Nelson DeMille is the bestselling author of adventure and thriller novels, and with over thirty titles under his belt and a handful of pen names to boot, it can be hard to know where to start with his work! If you’re looking to get started reading DeMille’s books, why not start with the John Corey books? John Corey is one of DeMille’s most iconic characters, a retired homicide detective turned anti-terrorist special agent, and he first appeared in 1997 with the publication of Plum Island! Since then, six more books about John Corey and his cases involving terrorism, international politics, and mastermind criminals have followed. If you want to read the John Corey books in order from start to finish, this list will guide you!
Plum Island introduces readers to John Corey, a retired NYPD officer who has stepped back from his job as a homicide detective after receiving three bullet wounds...but he's far from ready to back down from the action! While recovering from his injuries, Corey heads to a small town on Long Island to rest up and figure out what his next career move ought to be. There, a young couple he is acquainted with is found dead on their porch, murdered. Stumped, the local police chief asks John to consult on the case, as he has more experience with murder investigations. John agrees, and the course of the investigation changes his life forever.
In the second installment of this series, John Corey is now an FBI agent working on the Federal Anti-Terrorism Task Force, and his newest case is about to get turbulent. When a Libyan terrorist known as The Lion boards a flight for JFK with the intention of defecting to the West, Corey and his new partner Kate plan to meet him at the gate. Except, something terrible happens aboard the flight, and Corey realizes that The Lion is not coming in quietly. Instead, he has a plan to wreak havoc on the U.S., and Corey must stop the bloodshed on American soil before more people are hurt.
When Flight TWA 800 goes down near the beach one sultry night, there are only two witnesses with a video camera. Five years later, John Corey and his partner-turned-wife Kate are determined to uncover the real reason why the flight crashed. They're a part of an anti-terrorism task force, though, and they need hard proof. Their witnesses may have proof–on tape, even–but they have more than a couple of good reasons to keep it hidden. It'll be up to John and Kate to find the truth before it's too late.
When a member of the Federal Anti-Terrorism Task Force is found dead outside an elite country club known as Custer Hill Club, John Corey and his wife Kate have some misgivings about the death being reported as a hunting accident. And they're right to be suspicious, because the more they probe the club and its members, the more is revealed about an alarming plan for the most powerful men in America to take matters into their own hands and deliver vigilante justice for the 9/11 attacks.
John Corey hasn't seen The Lion in years, but now, less than two years after the September 11th attacks, the notorious terrorist is back, bent on killing the American pilots who dropped the bombs that killed his family in 1986. When a face-to-face confrontation in New York City alerts John Corey of the Lion's intent, he engages in a fierce game of wits and firepower to try to stop The Lion before he can reign even more terror on the U.S.
John and Kate go abroad in this installment of the series, heading to Yemen to track down one of the most deadly members of Al Qaeda, responsible for a devastating bombing, known simply as The Panther. But they don't know the rules in Yemen, nor whom to trust. As they launch into the investigation, they slowly discover that they aren't stalking the Panther–the Panther is stalking them.
After the events of The Panther, John Corey has left the Federal Anti-Terrorism Task Force and takes a job with the Diplomatic Surveillance Group, a much more low-key job. But maybe not...when he realizes that Russia poses a much larger threat than the government seems to realize. When a member of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service disappears while vacationing in the Hamptons, Corey investigates and stumbles into a much larger conspiracy...
Can’t get enough of Nelson DeMille’s books? Check out his author page and discover more great reads!
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Tirzah Price is a writer and contributing editor at Book Riot who discovered her love of mystery by borrowing from her grandmother’s extensive collection of Mary Higgins Clark paperbacks. Find her on Twitter @TirzahPrice.