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The Deserter

Review

The Deserter

Nelson DeMille serves up another blistering thriller, this time writing with his son, Alex. Apparently, the talent runs strong in the family, as this story proves, flowing seamlessly with wry humor and unconventional characters.

Chief Warrant Officer Scott Brodie has seen combat duty in the Middle East, as has his new partner, Maggie Taylor. But now, with the Criminal Investigation Command, their assignment takes them into even more dangerous territory: Venezuela. What’s even tougher is that they are tasked with extracting Army Captain Kyle Mercer, America’s most famous deserter. How and why he got to Venezuela are good questions, but Mercer has made it clear that he does not want to go home. The CID cops plan to change his mind.

"[I]t’s a blessing to have another DeMille with superb storytelling skills on the horizon. THE DESERTER will soar to the top of bestseller lists in record time, without any hesitation.... This book is absolutely stunning."

Once beautiful and flourishing, Caracas has sunk into a deep depression. It has turned vicious with the desperate and the starving fighting merely to survive. Its streets are mostly empty after dark, except for the police and the gangs --- and it’s questionable as to which of those is worse. Brodie and Taylor have the American Embassy staff to aid them, though, which includes a local driver willing to risk a lot for money and a chance at freedom. This gives them a slight advantage. However, considering the extent of corruption, and the embassy’s wish to be kept out of any scandal, the quicker Mercer can be located and snatched, the easier everyone will rest.

Or will they? Brodie begins to have doubts. Sometimes he wonders about his superiors. Actually, he's pretty sure at least one of them doesn’t have his back. And what about his partner? Can she be trusted? Well, this assignment will certainly tell.

Once Caracas yields what clues it has, the CID agents chase them into the jungles south of the city. There, the danger comes less from sheer numbers of bad people, but now has the added problem of lethal animals. If they can manage to track Mercer, taking a boat up the river called River will involve surviving piranhas, venomous snakes, alligators on the water, and then panthers, howler monkeys, anacondas and other equally nasty creatures on the trails once they debark. Or possibly a greeting party of angry men with guns and orders to shoot two gringos should they come floating by.

Knowing all of that, Brodie and Taylor go ahead anyway. Their mission is to bring Kyle Mercer home, and they do not intend to fail. Mercer, however, has other ideas. And in the years since he walked away from his men and his post, his sense of morality has altered. While he once might have been an honorable soldier with a conscience, he crossed a line long ago. And Brodie is determined to know why. As much as he would like to complete the mission, he wants answers.

Nelson DeMille simply gets better every time he puts pen to paper. Maybe this time it has to do with a little help from Alex DeMille. I’m not sure if that’s true, but what I’m sure of is that it’s a blessing to have another DeMille with superb storytelling skills on the horizon. THE DESERTER will soar to the top of bestseller lists in record time, without any hesitation. It can’t fail. This book is absolutely stunning.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on October 25, 2019

The Deserter
by Nelson DeMille and Alex DeMille

  • Publication Date: October 22, 2019
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • ISBN-10: 1501101757
  • ISBN-13: 9781501101755