The Lion (John Corey Series #5)

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Overview

In this eagerly awaited follow-up to The Lion's Game, John Corey, former NYPD Homicide detective and special agent for the Anti-Terrorist Task Force, is back. And, unfortunately for Corey, so is Asad Khalil, the notorious Libyan terrorist otherwise known as "The Lion." Last we heard from him, Khali had claimed to be defecting to the US only to unleash the most horrific reign of terrorism ever to occur on American soil. While Corey and his partner, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, chased him across the country, Khalil ...

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The Lion (John Corey Series #5)

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Overview

In this eagerly awaited follow-up to The Lion's Game, John Corey, former NYPD Homicide detective and special agent for the Anti-Terrorist Task Force, is back. And, unfortunately for Corey, so is Asad Khalil, the notorious Libyan terrorist otherwise known as "The Lion." Last we heard from him, Khali had claimed to be defecting to the US only to unleash the most horrific reign of terrorism ever to occur on American soil. While Corey and his partner, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, chased him across the country, Khalil methodically eliminated his victims one by one and then disappeared without a trace.

Now, years later, Khalil has returned to America to make good on his threats and take care of unfinished business. "The Lion" is a killing machine once again loose in America with a mission of revenge, and John Corey will stop at nothing to achieve his own goal — to find and kill Khahil.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Scott Brick, narrator of 2000’s The Lion’s Game, has wisely been brought back to give voice to this sequel in which the titular master assassin Asad Khalil returns to the U.S. to murder everyone who ruined his fun the first time around, including wisecracking hard-boiled federal agent John Corey and his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield. The shocking first strike against Kate occurs in the middle of a recreational sky dive, smartly written by DeMille and heart-thumpingly enacted by Brick. The unwavering Khalil speaks in a slithery, chilling whisper, while series protagonist Corey is full of brashness and bravura. But as the plot proceeds like “a straight ball down the middle,” a description provided by the author in an interview with the narrator, both of the antagonists begin to display signs of strain. Thanks to Brick, they sound a little more anxious, uncertain, and human the closer they come to their final mano a mano confrontation. A Grand Central hardcover (Reviews, May 10). (June)
BookPage
"Character voices are clearly defined, all with their own verbal mannerisms, including rapid speech patterns, higher-pitched inflections, slightly longer pauses between sentences, and so on. Brick reads the exciting scenes as though he is caught up in the drama. A first-rate novel and a first-rate performance."
Sound Commentary
"In an interview with the author and narrator, Scott Brick, included in this package, DeMille says Brick is the voice of John Corey. From the questions Brick asks, listeners will realize why he is so good at what he does-he really cares about what he is reading, does his homework, and wants to know as much as his audience does where the story comes from and will there be more to follow. Luckily, more novels are in the works."
Booklist
"This is a well-constructed and satisfying sequel, full of exciting...visual imagery."
From the Publisher
"A fast-paced and exciting grabber of a thriller. Highly recommended."—Library Journal

"This is a well-constructed and satisfying sequel, full of exciting...visual imagery."—Booklist

"DeMille splices gripping action scenes with accounts of Khalil's horrifically inventive attacks and the ATTF's futile countermeasures."—Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446699600
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/7/2011
  • Series: John Corey Series , #5
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 129,942
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Nelson DeMille is the author of 18 acclaimed novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Night Fall, Plum Island, The Gate House, The Lion, and The Panther. His other New York Times bestsellers include Wild Fire, The Gold Coast, and The General's Daughter. For more information on the author, you can go to www.NelsonDeMille.net.

Biography

Nelson DeMille has a dozen bestselling novels to his name and over 30 million books in print worldwide, but his beginnings were not so illustrious. Writing police detective novels in the mid-1970s, DeMille created the pseudonym Jack Cannon: "I used the pen name because I knew I wanted to write better novels under my own name someday," DeMille told fans in a 2000 chat.

Between 1966 and 1969, Nelson DeMille served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. When he came home, he finished his undergraduate studies (in history and political science), then set out to become a novelist. "I wanted to write the great American war novel at the time," DeMille said in an interview with January magazine. "I never really wrote the book, but it got me into the writing process." A friend in the publishing industry suggested he write a series of police detective novels, which he did under a pen name for several years.

Finally DeMille decided to give up his day job as an insurance fraud investigator and commit himself to writing full time -- and under his own name. The result was By the Rivers of Babylon (1978), a thriller about terrorism in the Middle East. It was chosen as a Book of the Month Club main selection and helped launch his career. "It was like being knighted," said DeMille, who now serves as a Book of the Month Club judge. "It was a huge break."

