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Cathedral Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1990

224 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


'A bulldozer of a book, expertly, relentlessly terrifying.' Cosmopolitan. 'It is a book which grips from the opening words ... a hugh enthralling novel.' Manchester Evening News. 'Chillingly believable, peopled with recognizable characters. Cathedral entertains with the unimaginable.' Publishers Weekly. 'Strong, long, well-sustained suspense ... a chaotic, explosive finale.' Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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From the bestselling author of Plum Island and The Gold Coast - a thrilling story of a city under siege.

The festivity of St. Patrick's Day explodes into a nightmare of bloody violence when an extremist offshoot of the IRA takes New York City by siege.  They've kidnapped four of the city's most prominent citizens and are threatening to end their lives - and demolish the beautiful St. Patrick's Cathedral - unless their fanatical demands are met.  Now the hostages - and the world - must wait painstakingly for dawn to learn their fate . . . --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (December 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446358576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446358576
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in New York City in 1943. My father was a Canadian, serving at that time with the American Navy, and my mother was a Brooklyn native, trying to figure out how to grow a Victory Garden for the war effort.

My family moved to Elmont, Long Island, New York in 1947 where my father was a house builder, and my mother was a homemaker raising four boys.
I attended Elmont public schools, played football, ran track, and was on the wrestling team. I graduated Elmont Memorial High School in 1962 and spent the summer at the beach.

I attended Hofstra University, but left before graduation to join the Army in 1966. I served three years in the United States Army as an infantry lieutenant and spent one year in Vietnam as a platoon leader with the First Cavalry Division. You'll see that I used this experience in my novels "Word of Honor" and "Up Country."

After the end of my military service, I returned to Hofstra where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History. I married and had two children, Lauren and Alex, and eventually divorced.

I held a series of good and bad jobs between 1970 and 1974, and in that year, for some reason I can't remember, I decided to be a writer. My first books were paperback originals, New York City police detective novels, thankfully all out of print and hard to find.

In 1978, I published my first major novel, "By the Rivers of Babylon," which was a commercial and critical success. Since then, I've written fourteen other novels and had a good time creating my characters John Corey, Ben Tyson (played by Don Johnson in the TNT movie of "Word of Honor"), foxy Emma Whitestone, Paul Brenner (played by John Travolta in the Paramount movie of "The General's Daughter"), sexy Susan Sutter, the never-say-die CIA officer Ted Nash, and my favorite villain, Asad Khalil, a misunderstood Libyan terrorist with unresolved childhood issues.

I am a member of The Authors Guild, the Mystery Writers of America (past President), American Mensa (thank God I don't have to retake that test), and I hold three honorary doctorate degrees (thank God I didn't have to study for them) from Hofstra University, Long Island University, and Dowling College.
I'm married to the love of my life, Sandy Dillingham, whom I met while I was on a publicity tour in Denver. We have a son, James, two years old, and he's keeping me young.

