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Brenner, the protagonist of two of DeMille’s earlier thrillers, “The General’s Daughter” and “Up Country,” is a sarcastic wit very much like Corey. Mr. DeMille characterizes the two characters as “Irish alpha males.”

I enjoyed “The Panther,” despite Mr. DeMille’s unflattering portrayal of CIA officers. In my view, CIA officers are among the good guys fighting the war on terrorism.

Despite the length of the novel, “The Panther” is a fast-paced thriller, and Mr. DeMille offers a good number of gritty action scenes along with the snappy dialogue.

Nelson DeMille, 69, a former infantry officer who served in Vietnam, also infuses the thriller with a good bit of information about the state of terrorism today.

• Paul Davis is a writer who covers crime, espionage and terrorism. He can be reached at