Book: Nelson DeMille “The Panther”

August 4, 2017

I’m not sure why I am readying these.  The first John Corey “Plumb Island” was ok but seemed to repeat the key plot points too many times ..  this hasn’t got better and in this book just gets ridiculous!

Here we find Anti-Terrorist Task Force agent John Corey and his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield sent to Yemen to draw out a US born terrorist “The Panther”  – they are bait.  But….  before they go John researches “The Panther” then they are briefed on this current political situation in Yemen and its historical context and more about “The Panther” and how important it is to catch or kill him.  Then they make it to the Yemen and are briefed again about the history and political situation … then they meet a new contact who takes them on a tour of the capital where they find out more about the history and political… on and on!

For me it was as if the author had done some very good and detailed research – great.  But I don’t need to know all of that detail in order to read a thriller. The plot (if you can dig down enough to find it) is interesting and it is hard to see how they will achieve their goals … but there is a lot of words to get through.  I will be glad when this series is over.


Book: Nelson DeMille “The Lion”

August 4, 2017

Following the John Corey series finds the former NYPD homicide detective and now a special agent for the Anti-Terrorist Task Force, facing “The Lion” again.

The Lion has returned to America to finish what he started three years previously (Night Fall) and to kill Corey and his partner (now wife) Kate Mayfield.  Well, that’s about it really – the terrorist is doing terrorist stuff and John Corey is doing ‘rogue cop’ stuff.  The story unfolds fast enough and with some twists and turns but again I find DeMille repeats and goes over the key facts just far too many times.

Book: Nelson DeMille “Wild Fire”

July 19, 2017

Fourth Nelson DeMille novel in the John Corey series (following Plumb Island, The Lion’s Game, Night Fall) sees John  and his wife, FBI Agent Kate Mayfield gong under the radar to investigate a missing colleague that takes them to the exclusive Custer Hill Club and a plot to detonate nuclear devices in American cities to trigger a response…

I find DeMille’s style frustrating, he takes a really long time to tell the story that feels as if he has done a lot of background research and can’t resist telling the reader all the irrelevant details.  However, the main character is very funny and engaging.  I’ve seen a review compare the John Corey character to Hawkeye Pierce from M*A*S*H. “hilarious as a fictional character, but you’d probably hate him if you had to deal with him in person.”

So this was an enjoyable read, not as fast paced as it could have been but kept me interested right to the end.

Book: Nelson DeMille “Night Fall”

June 28, 2017

Third John Corey book – an ex-NYPD now counter terrorist investigator.  I struggled with the first book being a bit too self indulgent and long winded but the stories are compelling and now that I’ve gotten to like the character I’m hooked.  In this book Corey is drawn into the five year old case of the downing of TWA flight 800 by his wife Kate Mayfield who was involved in the original investigation but isn’t satisfied with the official outcome.

As he starts to dig it becomes apparent that lots of people don’t want anything new to be found.  The ultimate conclusion of this story is a little disappointing as it is interrupted by the 9/11 attacks but this works very well as a story ark to the next book.  So as a stand alone novel I’m not sure this works but at a continuation and fleshing out of the main characters in this series it is good.

Book: Paul Stanley “Face the Music”

May 13, 2017

KISS were the first band I can remember discovering from a friend – they weren’t a commercial success at that time in the UK, no airplay or TV so when someone put on their big brother’s ‘Alive’ LP I hadn’t heard or seen anything like it before.  I quickly collected everything they had put out at that point and followed them ever since.  However I’ve never really read much about the band or cared much about their life or legend outside the music.  This might be partly because of the loudest self publicist in the band Gene Simmons – who is so full of himself I really don’t want to read about it.

Also, as I’ve said before, I’m not really interested in autobiographies – however this is now the third I’ve read in recent months!  But there are a couple of reasons I did get hold of this book – when Paul appeared on some shows publicising the book he said he hadn’t done it before for the sort of reasons I wouldn’t like to read such a book, i.e. it’s self serving or gossip, bad-mouthing people to sensationalise episodes and draw in readers. Paul says he hadn’t put out a book before now because he didn’t have a story to tell till now.  He also reveled that he was born with microtia – an ear deformity and was deaf in one ear.  I have a nephew with similar microtia and I was interested to read about how it affected Paul in his early years but also how did he overcome this to become a very successful musician.

Well this book was far from disappointing.  The early years were interesting but what I found fascinating was the self analysis of what he was doing during some of the most successful years of the band.  While filling stadiums across America Paul would go home alone and be socially unable to connect and make friends due to mistrust and unwillingness to open up.  It is such a pleasure to read through that to find how he does, only much later in his career find happiness and peace.  I would not be interested in reading any other book about KISS or any of it’s members.  But this is a great book for any KISS fans and for those who may have been bullied or marginalised as a child or anyone with self-conscious body image hang ups…. a good book!

Book: Nelson DeMille “The Lion’s Game”

May 13, 2017

This is the second book in a series about the Ex-NYPD cop, John Corey, who we first met in the novel “Plumb Island“.  This story takes place just a few months after the events covered in Plumb Island and Corey is now part of the FBI Anti-Terrorist Task Force in New York City.  His team are to collect and escort a known terrorist, who has apparently become an informer, meeting him at JFK Airport.  However, when the flight lands (on auto pilot) everyone on board is dead.

In the unfolding investigation John Corey is always the first to jump to the correct assumptions, to figure out the terrorist behind it and believe that this isn’t the only thing he has traveled to the US to do.  A chase across the country begins – but as with my previous complaint about this author if feels difficult to use the word ‘chase’ ..  this should be a fast paced novel but several times it grinds to a halt.  But if you battle through that there is an interesting and compelling story which certainly kept me interested.

Cycling: Tearfund Drumlanrig Challenge

April 29, 2017

29th April and our 2nd Sportive of the year (following last month’s No Excuses Falkirk ), first of all the stats:

  • Distance: 57 miles
  • Moving time: 4:42
  • Total Time: 5:21
  • Elevation: 3040 ft
  • Average Speed: 12.2 mph
  • Max Speed: 30 mph