There's more about me on my website. Thanks for reading about me here, and I hope you enjoy my novels.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By sweetmolly on June 29, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Don't even think of what a grand revolutionary gesture it would be to blow up St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City! This is the premise of Nelson DeMille's hefty (575 pages) ambitious thriller.
A group of 12 fiery Irish revolutionaries led by charismatic Brian Flynn have minutely planned to take four carefully chosen hostages, seize and mine the cathedral and threaten to blow it up at dawn the following day unless their demands are met to free political prisoners jailed in Northern Ireland by the British. The hostages are the Archbishop of New York, the British Counsel General, a parish priest, and Maureen Malone, a former terrorist with close ties to Brian Flynn, but now a peace activist.
Mr. DeMille pulls it off. He drives the breath-taking pace by fast cuts from Belfast, to the cathedral, to the desperate workings of the police and government to foil the attempt. The military precision of the takeover is meticulously described (thank goodness for the map of St. Patrick's!) in fascinating detail. Precisely drawn vignettes of the supporting cast as well as the major characters inspire the reader's care and interest in the outcome on large and small levels. The author is wickedly adept at portraying politics at its worst when revealing the tangled motives of the Mayor, the New York Police Dept., the Governor of New York, the British and Irish Consulates, the CIA and FBI. The revolutionaries are a complex lot, some with fire and vision, others stone killers, and some innocents that break your heart.
In one way it reminded me of "Apollo 13" in that you knew the astronauts would be rescued (historical fact), but you got so wrapped up in the story you feared for their very lives. I know St.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 22, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Cathedral is absolutely one of the top ten best books that I have ever read. DeMille gives the reader a great history lesson on the struggles of Northern Ireland, an indepth look into the psyche of the people who know no other world than one of violence begetting violence, and a glimpse at what our government officials will do to further their own careers no matter the cost.
This is my fourth Nelson DeMille novel, and I find it interesting, having read some of is later works first,how his style has evolved over the years. I found that Cathedral read much like The Charm School as far as the writing syle went, and possibly Burke's character in Cathedral laid the groundwork for John Corey in DeMille's later works, Plum Island and The Lion's Game.
With each novel I have a greater appreciation for DeMille. He may not pump out books every 6 months like some of constituents, but the time in between each novel is obviously spent doing painstaking research. He leaves no stone unturned.
Keep 'em coming Mr. Demille
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Chris Lee on January 11, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was an extraordinary book that has kept me up at nights reading, as I got drawn into its suspensful and intriguing plot. Nelson DeMille, a former U.S. Army lieutenant in Vietnam, is the author of many acclaimed novels, such as "The General's Daughter" which was made into a movie. "The Cathedral" is my favorite DeMille book, as it's rich characterization, amazing plot, and thrilling suspense simply cannot be ignored.
Cathedral is full of action, politics, and romance. The whole story takes course in just one fateful day. In New York City, while people are happily celebrating St. Patrick's Day, they are unaware of an ingeniously masterminded terrorist act taking place. A renegade group of IRA terrorists have taken over St. Patrick's Cathedral, taking hostage four VIPs in the city. The leader of the terrorists is Brian Flynn, a man devoted to the cause of freeing his family and friends imprisoned by the English in Northern Ireland. The terrorists threaten to destroy the Cathedral and kill the hostages, if their demands are not met by dawn. The world is watching, waiting for the final outcome of dawn, as the 'electrifying' duel between the Police and the terrorists ensues.
In Cathedral, characterization is a major plus. By the end of the book, you can really relate with the characters, and feel like you've known them all your life. There are about five major characters in the novel, each with his/her own background, aspirations, and unique personality. Due to such great characterization, Nelson DeMille really creates a strong and realistic human drama that is emotionally engaging. In addition, there is plenty of fast-paced action that always kept me on the edge of my seat. The plot is so suspenseful, that you can't let go of the book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 15, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This Nelson Demile novel of political espionage mixed with religious and historical clashes kept me turning the pages faster, and faster the deeper the plot sank. Though it had a very slow beginning, the fast paced ending made up for it and then some. To me this novel was a true indicator of how great and ingenious of an author Nelson Demile really is.

The plot takes place in New York City on Saint Patrick's Day. It was supposed to go like it had in the past years but Irish Terrorist Brian Flynn had a different idea in mind. He thought of an amazing plan consisting of Irish Terrorism and heroism. He and ten other terrorists from the anti British Group IRA took over saint Patrick's Cathedral and four very important hostages with it. His plan was twisted yet brilliant and he wouldn't stop till he got what he wanted, which was...

My favorite character in this story is of course the villain, Brian Flynn. To me he exhibits the most heroic accts and intelligence in the whole story. I also think that without him there would be no story and/or plot in the story. My least favorite character is another terrorist. Her name was Megan Fitzgerald. I think that she has no respect for anyone in then story except herself, and she was especially ruthless to the hostages.

This Novel was very good. I would consider it a work of art. Even for Nelson Demile who has many big hits and bestsellers this book would be considered in his top five of all time. It kept me guessing throughout and that is what I like in a book. If you just keep going through the beginning you will like it. For someone who is just plain out looking for a good entertaining story, I would recommend this book to them. I would give it four stars.
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