Four recent college graduates – 2 men and 2 women - from near Missoula, Montana decide to do their part to help the world in becoming volunteers for t...moreFour recent college graduates – 2 men and 2 women - from near Missoula, Montana decide to do their part to help the world in becoming volunteers for the WorldCares organization at a Somali refugee camp in Kenya. After 3 months, they decide to take one of their authorized “vacation” breaks at a small island off the coast of Kenya, which is considered relatively safe. Trouble strikes on their way to the island, and they are kidnapped, initially by a Kenyan group and subsequently they are “stolen” from the first group by a Somali warlord and his group seeking to ransom them.
When their families back in Montana learn that their children have been kidnapped, they are frantic and want to do whatever is necessary to obtain the captives release. Evan Wells, a close friend of the kidnapped four, is the estranged son of ex-CIA operative John Wells. Up to this point Evan has always been ashamed of his father’s profession, but he suddenly sees that his skills and contacts may come in handy in facilitating the release of the captives. After discussing this with the families, they ask Evan to see whether his father will serve as a negotiator in freeing the captives. Evan calls and begs his father to help. Although reluctant on the one hand to get involved, John desperately wants to have a relationship with Evan that has not been there since he divorced Evan’s mother. On this basis John agrees and immediately leaves for Nairobi, Kenya after contacting his old mentor and friend at the CIA, who will be able to provide him some intelligence and other assistance. Needless to say, John’s path from Nairobi until he is able to local the camp in Somalia where the hostages are being held is strewn with many obstacles and major problems as well as unexpected twists and turns.
This is an exciting tale with fast-paced, non-stop action. I most thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it to fans of such thrillers.
THE PANTHER is Nelson DeMille at his best and most exciting. His primary protagonist is Detective John Carey, NYPD Retired, currently of the ATTF or A...moreTHE PANTHER is Nelson DeMille at his best and most exciting. His primary protagonist is Detective John Carey, NYPD Retired, currently of the ATTF or Anti-Terrorism Task Force. His CIA wife Kate Mayfield is also a member of the ATTF. In DeMille's last novel THE LION, Corey was responsible for dispatching the infamous terrorist known as The Lion to The Lion's version of paradise.
Bulus ibn al-Darwish is an equally infamous terrorist responsible for the October 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole in the harbor at Aden, Yemen. Al-Darwish, American born and educated to immigrant Yemeni parents, returned to the land of his parents' birth to head AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) and to purge "the holy soil of Yemen" of the stain of the presence of Western influence, beginning with the U.S.S. Cole bombing. He adopted the name al-Numair, which translates from Arabic as The Panther and has as his ultimate goal the presidency of Yemen.
The Panther was enraged by Corey's killing of his hero The Lion, and he placed both Corey and Kate on the AQAP assassination list. This sets up a proposed operation by the ATTF, to become known as Operation Clean Sweep, to send an ATTF team into Yemen to hunt down and arrest or, if necessary, kill The Panther. John and Kate are "invited" to be members of the operation. Although they realize their invitation was made so they can serve as "Panther bait," they do volunteer and head for the very backward country of Yemen.
DeMille interjects an interesting situation with John and Kate's arrival in Yemen by introducing as a secondary protagonist Paul Brenner, who was DeMille's primary protagonist in several of his earlier novels, including one of my favorites, i.e., UP COUNTRY. The action really heats up with the assembly of the 6-person team as they expose themselves in various dangerous areas of Yemen to try to lure The Panther from his hide out.
I really liked this novel a lot. It cemented me even further as a DeMille fan. I highly recommend it to lovers of action thrillers.
Nelson DeMille is one of my favorite authors. His protagonist Paul Brenner is an ex-U.S. Army criminal investigator who goes to Vietnam 30 years after...moreNelson DeMille is one of my favorite authors. His protagonist Paul Brenner is an ex-U.S. Army criminal investigator who goes to Vietnam 30 years after the end of the year to investigate the alleged murder during the Vietnam War of one American by another. During the course of his investigation he must travel by various means from Saigon (which Paul refuses to refer to as the renamed Ho Chi Minh City) to the very northern part of Vietnam while avoiding the clutches of the Vietnamese official (former North Vietnamese Officer) suspicious of his every move and determined to stop him from his suspicious activities.
I read this 700+ page book in 2 days and loved it. I very highly recommend it, most especially to those who served "in country" during the Vietnam War as I did on a Naval ship. (less)