RADIANT ANGEL by Nelson DeMille reviewed


Nelson DeMille
May 26th, 2015
Grand Central Publishing

RADIANT ANGEL by Nelson DeMille is the 7th novel in the John Corey series. Mr. DeMille has been writing political thrillers for approximately thirty-five years, but like a fine wine he has gotten better with age. With this new novel he has pivoted from the antagonists of Arab terrorists to the dangers of a newly resurgent Russia.

DeMille’s new novel takes readers into the heart of a re-birth of the Cold War with a clock-ticking plot that has Manhattan in its cross hairs. It will remind readers of the earlier book, The Talbot Odyssey, about the Russian plot to knock out all electronic communications while attempting to do great damage to the US. As with all of his books DeMille warns of dangers to America and explores wider worldwide issues. In Radiant Angel the threat is a Russian plan to explode a suitcase nuclear bomb, a “Radiant Angel,” in New York’s Harbor. This believable and realistic plot takes place over a twenty-four hour period.

The book begins with John Corey’s new job in the Diplomatic Surveillance Group, after he was unofficially asked to seek other employment by his Anti-Terrorist Task Force superiors. It is known to be a dead end job, and is called “a quiet end” for a reason. His duties include watching Russian diplomats working at the U.N. Mission, mainly Colonel Vasily Petrov. After the Colonel mysteriously disappears from a Russian oligarch’s party in Southampton, Corey knows he must track him down. Fans of this main character will not be disappointed knowing that John will take a seemingly routine job and find a substantive danger, which is the motif of the book. What makes it even better for Corey is that he is no longer under the thumb of the FBI, free from the bureaucratic office life, and does not have his wife constantly looking over his shoulder. Readers will enjoy the mixture of thrills and laughs as this wisecracking protagonist once again strives to save America.

DeMille also discussed his future projects. Unfortunately the John Corey TV series is no longer. Because there was only a commitment to making Plum Island, the first John Corey story, he decided to shelve the idea. He is looking at cable TV where they will buy the series as a package.

The next book is a stand-alone and will not include John Corey. The status of John is up in the air since the new publisher, Simon and Schuster, wants a new character. However, DeMille made it very clear that any future Corey book will have the return of Suffolk County detective Beth Penrose who made a cameo appearance in Radiant Angel.

The ensuing novel will hopefully be released a year from this October. The setting will be in Cuba and Florida. The main character, Mac, is a US veteran who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. After being severely wounded he decides to start a fishing and tour boat business. Because of his expertise a Cuban exile group hires him. DeMille does not have the plot down but gave a heads up that it could possibly include searching for millions of dollars of treasure buried by the Batista government; finding six nuclear warheads left behind by the 1962 Russian pullout; and/or finding a convicted police killer, the Black Liberation Army militant.

As with all his books the characters are well developed, the plot fast paced, and the story thought provoking. Readers will not want to put down Radiant Angel and will want to finish it in one sitting. This book is not DeMille’s prototype since it is only about 300 pages; yet, it has substance and reality.

Elise Cooper