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Night Fall
By Nelson Demille
Read by Scott Brick

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Night Fall

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Night Fall
By Nelson Demille
Read by Scott Brick
Featuring a Conversation with the Author
Time Warner AudioBooks, (2004)
An Unabridged Recording on 13 CDs
ISBN: 1-58621-709-7
An Unabridged Recording on 9 Cassettes
ISBN: 1-58621-710-0
Genre: Thriller

Reviewed by Simone Bonin - January 3, 2005

Night Fall is a thrilling new novel by Nelson Demille that is based, in part on a tragic, real-life event. The event in question was the 1996 crash, off the coast of Long Island, of TWA's Flight 800. The Boeing 747 had 203 passengers and crew members onboard at the time of the crash. None survived. When the flight first crashed into the ocean, theories abounded as to the cause ranging from it being shot down by a shoulder fire missile to a bomb explosion onboard. In the end, the government's official explanation for the crash was faulty wiring.

In Night Fall, Demille offers an alternative 'what-if' scenario for the crash. The what-if in this case is what would have happened if the cause of the crash had indeed been terrorism? Fast paced and hard hitting, this story follows Federal Anti-Terrorist Task Force detective John Corey as he starts his own investigation into the crash. Corey's wife, Kate Mayfield, who is an FBI agent in her own right, worked on the initial crash investigation and she never ascribed to the official opinion that the cause of the crash was mechanical failure. It is now five years after that tragic day that cost so many people their lives, and she has at last convinced her husband that he might indeed be right.

To prove his wife right, Corey sets out to once and for all prove that the aircraft was brought down by a missile. A key piece of evidence in this regard is some video footage taken by a couple that witnessed the crash. But to get the footage, Corey must first find the couple who recorded the incident - a task that proves harder than he ever imagined. This is an absorbing haunting novel that provides ample fodder for conspiracy theorists - as a large section of the book is given over to the possibility of a governmental cover-up of the real cause of the crash. Given the events since the 1996, this book also gives one ample pause to question, "Was the crash really an accident?"

This review is based upon the unabridged Time Warner audio edition that is read by Scott Brick and which includes a fascinating interview with Demille. Brick's reading is skilled and his voice as haunting as the material he is reading. This is one book which I do recommend against listening to if you are driving. The story is so gripping that you may find it hard to pay attention to the road. Better to listen to this book when you have the leisure to listen to it without any outside distractions - you'll be happy you did as it is an excellent, pulse-pounding book with rich characters, a chilling plot, and a believable alternative theory on what really brought Flight 800 down.

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