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The Lion's Game, by Nelson DeMille & Boyd Gaines (Narrator)

The Lion's Game

This book is easily one of the most intriguing of DeMille's John Corey stories. John, a former NYPD detective now working with the anti-terrorist task force, is still a wise-cracking loose cannon who almost never follows orders. When a suspected terrorist gives himself up and claims to want to seek asylum, the FBI and CIA put him on a flight to JFK. Although he is handcuffed and escorted by FBI and CIA agents, the mind-numbing terror begins when the plane lands with all 310 people aboard dead and the prisoner missing.

The story is one of merciless revenge by a terrorist whose family was killed in the 1986 air attack on Libya. Assad Khalil was 16 at the time of the raid, and he vowed to kill the eight men who were in the planes that fired on his family. Agent John Corey tracks Khalil around the United States as the killer puts his plan of terror and assassination into action. DeMille introduces the character of Kate Mayfield, an FBI agent who is a perfect match for John in cleverness, courage, sense of humor and romance. Their perilous cross-country quest is filled with suspense and violence as well as witty dialogue and tender, romantic moments.

DeMille is a master at creating scenarios so richly filled with detail that the listener feels he is listening to a factual account of an event, rather than to an imagined tale. The riveting cat and mouse game played by Khalil and Corey is made all the more terrifying because of DeMille's allusions to secret and sinister government policies and resources. Even with the spine-tingling situations Corey encounters, he is able to inject humor into his mission. One minute the listener is white-knuckling the nearest armrest or steering wheel and the next minute chuckling over Corey's comical remarks. The Lion's Game is particularly fascinating with our post-9/11 awareness of flight schools and airborne terrorists. I read and enjoyed this book when it was published in 2000, but I really loved the Boyd Gaines audio version and recommend it highly. The drama, suspense, terror and comedy are all intensified when presented in audio form.

John Mormon

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