DeMille's follow-up to his bestselling The Gold Coast features protagonist John Sutter falling back into old habits and acquaintances as he comes home to Long Island. Narrator Christian Rummel gives an awkward reading, struggling to capture the character of Sutter through a voice that sounds manufactured and often uneasy. Rummel fares slightly better with supporting characters such as Sutter's ex-wife, though the first-person narrative from Sutter's perspective ensures that most of the novel is read with that same nervous tone. Rummel never finds his groove, eternally searching for the proper narrative tone that will captivate the audience. A Grand Central hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 18). (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Gate House (John Sutter Series #2)by Nelson DeMille
#1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille delivers the long-awaited follow-up to his classic novel The Gold Coast.
When John Sutter's aristocratic wife killed her mafia don lover, John left America and set out in his sailboat on a three-year journey around the world, eventually settling in London. Now, ten years later, he has/em>/em>
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille delivers the long-awaited follow-up to his classic novel The Gold Coast.
When John Sutter's aristocratic wife killed her mafia don lover, John left America and set out in his sailboat on a three-year journey around the world, eventually settling in London. Now, ten years later, he has come home to the Gold Coast, that stretch of land on the North Shore of Long Island that once held the greatest concentration of wealth and power in America, to attend the imminent funeral of an old family servant. Taking up temporary residence in the gatehouse of Stanhope Hall, John finds himself living only a quarter of a mile from Susan who has also returned to Long Island. But Susan isn't the only person from John's past who has reemerged: Though Frank Bellarosa, infamous Mafia don and Susan's ex-lover, is long dead, his son, Anthony, is alive and well, and intent on two missions: Drawing John back into the violent world of the Bellarosa family, and exacting revenge on his father's murderer--Susan Sutter. At the same time, John and Susan's mutual attraction resurfaces and old passions begin to reignite, and John finds himself pulled deeper into a familiar web of seduction and betrayal. In THE GATE HOUSE, acclaimed author Nelson Demille brings us back to that fabled spot on the North Shore -- a place where past, present, and future collides with often unexpected results.
In this long-awaited but ponderous sequel to The Gold Coast (1990), it is ten years later, and John Sutter has returned for the funeral of a woman who isn't dead yet. He's also looking to restart his life and possibly hook up with his ex-wife, Susan, who'd had an affair with a local Mafia don she later killed. Confounding the problem is the don's son, who has taken over the family business and wants vengeance against both John and Susan. While there are interesting characters, and Sutter's first-person observations are clever, it takes forever for the action to get going. Even an exciting climax doesn't help. DeMille has developed a reputation for fast-paced action thrillers, and this is neither. His name will guarantee a level of success, and those patrons who enjoyed reading about the lives of the rich and decadent in The Gold Coast will enjoy this sequel. The rest will hope DeMille's next effort is more compelling. For larger collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/08.]-Robert Conroy, Warren, MI
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The Gate Houseby
By Nelson DeMille
Grand Central Publishing
Copyright © 2008
All right reserved.
Chapter One A week had passed since my return from London, and I was sitting at the table in the dining room of the small gatehouse of Stanhope Hall, my ex-wife's former estate, wading through old files, family photos, and letters that I'd stored here for the last decade.
After my divorce from Susan, I'd fulfilled an old dream by taking my sailboat, a forty-six-foot Morgan ketch named the Paumanok II, on a sail around the world, which lasted three years. Paumanok, incidentally, is the indigenous Indian word for Long Island, and my illustrious ancestor, Walt Whitman, a native Long Islander, sometimes used this word in his poetry-and if Uncle Walt had owned a forty-six-foot yacht, I'm sure he'd have christened it the Paumanok, not "I Hear America Singing," which is too long to put on the stern, or Leaves of Grass, which doesn't sound seaworthy.
Anyway, my last port of call was Bournemouth, England, from which my other distant ancestors, the Sutters, had set sail for America three centuries before.
