72 of 80 people found the following review helpful
Nelson DeMille's The Lion's Game is one of the best thrillers ever written, but Wild Fire lags far behind. If you are a DeMille fan, this may be exactly the thing you like, but it put me to sleep. First, there is no plot. From the book's dust jacket and early pages, you know that a wealthy oil man wants to wipe out the people of the Middle East by exploding black-market, nuclear bombs in two American cities, triggering a massive nuclear response onto the Middle East from the United States (Project Wild Fire). We know that it won't happen, so we already know that someone will stop it. Second, the book has endless conversation that drags on forever. Third, we again have Detective John Corey and FBI Agent Kate Mayfield investigating the case, but this is not the capable John Corey that we saw in The Lion's Game. This John Corey is a wisecracking buffoon, and an entire book of his one-liners becomes really tiresome. The story's end is exciting and ties up loose ends nicely. This is the first time that I did not like a DeMille book, but I suspect that his next will create the usual excitement.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2007
I'm a huge DeMille fan - but Wild Fire fails on many levels.
Let's start with the total implausibility of the plot.
DeMille says such a plan as Wild Fire probably exists - but the book fails to make me a believer.
Let's continue with the sheer stupidity of the main characters, whom you are supposed to respect for brazenly rushing into danger, rather than following protocol, and with total disrespect for their adversaries AND their collegues.
But I can live with all that.
It's just that the book starts weakly, with no real suspense or drama, and goes downhill from there.
The last straw - for the main bad guy to explain to the people who he knows are trying to foil his plans, exactly what his plans are, and how they can indeed foil them; to lead them around at gunpoint instead of just simply blowing them away - well, I guess he never saw a James Bond movie or an episode of Get Smart.
Sorry Nelson - I love your other work.
45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2007
Well, this one really has to go into the category of "what might have been." Nelson DeMille starts off so strongly with a well-researched, creative and plausible evil plot that really makes you think about where reality leaves off and fiction begins. As one review states, you get the bulk of the bad guys' plans related to you through the dialog of a long meeting; it does get a bit tedious and that's where things begin to go amiss.
As the reader, you know about 95% of the evil plot about 20% of the way into the book. For the remaining 80% of the book you follow along with DeMille's hero, John Corey, who is implausibly antagonistic to nearly everyone he meets. The character is written to be a street-hardened wiseguy who has seen too much to suffer anyone (fool or otherwise) gladly, but he just comes across as unrealistic and rather annoying. The guy isn't even all right around his wife/boss/partner who wouldn't stay with a guy like this for ten minutes.
To further the problem, you already know the evil plot, so you are forced to endure several hundred pages of the aforementioned Mr. Corey renting cars, booking hotel rooms and hassling service personnel. I'm really not kidding... that makes up the vast majority of this book. Corey also has the classic "hero who has a problem with authority" thing going on steroids. He'd be fired forty six times in real life for doing what he does in this book.
Anyhow, great idea gone to waste. Still worth reading if you like well thought out "what if" scenarios, but if bad writing and implausible characters bother you much you may want to stay away from this one.
120 of 147 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2006
Demille picks up where he left off in Night Fall with Corey still on the job working to stop terrorism against America. The book is fictional, of course, however Demille likes to include real agencies (or close to real agencies) in his work along with real laws, tactics, newspaper headlines and he also includes his biting commentary on how and where the government really screws up in its defense of the country.
Now this book deals with the threat of Islamic terrorism, however unlike Night Fall in which we don't ever find out who exactly the villain was (it may really have been an accident) or The Lion's Game in which the villain was a Libyan terrorist; this work throws us a curve ball with the choice of villain. The irony is strong when the bad guy's plan has a little bit of common sense to it.
Unlike some of the editorial reviews I've seen I don't want to present any spoilers here; so it's a little difficult to argue the pro's and con's of the fictional governmental program called Wild Fire as it's presented in the book. In one of his brief comments on the book, DeMille notes that the idea for Wild Fire is based upon information that can be considered anything from fact to pure fiction, however he believes something similar does exist and if not it should. I agree with him that it should, I'm doubtful, from what I've witnessed that it does.
Of course I strongly recommend DeMille, he's become one of my favorite authors, however I'd like to mention that there are two different kinds of DeMille books. This one is an action thriller, law enforcement based, it reads much like a mystery thriller and presents some interesting and thought provoking things about terrorism and how to deal with stopping it. The other type of DeMille book is powerful literature, The Gold Coast and Word of Honor for instance. Not all readers will necessarily find themselves liking both types of book the same, however they are all well written and enjoyable to read.
