The Lion's Game
Nelson DeMille
Warner Books, 2000
ISBN 0-446-52065-9
677 pages

Maureen Connolly,  Elmhurst College,IL

     Almost 700 pages?  How would one squeeze a lengthy work of fiction into a busy college schedule?  It won't be that difficult with The Lion's Game, a book that keeps one guessing and willing to read "just one more chapter" before lights out.
     DeMille has created the fictional Anti-Terrorist Task Force (ATTF) of which the lead character, John Corey, is the newest member.  Coming from a police background, Corey has the instincts of a cop and would like to bypass the formalities of federal agencies.  Corey also provides the comic relief as the reader follows his inner commentary about co-workers and his romantic relationship with his immediate supervisor.
     The novel begins with Corey's team on a routine assignment involving a Mideast defector at New York's JFK Airport.  Routine becomes highly irregular and suspicious as the plot soon revolves around terrorism and murder, sometimes graphically depicted.  Corey, our hero, is often at odds with his team members.  But instincts, developed from years of New York detective work, are what put Corey on the right track.
     DeMille's use of detail is riveting.  The reader will sense expertise in specific flying maneuvers, various aircraft types, airport protocols, rifles and pistols, and top-level security issues.  The reader will even learn new terminology such as Rawhide and Rainbow, which have specific, designated meaning in secret service lingo.
     Even though readers prefer a thriller being filled with authentic detail, every reader still has the ultimate questions.  Will good triumph and evil be subdued?  Do the good guys win?  This suspenseful novel will keep all readers questioning the outcome.