DeMille followed it with a stream of bestsellers, including the post-Vietnam courtroom drama Word of Honor (1985) and the Cold War spy-thriller The Charm School (1988) Critics praised DeMille for his sophisticated plotting, meticulous research and compulsively readable style. For many readers, what made DeMille stand out was his sardonic sense of humor, which would eventually produce the wisecracking ex-NYPD officer John Corey, hero of Plum Island (1997) and The Lion's Game (2000).

In 1990 DeMille published The Gold Coast, a Tom Wolfe-style comic satire that was his attempt to write "a book that would be taken seriously." The attempt succeeded, in terms of the critics' response: "In his way, Mr. DeMille is as keen a social satirist as Edith Wharton," wrote The New York Times book reviewer. But he returned to more familiar thrills-and-chills territory in The General's Daughter, which hit no. 1 on The New York Times' Bestseller list and was made into a movie starring John Travolta. Its hero, army investigator Paul Brenner, returned in Up Country (2002), a book inspired in part by DeMille's journey to his old battlegrounds in Vietnam.

DeMille's position in the literary hierarchy may be ambiguous, but his talent is first-rate; there's no questioning his mastery of his chosen form. As a reviewer for the Denver Post put it, "In the rarefied world of the intelligent thriller, authors just don't get any better than Nelson DeMille."

Good To Know

DeMille composes his books in longhand, using soft-lead pencils on legal pads. He says he does this because he can't type, but adds, "I like the process of pencil and paper as opposed to a machine. I think the writing is better when it's done in handwriting."

In addition to his novels, DeMille has written a play for children based on the classic fairy tale "Rumpelstiltskin."

DeMille says on his web site that he reads mostly dead authors -- "so if I like their books, I don't feel tempted or obligated to write to them." He mentions writing to a living author, Tom Wolfe, when The Bonfire of the Vanities came out; but Wolfe never responded. "I wouldn't expect Hemingway or Steinbeck to write back -- they're dead. But Tom Wolfe owes me a letter," DeMille writes.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jack Cannon; Kurt Ladner; Brad Matthews; Michael Weaver; Ellen Kay
    2. Hometown:
      Long Island, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 22, 1943
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A. in political science, Hofstra University, 1974
    2. Website:

First Chapter

The Lion


By DeMille, Nelson

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2010 DeMille, Nelson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446580830

PART I

New York and New Jersey

CHAPTER ONE

So I’m sitting in a Chevy SUV on Third Avenue, waiting for my target, a guy named Komeni Weenie or something, an Iranian gent who is Third Deputy something or other with the Iranian Mission to the United Nations. Actually, I have all this written down for my report, but this is off the top of my head.

Also off the top of my head, I’m John Corey and I’m an agent with the Federal Anti-Terrorist Task Force. I used to be a homicide detective with the NYPD, but I’m retired on disability—gunshot wounds, though my wife says I’m also morally disabled—and I’ve taken this job as a contract agent with the Feds, who have more anti-terrorist money than they know how to spend intelligently.

The ATTF is mostly an FBI outfit, and I work out of 26 Federal Plaza, downtown, with my FBI colleagues, which includes my wife. It’s not a bad gig, and the work can be interesting, though working for the Federal government—the FBI in particular—is a challenge.

Speaking of FBI and challenges, my driver today is FBI Special Agent Lisa Sims, right out of Quantico by way of East Wheatfield, Iowa, or someplace, and the tallest building she’s previously seen is a grain silo. Also, she does not drive well in Manhattan, but she wants to learn. Which is why she’s sitting where I should be sitting.

Ms. Sims asked me, “How long do we wait for this guy?”

“Until he comes out of the building.”

“What’s he going to do?”

“We’re actually here to find out.”

“I mean, what do we have on him? Why are we watching him?”

“Racial profiling.”

No response.

I added, to be collegial, “He is an Iranian military intelligence officer with diplomatic cover. As you know, we have information that he has asked for his car and driver to be available from one P.M. on. That is all we know.”

“Right.”

Lisa Sims seemed bright enough, and she knew when to stop asking questions. Like now. She’s also an attractive young woman in a clean-cut sort of way, and she was dressed casually for this assignment in jeans, running shoes, and a lime green T-shirt that barely concealed her .40 caliber Glock and pancake holster. I, too, wore running shoes—you never know when you might be sprinting—jeans, black T-shirt, and a blue sports jacket that concealed my 9mm Glock, my radio, my pocket comb, and breath mints. Beats carrying a purse like Ms. Sims did.

Anyway, it was a nice day in May, and the big ornamental clock across the street said 3:17. We’d been waiting for this character for over two hours.