With winter coming on, and sea fatigue in my bones, a dwindling bank account, and my wanderlust satisfied, I sold the boat for about half what it was worth and moved up to London to look for a job, eventually signing on with a British law firm that needed an American tax lawyer, which is what I was in New York before I became captain of the Paumanok II.
I spread out some photos of Susan on the table and looked at them under the light of the chandelier. Susan was, and probably still is, a beautiful woman with long red hair, arresting green eyes, pouty lips, and the perfect body of a lifelong equestrian.
I picked up a photo that showed Susan on my first sailboat, the original Paumanok, a thirty-six-foot Morgan, which I loved, but which I'd scuttled in Oyster Bay Harbor rather than let the government seize it for back taxes. This photo was taken, I think, in the summer of 1990 somewhere on the Long Island Sound. The photograph showed a bright summer day, and Susan was standing on the aft deck, stark naked, with one hand covering her burning bush, and the other covering one breast. Her face shows an expression of mock surprise and embarrassment.
The occasion was one of Susan's acted-out sexual fantasies, and I think I was supposed to have climbed aboard from a kayak, and I'd discovered her alone and naked and made her my sex slave.
The woman had not only a great body, but also a great imagination and a wonderful libido to go with it. As for the sexual playacting, its purpose, of course, was to keep the marital fires burning, and it worked well for almost two decades because all our infidelities were with each other. At least that was the understanding, until a new actor, don Frank Bellarosa, moved in next door.
I picked up a bottle of old cognac that I'd found in the sideboard and topped off my coffee cup.
The reason I've returned to America has to do with the former residents of this gatehouse, George and Ethel Allard, who had been old Stanhope family retainers. George, a good man, had died a decade ago, and his wife, Ethel, who is not so nice, is in hospice care and about to join her husband, unless George has already had a word with St. Peter, the ultimate gatekeeper. "Wasn't I promised eternal rest and peace? Can't she go someplace else? She always liked hot weather." In any case, I am the attorney for Ethel's estate and so I needed to take care of that and attend her funeral.
The other reason I've returned is that this gatehouse is my legal U.S. address, but unfortunately, this house is about to pass into the hands of Amir Nasim, an Iranian gentleman who now owns the main house, Stanhope Hall, and much of the original acreage, including this gatehouse. As of now, however, Ethel Allard has what is called a life estate in the gatehouse, meaning she has a rent-free tenancy until she dies. This rent-free house was given to her by Susan's grandfather, Augustus Stanhope (because Ethel was screwing Augustus way back when), and Ethel has been kind enough to allow me to store my things here and share her digs whenever I'm in New York. Ethel hates me, but that's another story. In any case, Ethel's tenancy in this house and on this planet is about to end, and thus I had returned from London not only to say goodbye to Ethel, but also to find a new home for my possessions, and find another legal U.S. address, which seems to be a requirement for citizenship and creditors.
This is the first time I'd been to New York since last September, coming in from London as soon as the airplanes were flying again. I'd stayed for three days at the Yale Club, where I'd maintained my membership for my infrequent New York business trips, and I was shocked at how quiet, empty, and somber the great city had become.
I'd made no phone calls and saw no one. I would have seen my daughter, Carolyn, but she had fled her apartment in Brooklyn right after 9/11 to stay with her mother in Hilton Head, South Carolina. My son, Edward, lives in Los Angeles. So for three days, I walked the quiet streets of the city, watching the smoke rising from what came to be known as Ground Zero.
Heartsick and drained, I got on a plane and returned to London, feeling that I'd done the right thing, the way people do who come home for a death in the family.
Over the next few months, I learned that I knew eleven people who'd died in the Twin Towers; mostly former neighbors and business associates, but also a close friend who left a wife and three young children.
And now, nine months after 9/11, I was back again. Things seemed to have returned to normal, but not really.
