New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille (The Lion’s Game, Plum Island) delivers another politically charged thriller in his latest work, Wild Fire. This is the fourth novel from DeMille to showcase ex-NYPD detective John Corey, and it’s a good one.
Following on the heels of 2004’s highly successful Night Fall, Corey and his wife, Kate Mayfield, get entangled in a right-wing plot to blow up two cities in the United States via suitcase nukes that hit the black market after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But the book opens up with ATTF (Anti-Terrorist Task Force) agent Harry Muller getting assigned to do surveillance on the Custer Hill Club in upstate New York. Muller manages his way into the sprawling estate only to be corralled by guards. They take him to see the president of the Custer Hill Club (and Go-Co Oil) Bain Madox, who explains his plan for getting the American nuclear retaliation plan known as “Wild Fire” into action.
Here the story shifts point-of-view. Muller goes missing, and it’s up to John Corey and Kate Mayfield to investigate what happened. The cantankerous, wisecracking, yet affectionate Corey (Kate is just as ballsy as John, making them a perfect pair) head right into danger as the disappearance of Muller leads them into a pseudo-political/nuclear quagmire from which they not only extricate themselves but also save the world from total annihilation.
Though relying more on dialogue than pulse-pounding action, DeMille’s Wild Fire is a still a fine thriller. Some listeners will find the mixing of real-life events with DeMille’s imaginative plot twists not be their liking, which is fine. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. But the fact that it relies on a plot device that could or could not be real is something that makes this book stand out from the pack of current thrillers.