A reader’s Memorial Day salute to those that gave all + Nelson DeMille’s “Radiant Angel”

It’s Memorial Day. For most, it’s a day off of work, a day to relax a bit and enjoy family and friends. Maybe a barbecue, or a visit to the pool, or, if you’re lucky, a trip to the beach. The unofficial first day of summer, the beginning of dreams of relaxation and sunshine.

But we all know Memorial Day is more than that. It’s a chance to remember those who served our country and died defending it, including its ideals, principals, and allies. Those that made the ultimate sacrifice so we can have freedoms, to pray how we want (or not to pray at all), to go where we choose, to say what we choose. To write what we want, and to read what is written. (despite the best efforts of those attempting to ban certain books)–which is my personal favorite thing about our freedoms.

Being able to say, to write, and to read whatever we want gives us the chance to be educated broadly, pretty much, or to educate ourselves. We are blessed in our freedoms and our rights, and, as a country, we don’t know any different. Our nation was founded on our rights to certain freedoms, and those we remember today gave their lives protecting those freedoms, here and abroad.

So, today I will read, and think of how lucky I am to be able to read whatever I want, to be a woman educated enough to read, and write. To be an American allowed to go wherever I want on the Internet, and to post the most mundane things all over social media. Today, I will think about those who gave all, and their families and loved ones. I will read in their honor, and thank them for the right to read whatever I want.

And here’s Radiant Angel starring a fictional great American: John Corey. He’s a total favorite of mine.

Note: I got an advanced copy of this one in return for an honest review. It’s release date is May 26, 2015 (tomorrow), but you can pre-order it today!

I LOVE John Corey. He is funny, and sarcastic, and self-deprecating. But he’s also a hero, willing to run into a fire in order to save a life, or lives, or a city, or all of humanity.

And he’s wicked smart and incredibly deductive. He trusts his gut, and is always thinking. Plus he could care less if his superiors think he’s out-of-line, he’s always trying to do the right thing.

He’s a fictional crush of mine.

So I was very excited to read Radiant Angel, Nelson DeMille’s seventh book starring John Corey. You don’t have to read them all to get this book, but you may want to, just because John Corey is simply awesome.

The Premise

After John Corey’s last assignment with the Anti-Terrorist Task Force, where he met up and took down the Yemeni terrorist The Panther, he left the Task Force and took a more laid back job in New York with the Diplomatic Surveillance Group. He’s mostly assigned to watching the Russian diplomats, a seemingly quiet job. Of course, this is John Corey, so don’t count on it.

It’s September 11th, and Corey, who lived through that day in Manhattan, decides to work as a way to honor the day. When Vasily Petrov, a Russian Intelligence Officer posing as a diplomat heads out to a party on Long Island at a rich Russian’s home, Corey follows, with his trainee, Tess Faraday, and another car of surveillance. Once there, Corey and Tess decide to go undercover with the caterers, so they are able to watch as Vasily leaves on a boat with a couple of other suspect Russians (one is identified as a Russian assassin/officer and the other as a nuclear scientist), along with 12 Russian prostitutes. John is sure this is not a party boat, and decides to follow his hunch.

Tess Faraday turns out not to be a trainee, but an undercover agent with either CIA or State Department Intelligence, watching the Russians for suspicious activity. And now they have it.

With the help of the local police and the Coast Guard, the two of them follow Corey’s gut, attempting to stop a “Radiant Angel” from being released in order to level New York City and bring America to her knees.

My Thoughts

I liked this book and I love John Corey. It wasn’t my favorite of the seven Corey novels, but it was still good. I wish we could have gotten a little more of what is going on with Kate, his wife, whom I have never trusted, but liked. I wish her betrayal was spelled out a little more, and that we maybe got a glimpse of why she wasn’t there at all. It’s deeply inferred, but I think it would have added one more element to the story. But I’m thinking she will show up, in all her backstabbing glory, in later books.

The story is action-packed and not that far fetched, really. Russians are back, and the still hate us. And there are those with very long memories, remembering back to the time when Russia was the USSR and we were firm enemies in the Cold War.

As said, I enjoyed it. I’m going to give it 4 stars. DeMille writes great action, and I can’t get enough of John Corey. Please, don’t let him change, and don’t let some bad actor play him in a movie. I love the image I have of him in my head.


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