Over the past couple of years I have changed the way I read in two ways. I almost exclusively read books on my phone rather than physical books and I like working my way through series or the full output of a single author. So from August to February I’ve just finished all 20 novels by Robert Crais and prior to that I was reading Michael Connelly. Catching up with an established author’s current work means needing to find a new author – which led me to this first novel by Nelson DeMille “Plumb Island” first published in 1997.
The first thing to say is that I can understand why a couple of web sites would say “if you like Crais and Connelly you will enjoy DeMille”, for example, the main protagonist, John Corey is a likeable, fast talking, sarcastic, lateral thinker who sees patterns before anyone else can. However, the pace was far too slow for me and on a few occasions I nearly gave up on this book.
What I mean by that is when you find yourself reading about the details of every minute that passes, such as when the journey from place to place is detailed even though this adds nothing to the overall story, or we are introduced to the backstory of a character who then plays no further part int he story. I also thought that there were too many repetition and rehearsal of John Corey’s main theory to solve the murders, almost as if we keep needing reminded of where we are in the story.
Anyway, to the story, John Corey is a NYPD homicide detective who has been shot and is convalescing at his Uncle’s holiday home on Long Island, NY. The local Chief, Max asks John to be a consultant in a double homicide. The victims turn out to be friends of John who worked at the Plum Island Research Facility studying animal diseases, viruses and flu’s. Which immediately suggests that terrorism and biological warfare may be the motive for the murders.
As mentioned I found it very slow, but still an interesting investigation with lots of twists in the plot and I will try at least one more John Corey novel.