The Deserter by Nelson DeMille and Alex DeMille is a story about two officers from the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, Scott Brodie and Maggie Taylor. They are sent to Venezuela to arrest Captain Kyle Mercer. Mercer was in the Army’s Delta Force but deserted his post in Afghanistan and was then captured by the Taliban. The story got international attention. Now Mercer has turned up in South America as a mercenary and the army was anxious to arrest him.
Both Brodie and Taylor saw action before moving to CID and are smart and resourceful officers, making them the ideal team to go to Venezuela, a country whose social institutions are failing due to extreme poverty. There they find conflicting loyalties and they don’t know who to trust and they start to wonder if they were told the truth about what this assignment really involves.
This is a fast paced, well-written, fun story. The character of Scott Brodie is especially amusing. He has a never ending stream of snark and wise-cracks that keep it light. Maggie Taylor is not quite as well developed but serves as a good foil to Scott’s approach to life and work.
I’ve read a number of books by Nelson DeMille and he is a well-known author of action stories. Alex DeMille is his son and is an established screenwriter. The Deserter does have the flavor of a book written with an eye to making it a movie, but in this case it is not a bad thing as the pacing works very well.
I listened to the audio version of the story and the reader, Scott Brick, did a great job. His tone and character perfectly matched what I imagined Scott Brodie would be like. This is a great book to read over the summer or during some home time.