Frank's Reviews > Night Fall

Night Fall by Nelson DeMille
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's review
Aug 15, 2010

really liked it
Read in August, 2010

As I'd mentioned in my updates on this book, I found Night Fall a thoroughly enjoyable book which was both believable and paced in just the right way. Even the ending of the book was believable - but it was this ending that I found most disappointing.

Knowing the TWA flight 800 disaster took place in 1996, DeMille's clear title of Book II - "FIVE YEARS LATER" - puts us squarely in the summer of 2001, two months before the disaster in NYC called 9/11, and the beginning of the worldwide turmoil both in Iraq and Afghanistan in which we are still embroiled. The informed reader knows this, and spends the rest of the novel with this in the back of his mind, kind of like knowing there's a live bomb in the room while no one else in the room is aware of it. DeMille delves into the eye-witness accounts of there having been a streak of light rising up to meet the TWA airliner that July night, and I myself, having had the TV on that evening, remember soon after the event, hearing about these same eye-witness reports. The novel follows these believable characters: John Corey (NYPD ret.), Kate Mayfield (FBI), and a long list of villains like Ted Nash (CIA) for instance. The question is continually raised as to what really happened, if in fact there was a cover-up by the federal government; the book mentions the embassy bombing in Tanzania and the USS Cole attack in Yemen, just to keep the flames of global terrorism burning in the reader's mind. As I said: brilliant writing, plotting, and character development. So clearly, with all this in mind and knowing where and when the book takes place, the informed reader knows where its headed. I won't say exactly how it comes out, but to say something about it at least, let me say my disappointment comes from the abruptness of the story's ending. What happens happens, but what happens to the characters, or at least to some of their legacies? What kind of follow up, or closure is there for the long and carefully drawn out novel the reader has just completed? I realize the enormity of the occurrence in the last pages of the book threw a significant shadow over countless lives, and particularly the people living in and around New York in September 2001, but DeMille has just crafted a long and detailed novel for the reader to enjoy. My feeling at the end was: "That's it?" Perhaps if I had read it when it was published in 2004 I would have been more sympathetic to the ending. But now I can't help but wish DeMille had written at least an epilogue.

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Reading Progress

08/15/2010 page 184
08/17/2010 page 268
38.0% "A great read. Once again DeMille satisfies totally. Though his style is predictable, his stories are always believable and extremely well developed. This is my 4th by him this year: Plum Island, Up Country, and The Gold Coast came before this one, and each was thoroughly satisfying."
08/19/2010 page 538
76.0% "This book has me wrapped tight! I only wish I didn't have to lay it down to do things like go to work! I'm also a bit uneasy with the action taking place two days before 9/11. I know - or at least I'm sure that horror will feature in. Living about 30 miles from ground zero, it will always be a raw nerve for me..."

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Jill Watch out for the ending - you'll want to hang on to your seat because it's a doozy!!

Frank Jill wrote: "Watch out for the ending - you'll want to hang on to your seat because it's a doozy!!"

Hmmm. Looking forward to it!
With just your saying that I immediately have an idea of how it might be...

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