The Panther

From Margaret Mezzacapo
Author: Nelson DeMille
The Panther
Another thriller, full of technical details and seemingly extensive research. This follows what seems to be a formula by the author – the daring exploits of wisecracking detective, John Corey, and his perfect, beautiful wife, Kate Mayfield, as they hunt down a terrorist leader in the Middle East. There were parts that made me think that DeMille could turn a trip to the grocery store into a techno-thriller, and parts where Detective Corey’s attitude, which is frequently sexist, grated on the nerves. The book does, however, make you wonder when hearing news about the Middle East.

Split Second

From Marie Schulken
author: Coulter, Catherine
 Split Second
Another fast action thriller following the exploits of FBI agents, Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock as well as two new characters, Lucy Carlyle and Cooper McKnight.  I thoroughly enjoyed the constant exploits of the agents in their pursuit of bad guys, the latest being the daughter of killer, Ted Bundy.  Lots of twists and turns and definitely kept my interest. Had difficulty putting it down.  Excellent mystery.

Wild Fire

From Roberta Berrios
author: DeMille, Nelson
 Wild Fire
Wild Fire-a right wing plot to end the threat of Middle East terrorism, a premise of unfathomable proportions-powerful Americans detonating nuclear bombs in two large American cities to begin a world war. DeMille’s previous protagonist, Detective John Corey, now on the government’s anti-terrorism task force, returns to the scene to foil this plan.  Although the thought of a simpler life at all costs might appeal to many, the high body count of unwarranted human destruction motivates Corey and his FBI agent wife to stop even the most high profile of political players. DeMille keeps the twists and turns coming from beginning to end in this thriller. The plausibility of this diabolical scheme is frightening!

Priceless : how I went undercover to rescue the world’s stolen treasures

From Catherine Givens
author: Wittman, Robert K.
Priceless : how I went undercover to rescue the world’s stolen treasures
The new book, “Priceless”, by Robert K. Wittman is a fascinating memoir set in the dark world of art thievery and the black market.  Wittman, a 20-year veteran of the FBI, founded the Bureau’s chronically understaffed Art Crime Team.  Most FBI personnel, he explains, place a lower priority on the nabbing of art thieves, compared to the capturing of drug dealers and bank robbers.  Meanwhile, deeply appreciative of the cultural significance of art, he immerses himself in the study of Art History, to sharpen his ability to act the part of an astute art dealer.

He colorfully relates the conflicts that arise when agents whose values
differ are pitted against each other by bureaucratic hierarchies.  With
grace and wisdom, and a highly experienced eye on the prize, Wittman
navigates these obstacles, transcending would-be blockades to repeatedly recover the loot.

Time and again precious paintings and cultural artifacts, both domestic and international, are handed over by clueless crooks to undercover agents, as well as to Wittman.  The effort expended by all the undercover law enforcement players is awe-inspiring.  Meanwhile, the fact that our government places so little value on and assigns so few people to the recovery of stolen art is shocking.  And it explains why art thieves and unscrupulous dealers abound, displaying increasing levels of audacity.

 Full of action and suspense, this fast-paced book is bursting with
bigger-than-life villains, dumb and dumber criminals and unassuming heroes. It would make a fantastic movie.  But I highly recommend the book:  The author’s heartfelt revelations of his inner thoughts as he strives to return art to its rightful owners keep us rooting for him all the way.