The Iranian Mission to the U.N. is located on the upper floors of a 39-story office building off Third Avenue, between East 40th Street and 41st. Because of the U.N., Manhattan is home to over a hundred foreign missions and consulates, plus residences, and not all of these countries are our buds. So you get a lot of bad actors posing as diplomats who need to be watched, and it’s a pain in the ass. They should move the U.N. to Iowa. But maybe I shouldn’t complain—watching bad guys pays the rent.

I was the team leader today, which is a guarantee of success, and on this surveillance with me were four agents on foot, and three other vehicles—another Chevy SUV and two Dodge minivans. The other three vehicles also have one NYPD and one FBI agent, which means at least one person in the vehicle knows what he or she is doing. Sorry. That wasn’t nice. Also, FYI, each vehicle is equipped with the whole police package—flashing lights in the grille, siren, tinted windows, and so forth. Inside the vehicle we have 35mm digital Nikon cameras with zoom lenses, Sony 8mm video cameras, handheld portable radios, a portable printer, and so on. We all carry a change of clothes, a Kevlar vest, MetroCards, Nextel cell phones with a walkie-talkie feature, sometimes a rifle and scope, and other equipment, depending on the assignment. Like, for instance, a little gadget that detects radioactive substances, which I don’t even want to think about.

In any case, we are prepared for anything, and have been since 9/11. But, you know, shit happens even when you have a shit shield with you.

High-tech toys aside, at the end of the day, what you need with you is an alert brain and a gun.

When I was a cop I did a lot of surveillance, so I’m used to this, but Special Agent Sims was getting antsy. She said, “Maybe we missed him.”

“Not likely.”

“Maybe he changed his plans.”

“They do that.”

“I’ll bet they do it on purpose.”

“They do that, too.”

Another fifteen minutes passed, and Special Agent Sims used the time to study a street and subway map of Manhattan. She asked me, “Where do you live?”

I looked at the map, pointed, and said, “Here. On East Seventy-second Street.”

She glanced out the windshield and said, “You’re not far from here.”

“Right. You have a map of Iowa? You can show me where you live.”

She laughed.

A few minutes later, she asked me, “What is that place behind us? Au Bon Pain.”

“It’s like a coffee shop. A chain.”

“Do you think I can run out and get a muffin?”

Well, she had running shoes, but the answer was no, though maybe if Ms. Sims got out of the SUV, and if Komeni Weenie came out of the building and got into a car, then I could drive off and lose Ms. Sims.

“John?”

“Well…”

My radio crackled and a voice—one of the guys on foot—said, “Target exiting subject building from courtyard, out and moving.”

I said to Sims, “Sure, go ahead.”

“Didn’t he just say—?”

“Hold on.” I looked into the courtyard that separated the subject building from the adjacent building where two of my foot guys were helping to keep New York clean by collecting litter.

The radio crackled again, and Sweeper One said, “Target heading east to Third.”

I saw our target walking through the courtyard, then passing under the ornamental arch and clock. He was a tall guy, very thin, wearing a well-cut pinstripe suit. We give nicknames or code names to the targets, and this guy had a big beak and moved his head like a bird, so I said into my radio, “Target is henceforth Big Bird.”

Big Bird was on the sidewalk now, and all of a sudden another guy—who I profiled as being of Mideastern extraction—came up to Big Bird. I couldn’t make this new guy, but Big Bird seemed to know him, and they seemed happy and surprised to see each other, which is pure bullshit. They shook hands, and I thought something was being passed. Or they were just shaking hands. You never know. But they know or suspect that they’re being watched, and sometimes they screw with you.

Anyway, Big Bird has dip immunity, and we’re certainly not going to bust him for shaking hands with another Mideastern gentleman. In fact, now we have two people to watch.

Big Bird and the unknown separated, and the unknown began walking north on Third, while Big Bird stayed put. This was all captured in photos and video, of course, and maybe someone at 26 Fed knew this other guy.

I said into the radio, “Units Three and Four, stay with the unknown and try to ID him.”

They acknowledged, and Ms. Sims said to me, “I don’t think that was a chance meeting.”

I did not respond with sarcasm and I didn’t even roll my eyes. I said, “I think you’re right.” This was going to be a long day.

A minute later, a big gray Mercedes pulled up near Big Bird, and I could see the dip plates—blue-and-white, with four numbers followed by DM, which for some unknown reason is the State Department’s designation for Iran, then another D, which is Diplomat, which I get.

The driver, another Iranian gent, jumped out and ran around to the other side of the car like he was being chased by Israeli commandos. He bowed low—I should get my driver to do that—then opened the door, and Big Bird folded himself into the rear seat.

I said into the radio, “Big Bird is mobile.” I gave the make and color of the car and the plate number, and Unit Two acknowledged. Unit Two, by the way, is the second Dodge minivan, driven by a guy I know, Mel Jacobs, NYPD Intelligence Unit detective. Detective Jacobs is Jewish, and he speaks a little Hebrew, which he uses when interrogating Arabic-speaking suspects. That, and the Star of David that he wears, sends these guys into orbit, which is kind of funny to watch.