I sipped my coffee and cognac and looked around at the piles of paper. There was a lot to go through, and I hoped that Ethel would hold on a while longer, and that Mr. Nasim wasn't planning on getting his encumbered gatehouse into his possession the minute Ethel's life tenancy expired. I needed to speak to Mr. Nasim about that; speaking to Ethel about hanging on until I tidied up my papers might seem insensitive and selfish.
Because the night was cool, and because I didn't have a paper shredder, I had a fire going in the dining room fireplace. Now and then, I'd feed the fire with some letter or photo that I wouldn't want my children to see if I suddenly croaked.
In that category were these photos of their mother whose nakedness revealed a lot more about her head than about her body. Susan was, and I'm sure still is, a bit nutty. But to be honest, I didn't mind that at all, and that wasn't the source of our marital problems. Our problem, obviously, was Susan's affair with the Mafia don next door. And then to complicate things further, she shot and killed him. Three shots. One in the groin. Ouch.
I gathered the photos and turned in my chair toward the fireplace. We all have trouble parting with things like this, but I can tell you, as a lawyer and as a man, no good can come of saving anything you wouldn't want your family or your enemies to see. Or your next significant other, for that matter.
I stared into the fire and watched the flames dancing against the soot-blackened brick, but I held on to the photos.
So, she shot her lover, Frank "the Bishop" Bellarosa, capo di tutti capi, boss of all bosses, and got away with it-legally, at least-due to some circumstances that the Justice Department found mitigating and extenuating.
Fact is, the Justice Department took a dive on the case because they'd made the mistake of allowing Mrs. Sutter unobstructed access to don Bellarosa, who was under house arrest in his villa down the road, and who was also singing his black heart out to them, and thus needed to be kept happy with another man's wife.
I'm still a little pissed off at the whole thing, as you might guess, but basically I'm over it.
Meanwhile, I needed to decide if this trip was a death vigil, or perhaps something more permanent. I had kept up with my CLE-continuing legal education-and I was still a member of the New York State Bar, so I hadn't burned all my bridges, and theoretically I was employable here. In my last life, I had been a partner in my father's old firm of Perkins, Perkins, Sutter and Reynolds, still located at 23 Wall Street, a historic building that was once bombed by Anarchists at the turn of the last century, which seems almost quaint in light of 9/11.
For the last seven years in London, I'd worked for the aforementioned British law firm, and I was their American tax guy who explained that screwing the Internal Revenue Service was an American tradition. This was payback for me because the IRS had screwed up my life, while my wife was screwing the Mafia don. These two seemingly disparate problems were actually related, as I had found out the hard way.
I guess I'd hit a patch of rough road back then, a little adversity in an otherwise charmed and privileged life. But adversity builds character, and to be honest, it wasn't all Susan's fault, or Frank Bellarosa's fault, or the fault of the IRS, or my stuffed-shirt law partners; it was partly my own fault because I, too, was involved with Frank Bellarosa. A little legal work. Like representing him on a murder charge. Not the kind of thing I normally did as a Wall Street lawyer, and certainly not the kind of case that Perkins, Perkins, Sutter and Reynolds would approve of. Therefore, I'd handled this case out of my Locust Valley, Long Island, office, but that wasn't much cover when the newspapers got hold of it.
Thinking back on this, I couldn't help but know I was committing professional and social suicide when I took a Mafia don as a client. But it was a challenge, and I was bored, and Susan, who approved of and encouraged my association with Frank Bellarosa, said I needed a challenge. I guess Susan was bored, too, and as I found out, she had her own agenda regarding Frank Bellarosa.
And speaking of Susan, I had discovered through my son, Edward, that, quote, "Mom has bought our house back."
Bad grammar aside-I sent this kid to great schools-what Edward meant was that Susan had reacquired the large guest cottage on the Stanhope estate. This so-called cottage-it has six bedrooms-had been our marital residence for nearly twenty years, and is located about a quarter mile up the main drive of the estate. In other words, Susan and I were now neighbors.
