THE LION is Nelson DeMille’s follow-up to THE LION’S GAME (2000). It’s the story of John Corey (ex-NY cop and member of the Federal Anti-Terrorist Task Force) and his final skirmish with vengeful Libyan terrorist, Asad Khalil. DeMille always tells a great story with biting humor and compelling characters. I don’t know of another thriller writer who comes close to DeMille’s spot on gender characterizations. Corey’s wife, Kate Mayfield (lawyer, FBI and also ATTF), is no twinkie, but her level headedness is the ideal counterpoint to Corey’s cowboy antics. That said, I don’t think the male/female dynamic is as effective in this story because Kate is out of the picture much of the time. One other issue with THE LION: There’s only one possible ending and that zapped some of the suspense. THE LION is definitely worth reading, but read THE LION’S GAME first.
Next up is James Lee Burke’s THE GLASS RAINBOW, Burke’s 18th(!) Dave Robicheaux novel. I idolize Burke. His ability to evoke emotion from setting is second to none. In THE GLASS RAINBOW, New Iberia sheriff’s deputy Robicheaux is again thrust into a battle of good vs. evil. This time, the menace is the corrupt Abelard clan. It’s beginning to look as if New Iberia is the most dangerous small town since Cabot Cove. And therein lies my one criticism. I prefer the Robicheaux novels set in New Orleans where good vs. evil is less contrived. My favorite in the series is THE TIN ROOF BLOWDOWN, a post-Katrina requiem for New Orleans that will take your breath away and leave you in tears. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and add it to your tbr list.
My fun read of the month was THE SECRET OF THE OLD CLOCK (NANCY DREW #1) by Carolyn Keene. Hey, it’s Nancy Drew, what else is there to say? She’s smart, independent and she has a really cool roadster! I read the 1930 edition, and there were some interesting anachronisms (relative to today) along with a fair dash of political incorrectness, but I was okay with that. The book reflects the period in which it was written. That such blatant stereotyping makes us cringe today is a good thing. Would I put this particular edition into the hands of my tween? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Give your child the updated version. But for an original taste of Nancy’s spunk and a look back 80 years, pick up a used copy of the original version for yourself and see why Nancy has endured. You go girl!