New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille does it again with Elite Anti-terrorist Task Force Agents John Corey and Kate Mayfield discovering corruption deep in the FBI and they set out to find the truth.
On a Long Island beach at dusk, Bob Mitchell and JanetWhitney conduct their illicit love affair in front of a video camera, set to record each steamy moment. Suddenly a terrible explosion lights up the sky. Grabbing the camera, the couple flees as approaching police cars speed toward the scene. Five years later, the crash of Flight 800 has been attributed to a mechanical mal-function.
But for John Corey and Kate Mayfield, both members of the Elite Anti-terrorist Task Force, the case is not closed. Suspecting a cover-up at the highest levels and disobeying orders, they set out to find the one piece of evidence that will prove the truth about what really happened to Flight 800-the videotape that shows a couple making love on the beach and the last moments of the doomed airliner.
Demille's latest is sure to be a #1 bestseller but it's also sure to be controversial. The book is centered on an investigation of the July 1996 crash of flight TWA 800, "when... a big Boeing 747 bound for Paris with 230 passengers and crew on board, exploded off the Atlantic coast of Long Island, sending all 230 souls to their deaths." In July 2001, Federal Anti-Terrorist Task Force detective John Corey, a brilliant, smart-ass detective last seen in Plum Island and The Lion's Game, accompanies his FBI agent wife, Kate Mayfield, to the fifth anniversary of the disaster. John, whose wife worked the crash in 1996, understands that Kate has brought him along because she doesn't buy the official finding of "mechanical failure" and wants him to mount his own investigation. There are 200 eyewitnesses who swear they saw a missile lift into the clear night sky and bring down the airplane, a charge dismissed by the CIA as an optical illusion. Though Corey is warned away from the investigation, like any good fictional detective, this only serves to spur him on. He uncovers evidence that a man and a woman, on the beach that fateful night videotaping their adulterous affair, inadvertently caught on tape the missile hitting the plane. The book is primarily about John tracking down the couple, but as the end nears, readers will begin to understand the perilous direction in which Demille is leading them. The pages will turn in a blur as a feeling of dread grows, until the end comes and one's worst fears are confirmed. Readers will think about this one for a long time.
Night Fall by Nelson DeMille
The most fascinating reading in the book was the technological details regarding the investigation into the accident itself, especially the recreation of the actual plane.
The second most fascinating was the scheming and dysfunctional relationship between the various organizations. It is a wonder anything is ever solved or prevented. The part that rang true was the way the police looked after each other, protected and helped past members with their investigations.
The ceremony of remembrance on the fifth anniversary was very moving, as was Kate’s memories of past ceremonies. It seemed to explain her feelings towards the investigation and her motivation in involving John Cory.
One of the glaring contrivances in the plot was the punishment for Kate and Cory by sending them both abroad in separate diplomatic missions for approximately the same length of time. Of course this shorten what would have been a much longer book by having both of them away but doing nothing to solve the “case”. It was just a way to let enough time to pass to get them and the plot to September 11.
Although Cory did find what he (they) were looking for, using both legwork and his creative smarts, I truly did not care for him or his immature character.
He seems to be able to drink and drive, drink and think, drink and fight, drink and...
He breaks so many laws and rules to get answers but still sees himself as one of the good guys bringing down the baddies.
Actually I found all the characters flat stereotypes. The plot wasn’t that bad but without any suggestions of whodunnit, and more importantly why, and even more importantly why the cover up, it felt almost as if the author was cashing in on something.
I won’t be reading anymore of this author, and rated this book a 3.
And only that high because of what I said in the first paragraph.