Anti-terrorist task force agent John Corey is in pursuit of another big cat, The Panther. Having killed the terrorist known as The Lion, he and his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, are assigned the job of tracking down and eliminating the terrorist known as the Panther. Surprised when they are given this assignment, they soon realize that the government intends to use them as bait, since The Panther has sworn to find and kill them in retaliation for John’s killing The Lion. John had already been to Yemen investigating the U.S.S. Cole bombings so his return to The Panther’s home country appears reasonable. When John and Kate are required to undergo cultural sensitivity training before their departure for Yemen their teacher is Buckminster Harris or Buck, who is later revealed to be a senior operative with many years of experience in covert operations. Mystery and secrecy surround the mission from the moment they arrive in Yemen, beginning with Buck’s presence as part of the FBI and CIA operation. John and Kate knew that they would be the hunted as well as the hunters as they pursued The Panther, but John is convinced that The Panther is not their only enemy and that the CIA would also like to eradicate them. As they cross the barren desert in this hostile environment in their quest to lure The Panther from his lair, they are never sure whether the greatest danger lies ahead or within their group of armed government agents.
DeMille’s book is fascinating because it not only offers a look at the curious country of Yemen, known for its antiquities as well as for its terrorism, it allows the reader to speculate about CIA/FBI anti-terrorist operations and to question what’s happening now to protect our borders. His story proposes that there are no black and white areas, but rather shades of gray in the war on terrorism and homeland security. Once again John Corey’s irreverent whimsical remarks serve to add levity to serious situations. His seemingly idiotic remarks mislead his adversaries who in turn underestimate Corey, giving him the upper hand. Balancing the grim reality of terrorism with the hilarity found in observing human shortcomings, the book offers the reader some comic relief as it springs from life-threatening situation to another. DeMille details some of the highly sophisticated equipment used in the war on terrorism, such as unmanned surveillance and attack planes, high-powered assault rifles, night vision and other surveillance devices. While the subject of terrorism is frightening it is also reassuring to imagine that government agencies are aware of actions all over the world and are taking steps to see that safety and human life are preserved.
Scott Brick’s narration again is brilliant, captivating and mesmerizing. He is able to portray the lovable aspects of the rebel John Corey with the same effectiveness as he presents the brutal chilling personalities of some of the other participants. The action in this book is nonstop and holds the readers interest from the initial briefing through the heart-stopping enemy encounters to the final conclusion. DeMille and Brick fans will not be disappointed in this latest escapade of the husband-and-wife team of Corey and Kate as they pursue bad guys and keep the terrorists at bay.
The Panther by Nelson DeMille
Read by Scott Brick
Hachette audio, unabridged: 21.5 hours on 19 CDs