The guest cottage and ten acres of property had been carved out of the two hundred sixty acres of the Stanhope estate by Susan's father, William, who's an insufferable prick, and deeded to Susan as a wedding gift. Since I was the groom, I always wondered why my name wasn't on the deed. But you need to understand old money to answer that. You also need to understand pricks like William. Not to mention his ditsy wife, Susan's mother, Charlotte. These two characters are unfortunately still alive and well, living and golfing in Hilton Head, South Carolina, where Susan had been living since the unfortunate gun mishap that took her lover's life ten years ago.
Before Susan left for South Carolina, she'd sold the guest cottage to a yuppie corporate transfer couple from someplace west of the Hudson. You know your marriage is in trouble when your wife sells the house and moves to another state. In truth, however, it was I who ended the marriage. Susan wanted us to stay together, making the obvious point that her lover was dead, and thus we needn't worry about bumping into him at a party. In fact, she claimed that was why she'd killed him; so we could be together.
That wasn't quite it, but it sounded nice. In retrospect, we probably could have stayed together, but I was too angry at being cuckolded, and my male ego had taken a major hit. I mean, not only did our friends, family, and children know that Susan was fucking a Mafia don, but the whole damned country knew when it hit the tabloids: "Dead Don Diddled Lawyer's Heiress Wife." Or something like that.
It may have worked out for us if, as Susan had suggested, I'd killed her lover myself. But I wouldn't have gotten off as easily as she had. Even if I'd somehow beaten the murder rap-crime of passion-I'd have some explaining to do to don Bellarosa's friends and family.
So she sold the house, leaving me homeless, except, of course, for the Yale Club in Manhattan, where I am always welcome. But Susan, in a rare display of thoughtfulness, suggested to me that Ethel Allard, recently widowed, could use some company in the gatehouse. That actually wasn't a bad idea, and since Ethel could also use a few bucks in rent, and a handyman to replace her recently deceased husband, I'd moved into the extra bedroom and stored my belongings in the basement, where they'd sat for this past decade.
By spring of the following year, I'd made a financial settlement with my partners and used the money to buy the forty-six-foot Morgan, which I christened Paumanok II. By that time, my membership in the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club had been terminated by mutual consent, so I sailed from the public marina where I'd bought the boat and began my three-year odyssey at sea.
Odysseus was trying to get home; I was trying to get away from home. Odysseus wanted to see his wife; maybe I did, too, but it didn't happen. I'd told Susan I would put in at Hilton Head, and I almost did, but within sight of land, I headed back to sea with just a glance over my shoulder. Clean break. No regrets.
I threw the nude photos of Susan on the table, instead of in the fireplace. Maybe she wanted them.
I poured more cognac into the dregs of the coffee and took a swallow.
I looked up at a large, ornately framed, hand-colored photo portrait of Ethel and George Allard, which hung over the mantel.
It was a wedding picture, taken during World War II, and George is dressed in his Navy whites, and Ethel is wearing a white wedding dress of the period. Ethel was quite a looker in her day, and I could see how Susan's grandfather, Augustus, who was then lord of Stanhope Hall, could cross the class line and fiddle with one of his female servants. It was inexcusable, of course, on every level, especially since George, a Stanhope employee, was off to war, protecting America from the Yellow Peril in the Pacific. But, as I found out as a young man during the Vietnam War, and as I'm discovering with this new war, war tears apart the social fabric of a nation, and you get a lot more diddling and fiddling going on.
I stared at Ethel's angelic face in the photograph. She really was beautiful. And lonely. And George was out of town for a while. And Augustus was rich and powerful. He was not, however, according to family accounts, a conniving and controlling prick like his son, my ex-father-in-law, William. I think Augustus was just horny (it runs in the Stanhope family), and if you look at a picture of Augustus' wife, Susan's grandmother, you can see why Augustus strayed. Susan, I guess, got her good looks from her mother, Charlotte, who is still attractive, though brainless.