Anyway, the other guy with Mel today is George Foster, an FBI Special Agent who I’ve worked with and who I like because he knows from experience how brilliant I am.

The Mercedes headed north on Third Avenue, and Special Agent Sims asked me, “Should I follow him?”

“That might be a good idea.”

She threw the SUV into gear and off we went, threading our way through heavy traffic. New York drivers are divided between the good and the dead. It’s Darwinian. Ms. Sims would evolve or become extinct. And I’m sitting in the passenger seat to witness one or the other.

The Iranian chauffeur, who I think I’ve followed before, was an erratic driver, and I couldn’t tell if he was driving like that to lose a tail or if he was just a really bad driver. Like the last thing he drove was a camel.

Meanwhile, Special Agent Sims had her chin over the steering wheel between white knuckles, and her right foot was moving from the brakes to the accelerator like she had restless leg syndrome.

The Mercedes made a sudden left on 51st Street and Ms. Sims followed.

Unit Two continued on Third where he’d hang a left on 53rd and run parallel to us until I could tell them what the Mercedes was doing. You don’t want a parade following the subject vehicle; you want to mix it up a bit.

We were heading west now, and we passed beside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, then crossed Fifth Avenue. The subject vehicle continued on, which I reported to Unit Two.

I had no idea where Big Bird was going, but he was heading toward the Theater District and Times Square, where these guys sometimes went to experience American culture, like strip joints and titty bars. I mean, you don’t get much of that back in Sandland. Right?

The Mercedes made the light on Seventh Avenue, but we didn’t and we got stuck behind three vehicles. I couldn’t see the Mercedes now, but I had seen him continue on 51st. I hit the lights and siren, and the vehicles in front of us squeezed over, and Ms. Sims squeezed past and barreled through the red light, cutting across the southbound traffic on Seventh Avenue.

We got across the avenue, and I killed the lights and siren, and we continued west on 51st.

Ms. Sims glanced at me as though she wanted a compliment or something, so I mumbled, “Good driving.”

I radioed Unit Two with our position and said, “I have subject vehicle in sight.”

We drove through the area called Hell’s Kitchen, formerly a nice slum, which has gone downhill with an influx of yuppies. I had no idea where Big Bird was going, but if he continued west, maybe he was headed for a Hudson River crossing. I said to Ms. Sims, “He may be going to Jersey.”

She nodded.

In truth, ninety percent of our surveillances go nowhere. Abdul is just out and about, or he’s trying to draw us off from something else that’s happening. Or they’re just practicing their countersurveillance techniques.

Now and then, though, you get the real thing—like one of these dips meeting a known bad guy. We do more watching than arresting or interrogating, because these characters can tell us more by keeping them under the eye than they’d tell us in an interrogation room. With the dips, you can’t question them anyway, and getting them booted out is left to people with a higher pay grade than mine.

Now and then we do make an arrest, and I’m on the interrogation team, which is a lot more fun than following these clowns. I mean, I’m having fun; they’re not.

The goal, of course, is to prevent another 9/11 or something worse. So far, so good. But it’s been too quiet for too long. Like over a year and a half since that day. So, are we lucky, or are we good? For sure, the bad guys haven’t given up, so we’ll see.

The Mercedes continued on toward Twelfth Avenue, which runs along the Hudson River and is the place where civilization ends. No offense to New Jersey, but I haven’t gotten my malaria shots this year.

I radioed Unit Two that we were traveling south on Twelfth.

There isn’t as much traffic in this area of warehouses and piers, so the Mercedes picked up speed, and Ms. Sims kept up without being obvious.

The Mercedes passed the turns that would have led to the entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel and continued south toward Lower Manhattan.

Ms. Sims asked again, “Where do you think he’s going?”

“Maybe one of the piers. Maybe he’s got a rendezvous with a Saudi yacht that’s carrying a nuclear device.”

“Jeepers.”

“Please don’t swear.”

“Shit.”

“That’s better.”

We were making pretty good time down Twelfth Avenue, and I could see Unit Two in my sideview mirror, and we acknowledged visual contact. By now, the Iranian driver should know he was being followed, but these guys are so dumb they can’t even find themselves in a mirror, let alone a tail.

Maybe I spoke too soon, because the guy suddenly slowed up, and Ms. Sims misjudged our relative speeds, and we were now too close to the Mercedes with no one between us and him. I could see Big Bird’s head in the back right seat, and he was talking on his cell phone. Then the driver must have said something to him, and Big Bird twisted around in his seat, looked at us, then smiled and gave us the finger. I returned the salute. Prick.

