Nelson DeMille is a good author whom I have a love/hate relationship with. I really like the characters of John Corey and Kate Mayfield. They appear in several of his books, and always have very witty banter. But with Night Fall, he ends the book as a cop-out relying on the events of 9/11 to completely disregard the plot of the book. And with Wildfire, he gives away the ending in the beginning. You learn in the first hour what Wildfire is, who the bad guy is and exactly why he’s doing what he’s doing. Then you follow our heroes as they slowly figure out what you already know. I hate stories like this. It takes me from being a participant in the story to being a distant observer. Had DeMille revealed the plot elements to us as they were being revealed to the hero, this would be a great book, full of tension, surprise, and twists. But alas, I knew the twists and was left diappointed.
Wildfire is narrated by my favorite narrator, Scott Brick, who does a great job. One of the interesting things about Brick’s narration is that he doesn’t do a lot of distinct voices. He has a sublte New York accent, but doesn’t exaggerate the differences between the characters. Someone like Jim Dale who narrates Harry Potter, gets fully into each character and each character is clearly distinct. Scott Brick merely alters his voice slightly, but you always know when a different character is speaking. He is really one of the great storytellers of our time.
As a bonus, we get an interview of Nelson DeMille by Scott Brick via phone patch in the studio. Interesting to hear Scott Brick in his natural voice, not performing.
Recommended, as always for Scott Brick’s performance, but not the novel itself.