And on the subject of brains and beauty, my children have both, and show no signs of the Stanhope tendency to be off their rockers. I'd like to say my children take after my side of the family, but my parents aren't good examples of mental health either. I think I was adopted. I hope and pray I was.
Actually, my father, Joseph, passed away while I was at sea, and I missed the funeral. Mother hasn't forgiven me. But that's nothing new.
And on the subject of children, paternity, and genetics, Ethel and George had one child, a daughter, Elizabeth, who's a nice woman and who lives in the area. Elizabeth gets her beauty from her mother, but looks enough like George to put my mind at ease about any more Stanhope heirs.
I'm taking the long view of this in terms of my children inheriting some of the Stanhope fortune. They deserve some money for putting up with Grandma and Grandpa all their lives. So do I, but a probate court might find my claim on the Stanhope estate-to reimburse me for years of putting up with William's bullshit-to be frivolous.
In any case, there is a history here-my own family goes back three hundred years on Long Island-and this history is entwined like the English ivy that covers the gatehouse and the guest cottage; interesting to look at from a distance, but obscuring the form and substance of the structure, eventually eating into the brick and mortar.
Excerpted from The Gate Houseby by Nelson DeMille Copyright © 2008 by Nelson DeMille. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Will the real Nelson Demille please get back to work. Six hundred and fifty pages of wise cracks about how much he distains his in-laws is not much to sink your teeth into. Having read all his books, some twice, he is the best fiction writer on the planet. Not this time. Lets hope this little throw away is just a filler while another masterpiece is in the works. If your new to Demille, read: By the Rivers of Babylon, Cathedral, The Lions Game or the dated but terrific: Charm School. The Gate House is a fun read for the first couple of hundred pages. but tedium sets in when another two hundred go by without a plot twist, let alone, a plot. He is laugh out loud funny when it comes to his self-effacing humor and political incorrectness. He has no peer when it comes to creating interesting characters, smart woman, plots, twists and intrigue. The Gate House is sorely lacking all of the above. "Come back Shane...Come back."
To say this book was disappointing is an understatement, particularly from an author as good as Nelson DeMille. It rambles on with no action until the end, held together with clever, smart-ass remarks from the main character and sex, I mean sex sells right? After 600+ pages of clever wise-cracks, even the best ones wear thin and the sex is a bit over-the-top from a couple who must be approaching fifty and behave like a couple of horny college students.
The book drags, I mean really drags. I like some detail in a book, but a reasonable editing job could have cut this down to a book with 75% less pages to contain its minimal plot. Again, disappointing is the only word that comes to mind after reading this book.
I loved reading The Gold Coast and couldn't wait to read The Gate House. I was counting the days until the book came out. John Sutter is by far the most interesting and clever of all DeMille's characters. His quick witted inner commentary on situations is too good to be true. I find myself laughing out loud while reading some of the smartest and funniest lines I've ever read. I loved everything about the book and tried to slow down my pace because I didn't want it to end. I sincerely hope there will be more sequels because I literally can't get enough of this character, his family members and the Gold Coast area. If Nelson DeMille happens to read this, a big thank you from a long time fan...and we're hoping for more Sutter stories in the future.
THE GATE HOUSE
Grand Central Publishing
Hachette Book Group
Reviewer: Annie Slessman
Nelson DeMille has written fifteen works of fiction and The Gate House, his latest work could prove to be one of his best. DeMille knows how to weave a tight story of intrigue, humor and characterizations that are so believable they seem familiar to its readers.
John Sutter, the main character of The Gate House lives the life of the Gold Coast crowd while married to his aristocratic wife, Susan Stanhope. When Susan kills Frank Bellarosa, their neighbor and Susan¿s lover, the marriage ends. John divorces Susan and takes a three-year sojourn on his sailboat before moving to London.
He returns to New York when a Stanhope family servant, Ethel Allard, is placed under hospice care. As Allard¿s attorney, Sutter must put Allard¿s affairs in order and support her daughter, Elizabeth, as they await Ethel¿s pending death.
