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The Deserter: A Novel by Nelson DeMille
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The Deserter: A Novel (edition 2019)

by Nelson DeMille (Author)

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865217,244 (3.47)None
New York Times-bestselling author Nelson DeMille, writing with his screenwriter son, delivers a blistering new thriller featuring a brilliant and unorthodox Army investigator, his troubling new partner, and their hunt for the Army's most notorious--and dangerous--deserter.;deserter.
Member:PhonyGal
Title:The Deserter: A Novel
Authors:Nelson DeMille (Author)
Info:Simon & Schuster (2019), 544 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Read in 2019

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The Deserter: A Novel by Nelson DeMille

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The Deserter-A Novel, Nelson DeMille, Alex DeMille, authors; narrated by Scott Brick
Magnolia Taylor and Scott Brody are partners working for the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command or CID. Their assignment is to find a deserter, Captain Kyle Mercer. After he left his post and unit, he was captured by the Taliban and held prisoner for more than two years. While there, he studied the Koran, learned the language of his captors, and prayed along with them. Soon they did not consider him a threat, although he was still their prisoner and was treated badly. He was starved, beaten and sexually abused. When he escaped, he brutally murdered all of his captors who were caught completely off guard.
The search for Mercer took Brody and Taylor to Venezuela and a world of extreme poverty. The citizens were desperate and their lives were empty. The government and military were corrupt. The police were compromised. Brody and Taylor witnessed sex slavery, child sex trafficking, violent gangs, robbery and murder! As they followed the trail to the deserter, they faced constant danger. Ultimately, they traveled to a remote jungle to find his hideout. They discovered his camp where he kept women to pleasure the men and trained soldiers to obstruct the efforts of the United States as it tried to interfere in the country. Everywhere they went, they faced danger. They found that their plans were thwarted as their identities had been discovered, and their enemies were waiting for them.
The book moves very slowly and for a good portion of the book, it seems to go nowhere, chapter after chapter. Even when it finally ends, there seem to be loose ends that are not tied up. The only saving grace was the narrator extraordinaire, Scott Brick. He applied just the right amount of expression to each sentence he read as he defined the characters and the narrative.
However, it was hard to stay interested in a book that seemed to go on and on without really accomplishing anything. It was repetitive and not up to the standards of other DeMille books. The language used is crude, and although the dialogue between the characters is often humorous, it also seems senseless, as well. In an attempt to create romance, the authors have the characters engage in mindless, sarcastic banter and silly pillow type talk. Finally, the book nears the end of its journey, and military corruption is exposed as the deserter’s connection to it is revealed. The story could have been told in half the pages. ( )
  thewanderingjew | Dec 4, 2019 |
I thought I was going to love this book, but after multiple tries at 165 pages in I am calling it quits. The story never drew me in and the characters lacked the full development I love. The writing is good, no complaint there. In short this is just not my tastes.

I received a free copy at BookExpo 2019 in exchange for my honest review. For more of my reviews, and author interviews, see my blog at www.thespineview.com ( )
  purpledog | Nov 25, 2019 |
Three years ago, Army Delta Force Captain Kyle Mercer disappeared from his post in Afghanistan. Sometime later, a video surfaced, showing Mercer with his Taliban captors. After some two years of torture, Mercer escaped. By then, the Army had declared him a deserter.

A sighting of Mercer in Caracas sends Army Criminal Investigation Division investigators Scott Brodie and Maggie Taylor to Venezuela to find Kyle Mercer and bring him home to face a court-martial.

But there may be more to the Kyle Mercer story than anyone knows.

Strong characters, unexpected plot twists, and non-stop action keep the pages turning in this pulse-pounding narrative. It is a story of war, a story of impossible choices. It’s gritty and filled with the hopelessness of a population mired in poverty in a nation poised on the edge of becoming a failed state. The strong, well-described sense of place anchors the story.

Unfortunately, this powerful narrative finds itself mired down by a considerable excess of gratuitous expletives, an annoying overabundance of double entendres and sophomoric sexual innuendo, and far too much over-the-top graphic violence that tends to pull the reader out of the story. Leaving some things to the reader’s imagination isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Future books in the series would benefit from omitting the puerile inferences and the unwarranted crass language.

Recommended. ( )
  jfe16 | Oct 31, 2019 |
Substitute Scott Brodie for John Corey, Maggie Taylor for Kate Mayfield, Colonel Brendan Worley for Ted Nash, set the story in Venezuela and turn it into a manhunt for Kyle Mercer who stands in for Bowe Bergdahl (a real US Army deserter) and it could be any of DeMille’s books.

After Kyle Mercer deserted his battalion in Afghanistan he was captured by the Taliban, miraculously escaped and found his way to Venezuela. Something happened, he came off the rails, he lost the brotherhood of the US Army. Chief Warrant Officer Brodie and Warrant Officer Taylor are tasked by the Generals to locate, apprehend and return Mercer to the United States to face trial by court martial for desertion and maybe a few other things. Brodie wise-cracks at every opportunity, Taylor is the voice of reason and neither of them completely trusts the other. Brodie suspects Taylor of being CIA. Taylor has some idea of what derailed Mercer but is not talking, concentrating her effort on the mission at hand. They both embody “Do What Has To Be Done” but very differently.

Navigating the corruption in Venezuela heightens the tension of every situation. The local currency is worthless, the people are starving, theft, murder, bribery is an every day, every minute activity. Oh yeah, our heroes are thrown in the thick of it and they find themselves in one insane situation after another. From their arrival at the airport to their transport to El Dorado the safest hotel in Caracas, to a whorehouse in one of the poorest slums, Brodie and Taylor don’t need to do something stupid to find themselves in trouble, it finds them everywhere they look, everywhere they go. And this is before they start the hunt for the fugitive Mercer. They go here, they go there, they look around, they are chased, they do the chasing, they shoot it out and then shoot it out again for over 400 pages, which felt a bit too long,

DeMille, as always, is observant, well informed and allows us a close up look at the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the the US Embassy in Caracas, the nefarious CIA plotting and scheming to accomplish those goals we will never understand, and the political culture of Venezuela under the Madura regime.

Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an advance copy. ( )
  kimkimkim | Oct 25, 2019 |
I’m a huge Nelson DeMille fan and have been since his iconic PLUM ISLAND and THE CHARM SCHOOL. In his first collaboration with son Alex, he has again hit a home run. THE DESERTER might be based on the desertion of Bowe Bergdahl but it is so much more. In what I hope is the beginning of a new series, we meet US Army Investigators Scott Brodie and Maggie Taylor. And I love these characters. The deserter in question is Kyle Mercer, a member of the elite Delta Force who disappeared in Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban, apparently something that didn’t go well for his captors if a shocking video can be believed. Two years later, Brodie and Taylor are dispatched to Caracas, Venezuela to capture Mercer when he has been spotted casually sitting in a bar at a major hotel. Sounds simple enough. Not a chance. Not in DeMille’s world. What follows is a wild ride with plot twists and turns, break-neck action, and the fabulous dialog that is a DeMille staple. I loved this story. Highly recommended.

DP Lyle, award-winning author of the Jake Longly and Cain/Harper thriller series ( )
  DPLyle | Oct 17, 2019 |
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