A Return To Mother Russia For Nelson DeMille

Nelson DeMille’s latest novel, Radiant Angel, posits the former Soviet Union as the story’s antagonist. (Photo by Marilou Giammona)
Nelson DeMille’s latest novel,
Radiant Angel, posits the former Soviet Union as the story’s antagonist.
(Photo by Marilou Giammona)

New York Times bestselling author and longtime Garden City resident Nelson DeMille has done it again. His latest novel, Radiant Angel—scheduled for release on May 26—will have fans reading into the wee hours, fervently turning the pages of this fast-paced action story infused with unrelenting wit.


Set in Manhattan, Radiant Angel takes readers into the heart of a new Cold War. The storyline is chilling, but recurring character John Corey warms readers with his dry and engaging wit. Corey, an ex-NYPD detective who went on to become an agent for the fictional FBI Anti-Terrorist Task Force, is now part of the Diplomatic Surveillance Group. In his latest role, Corey follows Russian diplomats who work at the U.N. Mission, a move thought to be the twilight of his career, until he realizes what the Russians are really up to: a possible nuclear attack on New York.

DeMille’s novels have taken readers all over the world: the North Fork of Long Island, Vietnam, Yemen and even Russia once before, in 1997’s bestselling thriller The Charm School. So what inspired the author to revisit Russia in Radiant Angel?

“In a general way, the resurgence of Russia has inspired Radiant Angel,” DeMille said during an interview in his Garden City office. “And [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is on everybody’s mind—what are these people up to? The events of the book are kind of an extreme Russian aggression. In the real world, the Russians are being aggressive in their area of influence in Europe and, to some extent, in Asia, but also they’re hacking into our computers. I took resurgent Russian to an extreme.”
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As with all of his novels, DeMille did extensive research while writing Radiant Angel, specifically nautical research. “Courtesies are extended to friendly countries and [there are] political connections that you would never find at airport security, where everyone is treated equally—you’re guilty until proven innocent,” he said. “Seaport security is different—there are gaps in it. That’s what I found out in my research and that was the scary part.”

For local fans of DeMille, it’s always fun to immerse themselves in the scenes set on Long Island. Much of Radiant Angel is set in the Hamptons, and in a pivotal scene that takes place on the Shinnecock Nation reservation, one of DeMille’s characters references Albert Einstein’s Nassau Point letter to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt warning him about the future usage of uranium. Einstein wrote: “…it may become possible to set up a nuclear chain reaction in a large mass of uranium, by which vast amounts of power and large quantities of new radium-like elements would be generated. …This new phenomenon would also lead to the construction of bombs. A single bomb of this type, carried by boat and exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory.”

Albert Einstein is mentioned in the new Nelson DeMille novel Radiant Angel
Albert Einstein is mentioned in the new Nelson DeMille novel Radiant Angel

“This was Einstein’s fear in 1938—the idea of putting a nuclear device aboard a ship—before [the nuclear] bomb was even invented,” DeMille said.

After months of research and long days spent writing longhand on yellow legal pads in his Garden City office—yes, DeMille writes, not types, his novels—the author will see his seventh John Corey novel hit bookstore shelves on May 26 and will embark on his book-signing tour. Locally, he can be seen at: Book Revue, Huntington, May 28 at 7 p.m.; Quogue Library, Quogue, May 30 at 5 p.m.; 92nd Street Y, New York, June 1 at 7:30 p.m.; Barnes & Noble, Carle Place, June 2 at 7 p.m.; BookHampton, East Hampton, June 13 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; Riverhead Free Library, Riverhead, June 13 at 5 p.m.; and Forest Books, Locust Valley, June 15 at 6 p.m. For a complete listing of DeMille’s appearances, visit: www.nelsondemille.net/content/appearances.asp.

Fans can follow him on Facebook at NelsonDeMilleAuthor; Twitter: @NelsonDeMille; and Instagram: @NelsonDeMilleAuthor.

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