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Nelson DeMille & Alex DeMille
Simon & Schuster
October 22, 2019
Military criminal investigators Scott Brodie and Maggie Taylor are called in to find Captain Kyle Mercer, a former soldier in the army’s elite Delta Force unit, who’s gone AWOL. The story is that Mercer uncharacteristically deserted his post, was captured by the Taliban and tortured, but then miraculously escaped. Now he’s been tracked all the way to Venezuela, and it’s up to Brodie and Taylor to bring him back to the States so he can be formally court-martialed. It won’t be easy. Brodie and Taylor will have to travel deep into corrupt Venezuela to figure out where Mercer is hiding—and they may uncover some dirty government secrets along the way.
I read one of DeMille’s earlier books, The Cuban Affair, and really enjoyed it. I was expecting good things from The Deserter, and it didn’t disappoint—in fact, I would say it’s even better. The plot moves a lot faster, and even though the characters are still a bit stereotypical (e.g., our unphasable hero, Scott Brodie, delivers quippy one-liners like it’s his job), they are also a lot more believable and fleshed out. I loved the premise of the story and, I really enjoyed the setting. I felt like I was in Venezuela and actually learned a lot about this beautiful, nutrient-rich—but struggling—country. (On a side note, this was an excellent book to read before watching the newest season of Jack Ryan on Amazon, which is also set in Venezuela…).
In short, this was an entertaining action-focused novel that kept me feverishly flipping pages until the very end. A solid five stars from me.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Net Galley for the ARC!