Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Gate House by Nelson DeMille

About the book: 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.

Quote: 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.

Why this book? I got this book from iTunes at a sale price. It was, I thought, too good to pass up.

My Thoughts: I have read several of DeMille's books and liked them all. A lot. However this book was only ok for me. The characters, for the most part were unlikable. The main character, John, went out of his way to be rude to people who only showed up in the book for him to be rude to. He was so flip in other parts of the book (and at all times) that when he declared his undying love for his ex-wife I didn't believe it. The ex, Susan, was fairly unlikable too. How can she desperately love her husband but have an affair then kill her lover because he won't take her away with him, then go back to desperately loving her husband? I didn't get her at all. Scenes seemed to go on and on. I think that much of the middle of the book could have been pared down. It didn't get really good till near the end of the book at the funeral of Ethel Allen. Things went uphill from there, story wise.

I did like the history woven through the book. Learning about the Gold Coast on Long Island was interesting. Some of John's remarks were funny, however the asides to Miss Manners (or whoever) wore thin after awhile. The ending was exciting and scary. I liked John's mother. She was a quirky character and I would have liked to read more scenes with her. All in all it wasn't a great read for me.

Nelson DeMille
You Tube (hear about The Gate House and tour a 1919 Gold Coast mansion)

100+Reading Challenge
Audiobook Challenge
Monthly Mixer Mele
Colorful Reading Challenge

This book-21 hours & 5 min.
Total - 86 hrs & 45 min


Marg said...

I have fond memories of reading DeMille, but it has been years! One day I will read more.

samantha.1020 said...

I haven't read this author before but I have heard good things. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one!