Staying at the former gatehouse of the Stanhope mansion, Sutter finds himself only yards from his former wife. Ultimately, they meet again and this is the point where the story really takes off.
Anthony Bellarosa, son of the deceased, Frank Bellarosa, has a vendetta he must enact and attempts to solicit Sutter in his plans. The relationship that develops between Sutter and the younger Bellarosa takes on a new dimension when Sutter refuses to go along with Bellarosa¿s plans and a reader is taken on a roller coaster ride of suspense.
When this work arrived at my door, its size seemed somewhat intimidating. However, let me assure readers, you will savor each page and want more when you finish the last page. DeMille gives his readers true value for their money. If you liked The Gold Coast, you¿ll love The Gate House.
Nelson DeMille attended Hofstra University, served in the Army. He earned the Air Medal, Bronze Star and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He has authored #1 New York Times bestsellers Night Fall and Plum Island and New York Times bestsellers Wild Fire, The Lion¿s Game, The Gold Coast and The General¿s Daughter.
I like another reviewer have read all of Nelson's books. It was during the reading of UP COUNTRY that I realized that this sensational book was dedicated to a son of patients who were in my practice for many years. That person was Cal Kleinman. That led me to contact DeMille by e-mail and we met in person at a vinyard on the North Fork of Long Island. We had established that we were both in Vietnam at the same time, he with the 11th Armored Cav and me, a doc, with the 25th Infantry Division at Cu Chi.
In my retirement I began reading novels and was so impressed with GOLD COAST that I was forced to reread sections and discuss them with my wife...and I am no book club type but the situations were believable and hit close to home on every level.
Thankfully, THE GATE HOUSE lived up to every expectation. One must remember that I loved "The General's Daughter" and "Nightfall". "The Cathedral" was brilliant..."The Rivers of Babylon" good. Demille has written 14 novels if you include Mayday which he co-authored. Plum Island, Charm School, Word Of Honor and Spencerville were all superb novels, however, for every male who has experienced mid life crisis, the "Gold Coast" and "The Gate House" should be required reading. It's the "Godfather" through the eyes of Dr. Phil.
I suggest reading "Gold Coast" first as one could see "The Godfather 2" without seeing "The Godfather 1" but its better if you do. Here again, 2 does not diminish 1 it only enhanced it.
I live on the Gold Coast and for years had my hair cut in the town of Oyster Bay, so for me the characters and the surroundings of THE GATE HOUSE are home. Additionally, his dialogue and sense of humor are second to none. It's been a pleasure in my life to recommend this writer of such enormous talent enhanced only by his monumental wit.
If someone reads these two books and is disappointed, contact me for a full refund....ONLY KIDDING. But trust me...you won't be disappointed!!!
I am a long time DeMille fan. I would read his grocery list if I could get my hands on it. Mr. DeMille has the gift of entertaining and I couldn't have enjoyed a book more. He has this "off base humor" that just makes me laugh out loud....I swear I love the guy. Wish he lived next door. Great book for me.
If 1 milion readers wrote reviews, everyone would have a different opinion of The Gate House. Mine just happens to be favorable.
I will admit this story may not achieve rave reviews from those readers seeking action and suspense from every page; but it will captivate the rest of us - those who may be looking for a brief, but amazingly thorough escape into the lives, places, and times of others.
I have read all of Nelson's works (under the DeMille name) and while the entire collection of stories have very good plots, excellent character development, and entertaining humor, The Gate House is really all about the two main characters. The plot is nil, but the subjects are so detailed and really enjoyable - it's like reading "Mista Sudda's" journal. I love John's thinking, his observations, his asides, his strength, and his intelligence. I can't wait to use some of his lines....
As some reviewers have noted, John and Susan may not be the nicest of people, yet one can't help but like them given all they have been through. John is insanely wise (take that however you want), and a hero as he selfishly tries to protect Susan and his children. The interaction between John and the people he does not like (read: William Stanhope) and those he bonds with, albeit briefly (Tom and Laurence) are laugh-out-loud moments.
