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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 13 June 2005
With Night Fall we see again Nelson Demille moving into the realms of conspiracy theory that we have seen touched on in both The Charm School and The Talbot Odyssey. However don't let this put you off as again, Demille handles his subject matter with tact, using a writers artistic license just enough to create an enjoyable novel, without moving the reader to disbelief.
The story again centres on John Corey, a street smart New York cop, with not a small amount of contempt for his federal counterparts. Luckily it isn't as cliché as this could suggest and Corey does have a 3D element to him, helped in no small part by the casting of FBI agent Kate Mayfield as his love interest.
The story progresses through Corey opening up (unofficially) the tragic case of flight TWA 800 which plunged into the Atlantic killing all on board. Conspiracy theories were all discredited but thanks to a possible new piece of evidence, were they disregarded correctly...
Its an excellent book with many twists and turns and definitely up there with Demille's best. A strong recommendation.
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on 6 January 2005
Nelson Demille's latest book is not my favorite, but it is still entertaining because of detective John Corey. I've read nearly every book the author has written and I find I enjoy most his work (I did not care much for Cathedral). I especially loved the novels featuring John Corey, The Lion's Game and Plum Island.
The books plot revolves around a couple video taping themselfs having a tryist on the beach, both married but not to each other. There video inadvertantly preserves for prosterity the last moments of TWA 800 as it explodes 1996. This is the one problem I have with the book, is its using a real event and fictionalizing it. You are not sure what is real and what is made up, and in this case a lot of people lost their lives. I am sure it is not a book you would read if you had a family member on flight 800. Once I got past this issue though I truely enjoyed getting back into Detective Carey's head. In spite of the subject matter there is humor in the book, has to be with Carey's wisecracks.
Of course this video indicates that the plan crash might not have been from mechanicle faliure, and of coures Carey is on the investigation. The story moves along at a good pace as a police procedural with Corey digger deeper into the case. We also get to see the detective's softer side - so in love is he with Kate Mayfield. I think DeMille got their feelings and musing just right for two professionals who are trying to keep their eye on the ball and each other at the same time.
I would agree with some of the other reviewers that the ending was not as strong as I would like. I can't say more as it would spoil the story. Overall though I thought this was better than most the junk I read. If you liked Plum Island and Lions Game you should enjoy this book. Also check out "A Tourist in the Yucatan" My favorite thriller read of 2004!
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on 1 August 2008
I agree with many of the other commnets and complaints. I read this book on holiday and was really looking forward to the end and how everything panned out. Bloody ridiculous just wiping out the whole story and any explanation of the original crime. Reminded me of how Bobby Ewing re-appeared in Dallas and they wiped a whole series on the basis it was Pamelas dream!

I don't think John Corey has the tape though, both copies were not on him. Again, when I read that he didn't post it to someone, I did get suspicious that the plot was falling to pieces.

