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Friday, 25 April 2014

FFB - Wild Fire

My Friday's forgotten book is Wild Fire by Nelson Demille is the fourth Detective John Corey thriller, following on from Night Fall (2004). I’ve read and enjoyed all Demille’s John Corey thrillers up to his 5th (see breakdown below; I've got his 7th on order now). They’re great because Corey’s wisecracking persona is so believable. Yes, he’s a bit coarse, big-headed and pig-headed, but he also laughs at himself and the human condition. He has immense courage and is a friend for life. When he got married to FBI agent Kate Mayfield, they became a match made in heaven. This pair just bounce off each other and are clearly in love, despite Corey’s many faults. Sometimes, Kate is a stabilising influence on John; but not nearly so much since 9/11.

‘Wild Fire’ appears to be a secret codename for a government response to a terrorist nuclear attack. That’s devastating enough. Yet somebody outside government knows about it…

When Corey’s pal is sent on a routine task to investigate the Custer Hill Club – a secret society of powerful men, the guy ends up dead: an unfortunate shooting accident. But Corey takes the death personally. As he should, since he was the first choice for the job. Why did his pal die? Taking along his wife, Corey starts his own investigation. As it’s in the first person, we’re pretty sure Corey will survive, but we can’t help but be fearful for his wife, brave as she is. The ending is very tense indeed.

Along the way there are many laugh-aloud moments, which I’ve come to expect of a Corey book; however, there are plenty of chilling scenes, with the odd dose of pathos and compassion thrown in. If you haven’t read a John Corey book, the best place to start is with Plum Island, where he first meets Kate. But any of them are worth the price – and become addictive reading if you can get past the ripe language.

The John Corey thrillers in sequence:

  1. Plum Island (1997)
  2. The Lion's Game (2000)
  3. Night Fall (2004)
  4. Wild Fire (2006)
  5. The Lion (2010), direct sequel to The Lion's Game
  6. The Book Case (2011) – Kindle Single, 54pp short story
  7. The Panther (2012)


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