Nelson DeMille , who served as a First Cavalry Division platoon commander in the Vietnam War, today is one of the nation’s most prolific best-selling novelists. Several of DeMille’s compulsively readable thrillers—including Medal of Honor (1985), The Charm School (1988), The General’s Daughter (1993) , and Up Country (2002)—deal directly with the Vietnam War and Vietnam veterans.
That’s not the case with DeMille’s latest book, The Panther (Grand Central, 640 pp., $27.99), which came out in mid-October and immediately headed to the top of the best-seller lists. In his new book, DeMille brings back wise-cracking former New York City cop John Corey, now working for the feds on fighting terrorism, and his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield. It’s 2004 and Corey and Mayfield are in Yemen going after the guy behind the USS Cole bombing, an Al Qaeda operative nicknamed “The Panther.”
“Corey ranks as one of the best protagonists in thriller fiction, ” one reviewer wrote. “DeMille tells the tale in the first person so the reader can delve into the mind of the sarcastic and smart federal agent. He has the audacity and gumption to tell it straight, along with a wisecrack, and get away with it. Mayfield is the perfect sidekick, with the strength and stamina to not only fight for justice, but also put up with Corey’s antics. DeMille again proves that he has the master touch with The Panther , a suspenseful action free-for-all.”