The last pages require a re-write with some more intelligence, I thought the end to Da-Vinci code was poor, but this was worse.
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on 26 April 2005
Best I've read this year, not the first Nelson DeMille book that I've read and definetly not the last. I just need to get back on Amazon and order all the ones I've missed.
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on 21 January 2005
Once again, John corey is back and he is very welcome after a long absence. I only hope he will return to follow up the investigation in the very near future.
The plot in Night Fall is tightly woven and De Mille has managed to weave fact and fiction together to provide a very plausible scenario.
The essecence of the book is Corey himself and his wisecracks are as good as ever, even if this time around, it takes a little bit more time before he really becomes himself. I don't think there is another author who can imitate DeMilles snappy, cynical dialogue quite like him.
If you liked the others, then you will like this story, although it is the weaker of the three.
The return of a certain character from the other novels is also a highlight to this story!
Keep it up Nelson and please don't make us wait too long for the next one?
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on 3 August 2005
I read this book while unwell and it cheered me up. It is a page turning classic for the lovers of Dan Brown books. I would strongly urge anyone to get their hands on a copy for themselves.
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on 11 February 2005
On July 17, 1996, Trans World Airlines Flight 800 departed New York City's John F. Kennedy international Airport en route to Paris, France, carrying 212 passengers and 18 crew members. It departed JFK at about 8:16 p.m. eastern time and was climbing through 13,760 feet when, 14 minutes into the flight it exploded and fell into the Atlantic Ocean approximately 9 miles off Long Island. All 230 people onboard were killed. This is fact.
Nelson DeMille's novel "Night Fall" is based on factual evidence. The author explores the controversy surrounding the cause of the disaster which the US government still officially attributes to a spark in Flight 800's center fuel tank. The FBI interviewed 154 "credible" witnesses - including scientists, schoolteachers, Army personnel and business executives - who described seeing a missile heading through the sky just before TWA 800 exploded. They reported a "streak of light" hitting the plane just before it blew up." Their testimony was disregarded. Today, more than eight years after the event, questions are still being raised about the accuracy of the findings - about a possible cover-up. DeMille's research is impressive. He stresses that the novel draws on published accounts, plus interviews with investigators and eyewitnesses to the crash. He says he has "tried to represent all sides of this controversy," but adds that he has taken "dramatic liberties and literary licence when there is conflicting evidence." This is, after all, a work of fiction. It is up to the reader to determine the level of believability.
Bud Mitchell and Jill Winslow, an affluent couple in their thirties, are in the middle of an illicit love affair. They're set for a romantic evening at the beach. It's a rare occasion when the two can get away from their respective spouses for an entire night. They find a cozy spot below a dune overlooking the ocean at Cupsogue Beach County Park on Long Island, bringing with them wine, a blanket and a video camera. Planning to make passionate love on film, Bud and Jill are excited by the thought of watching themselves later on the VCR. Suddenly a terrible explosion lights up the sky. The sound of a tremendous explosion follows. The couple flees, taking the camera with them, as police cars speed toward the scene, sirens blaring. In the car, on the way back to their hotel, Jill discovers that the camera has captured the entire event. She and Bud are no longer the main feature. The date is July 17, 1996.
Five years later, July 17, 2001, the crash of Flight 800 has been officially attributed to a mechanical malfunction. Kate Mayfield and her husband, John Cory, are both members of the Federal Anti-Terrorist Task Force. Together they attend the fifth year memorial service for TWA Flight 800's victims' families and friends. Kate was involved in the investigation and the case still haunts her. She has never been satisfied with the resolution and convinces John, an ex-NYPD detective, to take an interest in re-opening the investigation - on his own. Since they have been strongly warned by the FBI to stay away, the rogue, anti-establishment ex-cop becomes interested. When Kate introduces her hubby to credible eye witnesses and gives him a tour of the reconstructed airplane, his interest peaks. John is a superb detective and soon learns about a possible piece of crucial evidence that was never brought to light. He is determined to discover if it still exists, and in his search begins to see signs of a monumental cover-up.
Mr. Demille is at his best here, as far as storytelling goes.The plot is riveting, the theory intriguing, the characters at once exciting, energetic and believable, and the ending left me stunned. Powerful!! Unfortunately, the writing is not his best. The humor is good, but it does fall flat more than occasionally. Since John Cory is the smart aleck, he comes off as obnoxious at times. I have seen DeMille use dark humor much more effectively. The plot, and the research that went into the writing, the suspense, more than make up for the pedestrian narrative. I remember clearly the evening of the crash and where I was when I heard the news. I felt terrible pain for the victims and their loved ones, and have always been interested in the reports and findings. It appears that the author has been very troubled by the tragedy. His concerns come across loud and clear. A must read!
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on 11 December 2004
After a 2 year absence from our bookshelves Nelson DeMille has returned with another spellbinding novel. What ever subject he writes about he finds a way to make it completly refreshing and at the same token page turning. Following on from his previous bestseller The Lions Game we find our hero John Corey investigating the loss of TWA Flight 800 of the coastline of Long Island, New York.There have been many theories over the years as to the cause of this tragic crash,an act of terroism,pilot error,mechanical failure. Mr DeMille has woven these therioes into well written thriller with a climax which will shock and suprise those who havent picked the clues upon the way. I thoughly enjoyed this thriller and defey anyone to say other wise. Ten Out O Ten!!!!
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on 24 April 2007
This book is very exciting for 577 pages. However it has 579 pages. I couldn't believe how poor the ending was - it just stops - no explanations of all the mysteries built up over the preceeding pages.

Top notch thrilling read - ruined by those last few pages.
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(3.5 stars) Imagining an alternative scenario to the one which the government formulated to explain the crash of TWA Flight 800 on July 17, 1996, shortly after it left JFK Airport, Nelson Demille imagines and explores a different explanation. Of the more than seven hundred eye witnesses to the explosion, over two hundred swore they saw a missile fire and then hit the aircraft, and Demille explores this possibility in detail. In the process he examines the data available on the crash, the methods used by the FBI to investigate (before they turned the final investigation over to the NTSB), the reconstruction of the wreckage, and information which the CIA may have had about incipient terrorist activity in the US in the five years before 9/11.

Kate Mayfield, a young FBI agent married to former NYPD investigator John Corey, was involved in the crash investigation, and after attending a memorial service for the victims, she interests her husband in the case. Forbidden to investigate further because the FBI has closed the case, Kate has never been able to reconcile the final explanations of the crash with information she uncovered through conversations with eyewitnesses, and Corey is soon "hooked" on the case. Demille minces no words in describing the internecine squabbles over power among the various investigative agencies from NYPD to the FBI and CIA. Various investigators hide suspicious information, suggesting a widespread coverup, and as Corey and Mayfield become the "heroes" of this novel, they do so at their own peril by refusing to believe in the honesty of their peers.

The key to the case here is a sex tape being made on the beach, just as the plane explodes. The couple involved, not married to each other, quickly leaves the beach, not wanting to be discovered as witnesses. They take the tape with them, a recording that shows an apparent missile striking the plane. As Corey investigates, trying to find out who they might have been and what might have happened to the tape, his own life and career, and that of his wife, are endangered, not by terrorists but by agencies of their own government.

Demille succeeds in creating an exciting novel which explores an alternative explanation for the crash. John Corey is well drawn--an iconoclast who is compelled to challenge the status quo--but except for a friend and his young wife, both of whom help him, the other characters, representing government agencies, are self-serving, if not downright hostile, secretive, and dishonest. The depiction of the investigation takes on cynical tones, not improved by the gratuitous, expedient ending. Interesting to read, if one can get past the idea that only Corey cares about what really happened, but disappointing in its one-sided view of the investigation. n Mary Whipple

The Gate House, 2008
Wild Fire, 2006
Up Country, 2002
The Lion's Game, 2000
Plum Island, 1997
Gold Coast,1990
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