The Gate House by Nelson DeMille

Reviewed by Tim Gleichner

About the book:

#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.

Two phrases sum up my feelings about this book. The first would be the well know sports analogy "too little, too late". The second would be courtesy of Elvis Presley who asked for "a little less conversation, a little more action". Either one will do.

Now, to be fair, I didn't dislike this book. It's jus that a book that is nearly 700 pages long and has a Mafia Don looking to avenge his father's murder at the hands of his lover, who just happens to be the ex-wife of the main character, missed many chances to pump some life into the story.

The entire story comes to a climax in the last 30 pages or so, and that would be fine except that there is so much over written dialogue it takes 630 pages to get to that point.

Also, why take the time to develop a character like Mr. Nusim and imply that there may be terrorist danger, and then have nothing come of it.

And finally, while most things took quite awhie to develop, John and Susan got back together and decided to remarry after one meeting. I didn't get that at all.

"The Gate House" wasn't a bad book. Mr. DeMille would appear to be a talented writer whose style I quite enjoyed. In the end, the book was boring and even the big finish couldn't save it for me. It really was a case of too little, too late.

Thanks again to Miriam Parker of The Hatchette Book Group for sending me this book for review!

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