Fall (2004)
  • and his yet to be released book, The Custer Hill Club

** Short story collections including DeMille  **

  • Dangerous Women
  • Best American Mystery Stories 2004
  • The Plot Thickens
  • The Mystery At Thorn Mansion - Short mystery story and jigsaw puzzle

** My favorite 5 **

1 - The Lion’s Game – Can’t beat this book for suspense!  Features sexy NYPD detective John Corey, who is now a member of the Anti-Terrorist Task Force.  He teams up with Kate Mayfield to stop Asad, a terrorist from Libya.  Asad’s entire family had been killed by when US planes bombed his family’s compound in Libya.  His mission in the states is one of pure revenge – to kill the pilot’s responsible for his family’s murder.  Great read - entertaining, suspenseful, good detail and information on flying combat missions

2 - Up Country – Paul Brenner (featured in The General’s Daughter) is back!  After retiring from the Army’s CID, he finds himself answering old favors and back in Vietnam to investigate a murder that took place 30 years ago during the war.  As a youngster who wasn’t around yet, I found his book entertaining and educational.  It piqued my interest enough to read up on more about the Vietnam War.  As in most DeMille novels, the guy teams up with a gal – in this case, ex-pat Susan Weber, who may be more than she appears to be.   Great backtracks into the war period…
3 - The General’s Daughter – I must mention that this is the most recent book I read, simply because I was avoiding it due to my opinion of the movie.  John Travolta is NOT my favorite actor by a long-shot.  Being familiar with DeMille novels (but not actually having read GD), I thought Travolta’s character was not true to his other man characters.  Where was the wise-cracks, the witty sarcasm, the feigned innocence to catch the crooks?? 
So, after a couple of years of holding out – I finally broke down and read the book.  If you like the movie – fine, you’ll like the book.  If you didn’t like the movie – don’t worry – the book is awesome.  It features Army CID detective Paul Brenner (also in Up Country) who investigates the murder/rape of a young captain, who also happens to be the base general’s daughter.  An edgy read that offers good insight into criminal investigations and forensic details.

4 - Word of Honor – Another great Vietnam flashback story.  Ben Tyson, working as a high-powered company executive, gets called back into the Army suddenly.  Allegations have come up that during the Vietnam War he let his men commit a bloody massacre at a hospital.  He and his men have sworn to keep secret what really happened at the hospital, but someone has let the story slip.  Now he faces a losing his job, his family, a court martial, a murder trial and possibly a death sentence.  Great story with educational flashabacks to the war.

5 - Gold Coast – This one was took me a little longer than normal (maybe I was actually working for a change?), but it has stayed in my mind as an excellent book.  No detective this time, but the guy of the hour is Johh Sutter, a Wall Street lawyer who lives in the Gold Coast (not Australia), Long Island, NY.  A mafia don moves into the upscale neighborhood and the trouble begins.  Pretty soon John Sutter is down and out with his job, his wife, his house, and with the cops.  Think 1/3 Soprano’s, 1/3 Great Gatsby, 1/3 John Corey…

Links of interest –

The official Nelson DeMille – (can't type it here, but try his name followed by a dot net) – His official site that has an interesting FAQ, some information on the upcoming novel, and a page that might answer some of your questions about his latest novel, Night Fall.
FACTOID – Did you know that Nelson DeMille has written under several other names.  For his earlier works, try novels by Jack Cannon, Kurt Ladner,  and Brad Matthews.
QUESTION ? – In one of his books, a character mentions a spy school in Russia where captured Americans train Russians (The Charm School) – Anyone else catch this??  If so, which book was it?

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