If you're new to DeMille and haven't yet read any of Detective John Corey stories, you may want to start earlier and then finish up with this latest book, however it's not really necessarily as each book does stand alone well. If you're not into action thriller books or don't think the law enforcement angle is something you really are hot to read, yet you've heard great things about DeMille try picking up The Gold Coast, it is really one of the best pieces of modern literature I've read yet and perhaps you'll become a fan of the more genre based works.
In any case, if you're a fan of DeMille you'll no doubt get this latest book and enjoy it, if you're not yet a fan, I give a strong recommendation to this author's work.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
John Corey and his partner/wife Kate are back in this thought-provoking detective novel. Without giving anything away, this story focuses on how America might deter Islamic fascists from attacking one or more American cities with weapons of mass destruction, and some unexpected consequences and problems that this deterrence might entail. As usual, Corey is caught in the center of the hurricane, and this makes for a disturbingly plausible story that holds the reader's interest.
As always, the high point of this story is De Mille's writing, which combines interesting speculations, excellent character development, and humor. John Corey is a hoot, and his usual rebellious attitude towards authority and political correctness provide the tension that hold this very interesting story together. De Mille appears to have researched his subject in his usual thorough fashion, and the consequence is that this novel contains speculations that will trouble the thoughtful reader long after he or she has put the novel down. And most readers will not be able to do that until reading it all the way through, for this one is an authentic page-turner.
The storyline here is interesting because unlike the usual detective story, the crime is ongoing rather than completed and after-the-fact. (No spoilers here.) This affects the pace of the story in subtle ways, but the end product is, as I have said, a true page-turner regardless.
36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2006
Retired NYPD Detective John Corey and FBI Special Agent Kate Mayfield are a husband and wife team at the ATTF--Antiterrorism Task Force. After a weekend vacation, they return to NYC to find that Corey's friend from the ATTF has gone missing from a surveillance assignment in upstate New York.
As Corey and Mayfield probe into Harry Muller's disappearance, disturbing clues surface. Muller's assignment wasn't what it seemed, and now he's dead. Bain Madox, the billionaire owner of a "right-wing loonies'" rural hunting club, is obsessed with security. High-ranking government officials were weekend guests at the time of Muller's arrival. And then there are the clues left by Muller before he suffered a "hunting accident."
Corey wants justice for his friend's death. Little does he know that Madox has a project ready to launch--four nuclear devices are set to trigger a nuclear holocaust that will make 9/11 look like a play date. All this in the name of future peace. If Madox isn't stopped, the world will change. Forever.
DeMille brings back the wisecracking Detective John Corey in his most intense case yet. It begins as a search for a friend and turns into an unthinkable nightmare. Real-life research into nuclear terrorism inspired DeMille's terrifying "what if" scenario. From start to finish, readers will be caught breathless.
Beyond its fictive value, WILD FIRE explores the question of how far people are willing to go to secure future peace. Are millions of deaths a fair trade for a world free of terrorism and war? Should sacrifices be made, and if so, how many and who?
After the final page is read and the book shelved, the question will remain: "What if?"
Reviewed by Christina Wantz Fixemer
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2006
`Wildfire' by Nelson DeMille is a pulse-beating, spin tingling modern day story of `what if's? the world of freedom must seriously pay attention to as the issues of terrorism become more complex. The use of historical fact combined with potential and alarming acts of terrorism presented by the author had my stomach turned inside-out, upside-down, and ways I can't describe. DeMille has written a clever, well researched and intelligently written novel that focuses on the dangers of global fanaticism, and makes a very strong point that terrorism has no boundaries . . . and that radical thinkers who believe that the end justifies the means exists everywhere . . . including, very possibly, in the United States itself.
In Wild Fire, Agent Harry Muller is found dead while on a surveillance mission of the Custer Hill Gun Club in upstate New York. John Corey, a hard as nails former NYPD detective and present member of the Federal Anti-Terrorist Task Force, along with his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield travel to New York to investigate the suspicious Custer Hill Gun Club, which borders on the grounds where Agent Muller's body was found.
DeMille's `Wildfire' is one tightly woven tale filled with a unique setting of the isolated mountains of the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York . . . which allows for an isolated, yet extraordinarily tight story about nuclear terrorism to unfold. But there is so much more here than a story of potential protagonist terrorist actions: there is a very real and believable story of a man and a woman (husband and wife): John Corey and Kate Mayfield. Bain Maddox, the story's insane antagonist who is behind the plot to implode two nuclear bombs in U.S. cities in order to provoke the U.S. into action that would essentially destroy the Middle East, is a terrifying character who represents in a certain way the far-far-right extremist that exist in America today. The members of the Custer Hill Gun Club are truly background, which works well in this scenario, as the reader's concentration must be on Corey and Maddox.