Susan on the other hand is not as likable, but it's not really her fault as her upbringing at Stanhope Hall completely sheltered her (from blokes like us) and molded her into what she is. But I wonder how she became so..... naughty?
This was an extremely enjoyable read and it will be difficult to wait for an encore.
Other favorites are Plum Island, The Lion's Game, Up Country, and others.
The book was a little long in text, but that is DeMille's style. Most of the characters are very wealthy and seemed vapid. If having wealth makes you shallow, glad I'm poor. The book like the "Gold Coast" is a departure from DeMille's usual writing. I enjoyed the book very much but I still like his more dramatic writings. Read it you will enjoy it.
I thought it was an excellent sequel. It held me hostage for 3 days. I was hiding in my car reading. It was like meeting up with old friends. Now it needs to be made into a movie. Julianne Moore, Jack Nicholson as Frank, Nic Cage as Tony, and maybe Richard Gere as John. Good job!!!
If The Gate House was a race horse, I'd say it came out fast from the gate, pretty much coasted for the large part of the race, then put on the speed in the last couple of lengths. For this reader, The Gate House "placed" in the race but was not the big "winner." I've been a big fan, but with diminishing intensity, of Nelson DeMille since his first book, By The Rivers Of Babylon. Demille's the Gold Coast, to which The Gate House is the sequel, is one of my favorite books of his; and so, when I recently received an ARC of The Gate House I put it at the very top of my to-be-read list. Overall, I enjoyed The Gate House but not as much as Gold Coast. I'd grade it a B-.The main reason being that with the exception of the last 25 pages of the 667 copy I read, little of any substance happens after the first 100 or so pages. In typical DeMille fashion, his character development is very strong -- particularly in regards to his main male character, John Sutter, whose sarcastic wit permeates throughout this book -- and his narrative ability is at the top of his game. However, after several hundred pages of appreciating these characteristics I was getting very impatient for some action and thrills to occur. I would have enjoyed The Gate House much more if it had 200-300 pages less fluff/filler. The Gate House, for me, is a classic example of the adage, "Less is more." Despite these limitations, if you're a fan of Gold Coast you're going to want to read The Gate House, which takes place ten years later when Sutter has come home to the Gold Coast of Long Island to attend the funeral of an old family servant. I doubt if you're going to dislike The Gate House. As a matter of fact, you'll probably think it is pretty good. The purpose of my review is to urge you to not -- as I did -- expect a book as good as the one on which it is based.
I have read all of Nelson DeMille's books and enjoyed them thoroughly. This one is 650 pages of boredom, concluded with 25 pages of plot. I could have read the first chapter and the last chapter and saved myself a lot of time. Don't waste your money. Read Cathedral and The Charm School if you are looking for the real Nelson DeMille.
I have read othe Demile books and found then quite enjoyable. This book however was a total waste of time. Very long with absolutly nothing happening until the last 20 pages. Very predicable conclusion.
I am a huge Demille fan. Read everything. But this book, I'm sorry misses on so many levels. The entire story is written around the impending funeral of a family servant. the Iranian neighbor, who maintains no connection to the family or any other character is continuously inserted. The character we want to hear and see more of (Frank Jr) is oddly absent from most of the story. 98% of the story is pithy dialog and quips from the main character whose biggest conflict seems to be whether to stay in the Gate House or at Susans. I'm sorry. Big disappointment
I think you have to read Gold Coast before you can appreciate the sequel. It was kind of predictable but you were never really sure if the author was going to write what you expected. The author has a great sense of humor that he adds to his characters in the story. This is a story that has a great plot that picks up right where Gold Coast left off. I could almost see a third book sometime down the road. I would like to see him do another book with John Sutter as the main character. I love his attitude about things. Keep em coming Mr. DeMille. You have my undivided attention.