Ms. Sims said, “Sorry,” and dropped back.

I advised her, “You have to watch their brake lights.”

“Right.”

Well, it’s not the end of the world when the subject is on to you. It happens about half the time when you’re mobile, though less on foot.

There is a Plan B, however, and I called Unit Two and explained that we’d been burnt. I told Ms. Sims to drop farther back, and Unit Two passed us and picked up the visual tail.

We all continued on, and I kept Unit Two in sight.

I could have called for another surveillance vehicle, but the Iranians weren’t doing any escape and evasion, so I just let it play out. They damned sure weren’t going to lose us, and if I screwed up their plans today, that was a good day’s work.

We got down below the West Village, and Unit Two radioed that the subject was turning on West Houston. Jacobs also said, “I think this guy made us.”

“Then pull up alongside and give him the finger.”

“Say again?”

“He flipped me the bird.”

I heard laughter on the radio, then Unit Two said, “Subject is turning into the entrance ramp for the Holland.”

“Copy.”

In a few minutes, we were on the entrance ramp to the tunnel.

There are no toll booths in this direction so traffic was moving quickly into the tunnel entrance. I passed on a tidbit to Ms. Sims: “Almost none of these dip cars has E-ZPass—they don’t want their movements recorded—so when there’s a toll booth, they’re in the cash lane, which is very slow, and if you go through the E-ZPass lane, you’ll be ahead of them, which you don’t want.”

She nodded.

Unit Two was in the tunnel and we followed.

Inside the long tunnel, Ms. Sims asked again, “Where do you think he’s going?”

This time I knew. “New Jersey.” I explained, “That’s where the tunnel goes.”

She didn’t respond to that bit of Zen, but she informed me, “Iranian diplomats may not travel more than a twenty-five-mile radius from Manhattan.”

“Right.” I think I knew that.

She had no further information for me, so we continued on in golden silence. The tunnels under the rivers around Manhattan Island are, of course, A-list targets for our Mideast friends, but I didn’t think Big Bird was going to blow himself up in the tunnel. I mean, why put on such a nice suit for that? Plus, you need a big truck bomb to actually open the tunnel up to the river. Right?

We exited the tunnel, and it took me awhile to adjust my eyes to the sunlight. I couldn’t see the Mercedes, but I did spot Unit Two, and I pointed them out to Ms. Sims, who followed. Unit Two reported the subject in sight.

We were in Jersey City now, and we got on to the Pulaski Skyway, from which we had a scenic view of belching smokestacks.

I asked Ms. Sims, “Where do you think he’s going?”

She recognized the question, smiled, and replied, “How do I know?”

We approached the interchange for Interstate 95, and I said, “Ten bucks says he goes south.” I added, “Newark Airport.”

She asked, “What’s to the north?”

“The North Pole. Come on. You betting?”

She thought a moment, then said, “Well, he’s been traveling south, but he has no luggage for the airport—unless it’s in the trunk.”

“So, you pick north?”

“No. I say he’s going south, but not to the airport. To Atlantic City.”

I wasn’t following the train of thought that led Ms. Sims to Atlantic City, but I said, “Okay. Ten bucks.”

“Fifty.”

“You’re on.”

Unit Two radioed, “Subject has taken the southbound entrance to Ninety-five.”

“Copy.” So it was either Newark Airport or maybe Atlantic City. I mean, these guys did go down to AC to gamble, drink, and get laid. Not that I would know about any of that firsthand. But I have followed Abdul down there on a number of occasions.

I could still see Unit Two, and they could see the subject vehicle, and Jacobs radioed, “Subject passed the exit for Newark Airport.”

Ms. Sims said to me, “You can pay me now.”

I said, “He could be going to Fort Dix. You know, spying on a military installation.” I reminded her, “He’s a military intel guy.”

“And the chauffeur and Mercedes are cover for what?”

I didn’t reply.

We continued on, hitting speeds of eighty miles an hour on Route 95, known here as the New Jersey Turnpike.

Ms. Sims announced, “He’s past the twenty-five-mile limit.”

“Good. Do you want to keep following him, or kill him?”

“I’m just making an observation.”

“Noted.”

We continued on, and I said to Ms. Sims, “You know, maybe I should call for air.”

She didn’t reply, so I further explained, “We have an air spotter we can use. Makes our job easier.” I started to switch the frequency on the radio, but Ms. Sims said, “He’s booked at the Taj Mahal.”

I took my hand off the dial and inquired, “How do you know?”

“We got a tip.”

I inquired, “And when were you going to share this with me?”

“After I had my muffin.”

I was a little pissed off. Maybe a lot.

A few minutes later, she asked me, “Are you, like, not speaking to me?”

In fact, I wasn’t, so I didn’t reply.

