Have you ever eagerly awaited the sequel to a favorite book only to come away so disappointed you could spit nails? (That's me, waving my hand in the air) For years, I’ve been a huge fan of thriller writer Nelson DeMille. My favorite DeMille book is The Lion’s Game featuring Libyan terrorist Asad Kalil and good guy, John Corey, an agent with the Anti Terrorist Task Force. The opening scene is unforgettable. A giant 747 glides to a stop on the runway at JFK. The pilots, crew and all 300 passengers are dead. And then the fun begins with John Corey and crew pursuing the wily Libyan known as “The Lion.”
Fast forward 10 years to its sequel, The Lion. When I spotted it at my local library, I snatched it off the shelf so fast I swear my fingers left a trail of sparks. I usually write during daylight hours and read at night. Not this time. I poured a Diet Pepsi, sat in my favorite chair and started the book. The first few chapters were superb. Then it got weird and I found myself either laughing aloud at Corey’s smart alecky comments or feeling queasy at the graphic description of an up close and personal beheading. And then came 200 pages of blah, blah, blah before we reached the final showdown. Well, crap! I really wanted to like this book.
Okay, for all you Dennis Lehane fans, here’s the good news. His recent release, Moonlight Mile is fabulous! (That's me, grinning from ear to ear) Lehane has written a number of books, including Mystic River and Shutter Island. I love it when authors don't phone it in but strive to make each book better than the one before. Exactly the case with Moonlight Mile. For those of you who’ve read or seen the movie Gone, Baby, Gone, his new book, Moonlight Mile, picks up the same characters 12 years later. It’s tightly written, suspenseful and has a healthy dash of subtle humor. Lehane allowed Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, his crime fighting duo, to change and grow. Now the parents of a four-year-old, the pair's actions are tempered with caution. However, that caution takes nothing away from this heart-pounding suspense-filled page turner.
As a writer, I'm filled with awe at Lehane’s talent. If you like mysteries and haven’t read his books, you've got a treat in store so get busy!
So, have you ever been disappointed in a sequel? Or found an author who just keeps getting better? If so, please share. Inquiring minds want to know.