Nelson DeMille is a masterful writer who always entertains his readers well. Not a word is wasted in his cleverly woven themes. I throughly enjoyed the character, John Sutter's ability to mindlessly adlib through any situation. I kept going back and forth in my mind as to how this story would end, and was a captive to this book from beginning to end. I always anxiously await the next Nelson DeMille novel.
After a slow start, I almost gave up, I thought this was a great read. The wit that Mr. DeMille puts on his John characters (Sutter and Corey) makes this another great book. I hope his next book follows John Corey and I will wait with anticipation.
Gold Coast was a much better read. Gate House reads more like a romance novel than the sharp witted crime novel that was the Gold Coast. DeMille interjected way too much day to day drivel making it difficult to keep focused on the main plot. Would not recommend.
After reading the many negative reviews on this site, I entered the reading experience here with trepidation. First a quick summary. 'The Gate House' is a sequel to the superb novel 'The Gold Coast'. Like most sequels it is not as good as its predecessor. And like most sequels it shares many of the same characters. This second characteristic is what saves this book. The John Whitman Sutter character was appealing in the first book because of his strength of character, wit and intelligence, all of which are severely tested in 'The Gold Coast'. While that novel is almost an updating of 'Gatsby' in many respects, narrator John Sutter is far more appealing than Fitzgerald's sycophantic Nick Carraway. He is perhaps more reminiscent of Lawrence Sanders' Archie McNally in personality and wit. 'The Gate House' ties up loose ends from the previous novel and features John Whitman Sutter and his ex-wife Susan. The catalyst for a reuniting of the characters is the impending death of an old lifelong estate employee. The book could have been about 100 pages shorter, and there were a few too many in-law jokes, even though most were clever. The ending plot resolutions happen quickly and are both expected and surprising after pages of static plot. I would recommend that anyone reading this book should definitely read 'The Gold Coast' first. Not only is it a far better book but it will make the reading of 'The Gate House' a much more satisfying experience.
I attempted to read this book twice and it didn't hook me in the first few pages. The third time, everything was quiet and I could concentrate better and I really got into the story after a few more pages. As I read, I found myself laughing out loud at some DeMille's wit. He has such a unique style which draw you to his characters. There is a struggle with John Sutter and his decisions but he is so imperfect that you find yourself cheering him on. There are scary moments in the book and DeMille's descriptions are done so well that you can sympathize with the characters and you feel their fear, their anger and hatred like you know them and their adversaries. I was sad when the book was over, but it did spend lots of time on background.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Gold Coast and I was excited about this sequel. However, The Gate House re-hashed alot of the previous story (over and over) and was quite slow. John's humor was comical and fun (especially about father-in-law William) but the story dragged on and on. Definitely not a keeper or a second reading. An OK one-timer. --K--
I'm always recommending Nelson DeMille's books. The plots in his books have been so different from one another, and yet each has enough intrigue and interesting, believable characters that keeps one stealing moments to read. The Gold Coast was a good example of DeMille's talent, but the sequsl, The Gate House, doesn't quite deliver. The plot seemed like DeMille was trying too hard to put several stories together with none of them quite getting me to care. However, I do like John, the main character. His sense of humor had me chuckling out loud and wishing I could remember some of his lines. That and his sometimes devil-may-care attitude really made the book. I'd like to know him for real.
Wow, what a disappointment. The Gatehouse was boring. It's characters were shallow & had a poor storyline. Many of DeMille's previous books were interesting & exciting.
I was very disappointed with the Gate House. I am a big Nelson DeMille fan, but no more. This book was predictable, repetitious and actually boring. I couldn't wait to reach the end. I kept holding out hope that he would surprise me in the end. Didn't happen.
Received my nook last week and this was my first download. Kept hoping it would get better. Didn't know if I was disappointed in the nook (since I wasn't holding an actual book) or the book itself. Just cannot seem to get into this book.
Was disappointed in "Gate House" as there were so many threads that could have been picked up from "Gold Coast". This book was a snoozer compared to the action books of old. Back to the future, Nelson.