She said, “But we’ve got to follow him down there to see that he actually goes to the Taj and checks in.” She informed me, “We have a team down there already, so after they pick him up we can turn around and head back to the city.”

I had no reply.

She assured me, “You don’t owe me the fifty dollars. In fact, I’ll buy you a drink.”

No use staying mad, so I said, “Thank you.” I mean, typical FBI. They wouldn’t tell you if your ass was on fire. And the Special Agents, like Ms. Sims and my wife, are all lawyers. Need I say more?

I radioed Unit Two with my new info, though I advised Mel and George to stay with us in case our info was wrong and Big Bird was heading elsewhere.

Mel asked, “How did you find this out?”

“I’ll tell you later.”

We continued on, and Ms. Sims said, “We have about two hours. Tell me all you know about surveillance. I’d like to know what you’ve learned in the last forty years.”

It hasn’t been quite that long, and Ms. Sims I’m sure knew that; she was just making an ageist joke. She actually had a sense of humor, a rarity among her colleagues, so to show I was a good sport, and to demonstrate to her the spirit of joint FBI/NYPD cooperation, I said, “All right. I talk, you listen. Hold your questions.”

“Will there be a test?”

“Every day.”

She nodded.

I settled back and imparted my extensive knowledge of surveillance techniques, interspersed with anecdotal and personal stories of surveillances, even the ones that went bad.

The criminals I’ve followed over the years were all pretty dumb, but when I got to the Task Force, I realized that the guys we were following—diplomats and terrorist suspects—were not quite as dumb. I mean, they’re certainly not smart, but they are paranoid, partly because most of them come from police states, and that makes them at least savvy that they’re under the eye.

Ms. Sims, true to her word, did not interrupt as I held her spellbound with my stories. I really don’t like to brag, but this was a teaching moment, so how could I avoid it? And, as I say, I was honest about the screw-ups.

On that subject, and on the subject of smart bad guys, I’ve run into only two evil geniuses in my three years with the Task Force. One was an American, and the other was a Libyan guy with a very big grudge against the USA, and not only was he evil and smart, he was also a perfect killing machine. My experience with the Libyan had less to do with surveillance than it did with hunter and hunted, and there were times when I wasn’t sure if I was the hunter or the hunted.

This episode did not have a happy ending, and even if there were any lessons to be learned or taught, the whole case was classified as Top Secret and need-to-know, meaning I couldn’t share it with Ms. Sims, or with anyone, ever. Which was fine with me.

But someday, I was sure, there would be a rematch. He promised me that.



Continues...

Excerpted from The Lion by DeMille, Nelson Copyright © 2010 by DeMille, Nelson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 740 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Lion Meows

    Nelson DeMille has long been one of my go-to authors. Who could forget the fabulous "Charm School" or the fascinating "Wild Fire." Sadly, what we have in "The Lion" is a wordy, redundant, flat, and wholly unbelievable sequel to the fast-paced "Lion's Game." While I still love the character of John Corey, and once again enjoyed his sarcastic wit, the story quickly went sour. I had been anxiously awaiting this sequel and the return of the assassin, but the sequence of events this time was eye-rolling at worst, and laughable at best. The attempted murder during a sky-diving trip reopened the cat and mouse game, but all I could do was groan at the stupidity of those events. I understand the concept of suspending one's belief in a novel, but this is beyond the pale. The book apparently needed filler, so many passages are repeated throughout the book and main characters make "surprising" recoveries from life-threatening, critical condition injuries. I could forgive that if the plot were stronger and there was at least some believability applied. I am sorry to say that this book was very disappointing.

    19 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2010

    DeMille has done it again!

    John Corey is back - and still afraid of bears - although he's not afraid of much else! This book is hypnotizing. You never know what's going to happen next but you DO know it will knock you off your feet. The sky diving sequence had me holding my breath. Who but DeMille could think up something like that?
    If you want to be totally absorbed - read this book!
    Mr. DeMille....hurry up and write another John Corey adventure. (with or without bears)

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Action-packed, complex, and engrossing!

    Assad Khalil, a.k.a. the Lion, is a deadly killer and a religious terrorist. Now that he's back on U.S. soil, he is pursuing his personal vendetta. He intends to annihilate all the people linked to his family's destruction from the U.S. Air Force pilots to Federal Agent John Corey and FBI Agent Kate Mayfield. The Lion, like the fictional Jackal (from Return of the Jackal) is one of the world's most skilled assassins and Khalil enjoys the difficult kills.


    Corey tries to take advantage of Khalil's love for the dramatic and Corey needs all the advantages that he can garner. Khalil seems to have unlimited resources, a wide range of targets, and no inhibitions. But Corey has his own strengths -- careful detective work, his creative thinking, his deep determination and desire for vengeance. The battle of between Corey and Khalil makes for an engrossing read and a satisfying thriller.


