For The Associated Press

Nelson DeMille brings back federal agent John Corey to tackle a high-ranking al-Qaida terrorist in his latest thriller, “The Panther.”

It’s early 2004 and the nation is still reeling from the events of Sept. 11 and the suicide bomb attack on the destroyer USS Cole. Corey and his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, receive orders for a job in Yemen. They are promised lucrative job promotions when they return from their posting. The mission requires them to use all their resources to track down a killer known as The Panther. Evidence shows he’s responsible for the Cole bombing and scores of other atrocities involving countless civilians.

The Panther has been working on a bold attack on the United States, and he knows Corey and his team are looking for him.

Corey ranks as one of the best protagonists in thriller fiction. DeMille tells the tale in the first person so the reader can delve into the mind of the sarcastic and smart federal agent. He has the audacity and gumption to tell it straight, along with a wisecrack, and get away with it. Mayfield is the perfect sidekick, with the strength and stamina to not only fight for justice, but also put up with Corey’s antics.

DeMille again proves that he has the master touch with “The Panther,” a suspenseful action free-for-all.

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