DeMille brings out a very important question in 'Wild Fire': how far should governments go with respect to scrutinizing their own citizens with respect to fanatical right-wing mischief? Well Done . . . Nelson DeMille's `Wildfire' is an absolute must read.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2006
Nelson DeMille's Wild Fire is one of those books to read when you just want to have fun. His writing style and acerbic wit more than make up for his often and even trade mark non-plausible plots. Detective John Corey is back with his wife, Kate Mayfield, to quite literally, save the world. Get over that, and you will enjoy the ride in the majestic Adirondack Mountains as Corey and Mayfield battle the ultimate destruction literally on their own as everything, as always, points to leaks and "unfriendlies" in various U.S. and state agencies.
DeMille's writing is at its most compelling in its conversational tone. Corey talking trash to the bad guys. Corey and his wife having a very sexy and fun rapport with one another. This guy just has fun and makes very funny jokes when all odds are stacked against him. DeMille would be just another suspense writer if it weren't for this very real charm. The book literally flies if not taken too seriously by the reader. This guys books are now an "event" - one just questions how long Corey can maintain his wonderful character. But rest assured it is alive and kicking in Wild Fire. Enjoy this book.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2006
I'm a big fan of the TV series "24" and I found Wild Fire by Nelson DeMille to be the written equivalent to a series of the popular Keifer Sutherland show. It follows the lives of Detective John Corey and his FBI agent wife Kate Mayfield as they try to avert a terrorist plot (much like Sutherland's Jack Bauer does). There are twists aplenty and one must wonder if the TV show didn't have just the slightest of influences over DeMille's wonderful imagination.
Corey and Mayfield are initially trying to track down a colleague Harry Muller who has disappeared without trace. From here on in there is simply one plot turn after another, and the story just gets bigger and bigger as it goes along, without becoming even the slightest bit unbelievable (not on a first read anyway!). There have been a lot of top drawer "edge of the seat" special agent / crime fiction titles this year, notably Echo Park and The Collectors, and although I wouldn't be so bold as to pick a favourite, Wild Fire does touch on some great topical issues and sets the heart pounding in a way that a fast paced TV show like 24 does. What sets it apart from TV of course is the fact that you get to picture it all in your own mind with the help of DeMille's wonderful descriptives and fascinating narrative. At times this felt like I was trying to drive a car at 100 miles an hour while reading, it's that much of a pulse racer. Ideal reading for lovers of crime fiction, but this might also make for a good present for a couch potato who watches too much TV...
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2007
To paraphrase Nelson DeMille's own words about "Wild Fire" ... if this novel doesn't frighten you, it certainly should!
On one level, "Wild Fire" is a well-crafted, enjoyable but relatively routine police procedural which details John Corey's doggedly skilled but definitely off-the-wall and well outside the boundaries investigation of fellow agent Harry Muller's disappearance and murder. As a character starring in his fourth outing (Plum Island, Lion's Game and Night Fall were the first three novels), Corey comes as a package with no surprises. He's brash, vulgar, earthy, outrageously opinionated, self-righteous and arrogant, in your face, sarcastic to a fault and oversexed. Yet he can also be witty, humorous, kind, warm, loving and even self-effacing on the odd occasion when his beautiful wife Kate Mayfield slaps him upside the head and brings him down to earth a little! While his personal version of teamwork is somewhat lacking, there can be no question of his loyalty to the people he believes are on that team.
On a second level, "Wild Fire" is a terrifying tale of the escalation of global terrorism in the aftermath of 9/11 and the destruction of New York's World Trade Center. A 21st century version of the 1960's Cold War MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction), "Wild Fire" is a plan to reduce the Middle East to a radioactive glassy parking plot in response to any Islamic terrorist nuclear attack on an American city. The plan, set to operate entirely automatically with a feather light hair trigger, would kill hundreds of millions of practicing Moslems and, of course, eliminate the Islamic faith in the blink of an eye. That "Wild Fire" is presented in such a fashion as to appear entirely reasoned and plausible is chilling and thought-provoking enough. That a US right wing plot to trigger "Wild Fire" by the suitcase nuke bombing of San Francisco and Los Angeles is presented as a realistic possibility given the existence of such a plan is positively terrifying!
Those who love suspense thrillers and members of John Corey's fan club will eat this one up. Highly recommended!