    If you're looking for a fun weekend read or a thriller to escape with, check it out. Action-packed, complex, and engrossing, DeMille's The Lion will surely satisfy!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2010

    Pass on this one

    While his earlier books were supurb, looks as if ol' Nelson has lost it on his last two books, particularly this one. Writing is repetitive, wordy, and boring. Having a real had time slogging through it, and I may just put it down.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I Can't Wait

    The Lion's Game was Nelson DeMille' greatest books. It was action pack and dealt with our country's greatest threat and that is terrorism. I can't wait for the long awaited sequel. My only hope is that its better than his previous book The Gate House.

    4 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2010

    Very Weak - DeMille's Worst Effort By Far

    This sequel to The Lion's Game was dull - I got the impression that DeMille forced this one out to satisfy his contract or something. The ending was predictable, the story lacked imagination, and I think the time has come to retire John Corey. I loved him in Wild Fire but his act is getting old. I hope DeMille goes back to writing in his old style of heavy research / details mixed in with action and suspense. Create a new character perhaps. This was lazy writing and not worth the money.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    No Lyin'

    Where's Darth Vader when we need him? Here we have an international terrorist, the baddest of the bad, and we have to settle for a wisecracking New York cop to save the day- if he can. DeMille hits all the right buttons but his wisecracking cop could easily get bumped off by annoyed readers before he even meets the Lion. There is blood to spare and murder is written on just about every page. Don't start liking a character, he/she may not be around for the next chapter! It's a good summer read, but don't think too hard on the way.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2011

    What an exciting read!

    I have enjoyed the journey with John Corey. The Lion's Game captivated and held my attention from the moment that I picked it up! Enjoyed the follow up series of J Corey and Kate Middleton too. However I have eagerly awaited the continuance of the Asad Khalil saga! The Lion does not disappoint! I couldn't stop reading until I finished! An exciting culmination to the Corey, Middleton, and Khalil triangle! Highly recommend if you have read the first book first!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Exciting conclusion to Asad Kahlil storyline!

    Excellent conculsion to the battle between John Corey and Asad Kahlil. l have read the complete series involving John Corey with the best of theseries being The Lions Game . That said, The Lion was a thrilling book and a good concultion to the Kahlil storyline. I would like to see the series continue with new adventures for Detective John Corey as I view him as the perfect brash wise-cracking cop. I highly recommend this book or more so the entire series in order to fully understand the characters.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A dark story with a witty narration.

    This was a great story! I wasn't instantly drawn into it, but once it got going I couldn't pull myself away from it.

    I hadn't read the first in this series, so there was a bit that I think I was missing from this one, but I don't think it deterred from the story at all. I was able to piece together what had happened in the first book and pieced together the back story.

    I've never read DeMille before, but I'd heard great things about his writing. I wasn't disappointed! There is quite a bit of wit in the writing. I don't know if it was just the nature of the main character, John Corey, or if it's a common thing for DeMille, but it made this story easier. I think without the witticisms this could have been a very difficult and dark book.

    I really liked Cory. He was witty, he was strong, and (like us all) he had faults. His drive to finish what The Lion started was so strong. While not all of The Lion's actions were meant to egg on Corey, Corey seemed to take them all quite personally. Although since The Lion promised Corey that he would be back to finish what he started I guess there was a vendetta to settle, and since Corey knew what The Lion's plans entailed I can see how he took everything personally.

    The story was pretty intense. But again, the wit helped to break it up. It didn't make the story any less serious, but it made it not so dark and hopeless.

    The narrator was pretty good. He wasn't mundane, but he wasn't the most lively narrator I've ever listened to. He gave the characters their own voices, and did a pretty good job at helping the listener to differentiate who was talking.

    A review copy of this title was provided by the publisher.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Return To Form

    I was a bit more cautious going into this one after The Gate House. The Gate House was more romance novel than anything and I was worried that Nelson had made a permanent turn in that direction. I am glad he proved me wrong. This book was a return to the kind of work I expect from DeMille. While the ending lacked any surprise twist it was still a great read. And, everyone does twists nowadays so it was rather refreshing that the twist here was that there was no twist. It's straight forward and to the point. You just have to enjoy the ride from here to the ending.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2010

    Hope there is more of John Corey in the future

    I really liked this sequel to The Lion's Game. John Corey is probably someone I would never like in real life, but I laugh out loud as I read the John Corey books. Nelson DeMille's writing is terrific.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good! Won't regret reading

    John Corey and Khalil meet again! I believe I have read every one of DeMille's books and he didn't disappoint me in "The Lion." I thoroughly enjoy John Corey's wit, it has you laughing out loud at times. The intensity of the book was also good. Can't wait for another Corey book!!! P.S. You don't have to read the "The Lion's Game" before you read this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2010

    Terrific!

