Night Fall is everything you expect from a best-seller. Slick, quick, and entertaining. I tried this DeMille, as I do most books, on a recommendation that the author was worth a look. I can’t say I was disappointed. The experience was satisfying for the moment, but, ultimately, unfulfilling. Unfulfilling in the same sense that Like a three or four hour flight to O’Hare, which is the kind of situation for which this book is ideal.
John Corey is a hard-bitten (like that cliche word? Let the review fit the work.) ex-NYPD homicide cop on assignment to the FBI for vague anti-terrorism work. He’s married (second time) to a fed–a lawyer–who worked the case of TWA flight 800 that mysteriously crashed leaving JFK in July, 1996. On the fifth anniversary of the crash, Corey accompanies his wife to a memorial service for the victims. She uses the occasion to introduce him to some anomalies that have been bothering her concerning the official version of the crash, which denied the possibility, despite rampant speculation and some evidence, that the plane was shot down. Corey takes the bait, and the investigation of a possible coverup is on. Add 5 to 96, and you might see something coming.
Events move at a rapid pace, carried by smooth and often witty dialogue. “I was much less paranoid now that I discovered there really were people following me, and wanting to kill me. This was a big relief.” A chuckle built on a cliche, then it’s gone, like a truffle on the tongue. The book is like that. Yet, who can deny the value of a chuckle or the stimulation of a dandy plot? Even though the outlines of the conclusion are clear long before you arrive, you still wonder how you’re going to get there and you keep going because you want the details filled in. It’s thrilling. Which is why this is called a thriller.
For its kind, it’s first rate, Night Fall is. I might need another truffle soon.