    Great story with some dialogue from John Corey that makes you laugh out loud. Worth every second of waiting for the sequel to "The Lion".

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Read

    I enjoyed reading The Lion. I can imagine it as a movie. It will be thrilling. This work of fiction provides entertainment with a topical story line.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    John Corey is the funniest cop I've ever read

    I haven't read much DeMille, but if this book is in any way typical of the man's talent I'm on board. The witty puns and asides he's written for his main character kept me grinning throughout this very bloody, scary plot. I need to go find the backstory on John Corey and his nemesis, Asad Khalil, but I didn't feel I needed it to enjoy this novel. There is tense action and detailed police work here, sprinkled with sarcastic comments and bold action from the main character. It made for a great read. The backdrop is a pretty scary terrorist plot with events across the USA, a pretty terrifying and realistic concept. I recommend this book if you enjoy thrilling spy stories; even with the humor it has everything you are looking for.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    John Corey is back and better than ever.

    In this latest thriller Nelson takes us back and re-introduces us to The Lion who in reality is international terrorist Asad Khalil who is on a personal jihad to avenge the killing of his family by the US military in 1986 which was interrupted the last time he tried it by none other than John Corey and Kate Mayfield. Well now things are a little different John and Kate have married, the US post 9/11 has a tighter rein on terrorist infiltrating our borders. Or do we.
    The Lion is a heart racing, pulse pounding thriller, just as you'd expect from the master himself Nelson DeMille, and believe me he will not disappoint you. His plots are always timely and very controversial and this one is no different. He's not afraid to take on the heavy hitting topics of the day and turn them into action adventure novels. His storytelling is unequaled in his genre, he knows how to keep a readers interest and keep the pages turning long after lights out until the end. His characters are always entertaining, but in my humble opinion there is none better then the combination of John Corey and Kate Mayfield where he mixes the irreverent, smart aleck and insubordinate John Corey with the ultra professionalism of Kate Mayfield, who I may say in the several years of marriage with John has unfortunately for her superiors and fortunately for we readers rubbed off on her, which only makes her a much more humanly flawed character. His co-stars in the novel, most of who we've met previously are an intricate part of the telling of his tale, especially the villain The Lion, who is so far above any other villain out there that there's just no comparison, the extent of his evilness will appall you and make you shudder in your shoes and break out in goose bumps. But have no fear because one of the things I love about Mr. DeMille is his love of country and that good will crush evil, maybe not every time but often enough to give us hope, so that even as dark as his novels can get he always gives us a ray of light at the end.
    This is an instant best seller and right now is #9 on the New York Times best seller list. Pick this one, you will not be sorry you did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Action thriller!

    Get comfortable poolside this summer and sink your teeth into this incredible action-adventure thriller. The ride never stops as your taken along on an unbelievable venture. It's really an outstanding book! Highly recommended! We included this book in our summer reading list of books as we recently visited the book store, a summer tradition, to gather up all of our pics for our summer reading list. This includes books for myself, my husband, kids and nieces and nephews. We also buy some books as birthday presents for others so they can join in on our discussions, like the aunts and uncles and grandparents. We have a mini book club where we discuss our books as we all read along. We all read several books so as the reading goes along there are a lot of books to review. The kids have found a wonderful book called, Smitty's Cave Adventures. They all love thrilling action-adventure books and this one is no exception, full of mystery and intrigue! From a parental point of view, Smitty's Cave Adventures also has a good moral overtone. Even the girls wanted to read this book and they all concluded that this is their favorite book so far!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2010

    If you like DeMille, you will like this book

    I thought The Lion's Game was one of DeMille's best (and that is saying something, because I think he has written some great books), and this sequel mostly holds up to the standards of The Lion's Game. It is a continuation of the original in nearly every respect, with the possible exception of the fact that the story does not concentrate on the activities of the terrorist as much as in The Lion's Game. This is not necessarily bad, just different. Still, a book that Nelson DeMille fans will like.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Nelson DeMille is an astonishing author . . .

    You know you will be roundly entetained when you decide to pick up the newest DeMille novel. This author's tightly woven plots will keep you glued to the pages from beginning to end of book. John Corey is one of my favorite DeMille characters - a close second to John Sutter in THE GOLD COAST and THE GATE HOUSE. It would really be something if these two "Johns" ended up in the same story some day, but then again, they might cancel each other out as they are both kings of adlibs. The only thing I didn't enjoy about this book was the cliffhanging ending, for the simple reason that now I wonder how many years we have to wait for the next John Corey book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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