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Niceville Hardcover – Deckle Edge, June 12, 2012


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Niceville + The Homecoming (Niceville Trilogy) + Black Water Transit
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030770095X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307700957
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #723,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Strange, outrageous and wonderful… Offers surprises, shocks, moments of lyricism, explosions of humor and unrelenting suspense. It’s superior storytelling. Call it the summer’s darkest, most delicious guilty pleasure.” —Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post Book World

“[An] A-ticket thrill-ride… As enthralling as a tale by the Brothers Grimm.” —Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal

“Take a pinch of brilliant characters. Stir in some snappy dialogue and a helping of high-octane plot. Blend with a fantastically spooky location and serve hot. Carsten Stroud’s bouillabaisse of a new novel is a simmering read; one part thriller, one part suspense, and taken with a hefty sprinkling of supernatural hot spice, it’s one of the most compulsive page-turners of the year.” —A.J. Kirby, The New York Journal of Books

“A unique genre-bending novel that will haunt readers long after the last page… Niceville is a town readers have to visit for themselves in order to believe.” —Elizabeth Rabin, Fredericksburg Free Lance Star

“A generous collection of memorable villains, tight action sequences, and an occasional bit of black humor.” —Booklist

“Terrific dialogue, oddball characters, and a wild story make this a great read.” —Elmore Leonard, author of Get Shorty and Out of Sight

"Carsten Stroud's hard-boiled and engrossing Niceville rockets around its deceptively staid southern town, pulling bad guys and worse guys and long-ago misdeeds into a widening and unfolding tale about every kind of wickedness. Somehow it manages to get tighter, nastier, and more delightful as it rolls along toward its lovely and completely black-hearted final pages." —Peter Straub

"A compelling work that grabs your attention from page one." —Karin Slaughter

A truly one-of-a-kind tour de force, Niceville may be hard to categorize by genre, but it’s easy to describe as a reading experience – wildly, insanely entertaining!  —John Lescroart
 

About the Author

CARSTEN STROUD is a New York Times best selling writer of fiction and nonfiction, including the true-crime account Close Pursuit. His novels include Sniper’s Moon, Lizardskin, Black Water Transit, Cuba Strait, and Cobraville. He lives in Toronto and is currently working on his next novel.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Craig VINE VOICE on May 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was intrigued by the premise of this book. A town called Niceville where things really aren't that nice, and are really never what they seem, and several strings that come together in the end. And while those things don't come together nearly as neatly as they could have, this is still an excellent read that screams for both a movie, and a possible sequel.

The story itself is a tough one to summarize in a paragraph, but suffice to say that it involves a string of child disappearances going back 80 years, a long-simmering feud between the town's founding families, and a current-day bank robbery. There are a number of subplots, so many in fact that the author doesn't satisfactorily resolve all of them by the end of the book. Granted, not every story needs to be boxed up perfectly with a little bow at the end, and there may be more about this town in the future, but this lack of closure did hurt the book a little. The other negative effect of having so many separate strings is that there isn't a great deal of character development, making some of the "bad guys" in the book pretty much interchangeable and leaving even the heroes a little thin.

The story involving the town's history and what lies behind the disappearances is what really makes this an enjoyable experience. The bank robbery and its aftermath play a role, but the current events really take a backseat to the history. I found that for 350+ pages, the book moved incredibly quickly and I couldn't wait to get to the end. The mystery is one that many readers may figure out, but that doesn't make this any less captivating.

I would have given this five stars had it been slightly longer to allow for a little more character development or a better wrap-up of some plot threads. Even without that, it's a great book and one I would highly recommend.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By ANON. on September 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've heard this book called a horror novel, a mish mash of genres, a thriller... I think this book suffered from its multiple personalities. It was never quite scary enough, suspenseful enough, or exciting enough. There were several characters I did enjoy-the bank robbers namely & their scenes in the beginning were fast paced & had me wondering what was going to happen next, but the evil mirror in the pawn shop seemed cliche, and the mysterious scary sink hole had me rolling my eyes. Disappearances, magic mirrors, a robbery, high speed car chase, Indian burial grounds, the dead undead...it all got tiresome after awhile & it's true that Mr. Stroud didn't tie up his loose ends very well. Characters & therefore the reader is just kind of left hanging. I think it seems like it would be hard to fit every type of storyline into a novel, and this book definitely exemplifies that feeling.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Timothy J. Mccarthy VINE VOICE on May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A gang robs over $2M from a bank, killing four cops in cold blood to ensure their escape. Shortly afterwards, a child who disappeared into thin air, and then reappeared in a tomb sealed 100 years ago, comes out of his coma making a very strange request. Then, things start to get weird.

As a purely crime/action novel, "Niceville" excels. The bad guys are realistically bad, without going over the top, and the good guys have some issues. People's backgrounds become nicely tangled up together, with yesterday's baggage influencing today's decisions. In a word, it's all very believable. Now, mix in the pervasive evil that hangs over Niceville, where the dead aren't always dead, and the living have a strange habit of disappearing. Again, it isn't overplayed, it's expertly mixed with several threads of action to produce a thoroughly creepy effect. Add in the author's wicked but understated sense of humour, and you have a unique, captivating, thoroughly entertaining book.

My favourite off-the-wall book of the year is Nick Harkaway's "Angelmaker", but this is running a very close second. Even if you're not a fan of horror/paranormal novels, give this a try, it doesn't have the unrelenting darkness that many in that genre embrace. It's simply excellent on all levels!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lauri Crumley Coates VINE VOICE on July 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I really did enjoy this book, and if it were not for some messy spots and dragging, I would have given it another star. Very unusual and for the most part, enjoyable and mesmerizing.

The book opens with a young boy, on his way home, who suddenly and inexplicably disappears without a trace. But this is not the first, or last eerie thing to happen in Niceville. In fact, these odd types of disappearances and crimes have been going on for generation. Cops are killed in broad daylight, during a bold and bloody robbery. A wealthy widow just disappears. You'll be sucked in by the characters and the unusual happenings, and even the worst character is oddly likable and almost endearing.

It will pull you in fast, then you may feel that the story has lost it's way. Stick with it though, cause it will pick up again and blow your mind. This is one you really can't pin any specific genre on, it crosses way too many fields for that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William Merrill TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Carsten Stroud's novel called Niceville has two main plot lines, one involving a bank heist, the other dealing with some scary supernatural goings-on. There's also a third, lesser story about a nasty cyber-vigilante who likes to frame relative strangers in attempts to ruin their lives. There are two significant problems with Niceville. First, the author never successfully integrated the three plot strands into a coherent or sufficiently interesting whole. Second, the plot lines themselves are different levels of quality. I'd give the heist stuff about a B-, the supernatural and cyber-bully stories each a C+. It's somewhat appropriate that the book received a blurb quote from Elmore Leonard, since the sections of the book covering the heist and its consequences was reminiscent of Mr. Leonard's style, especially in the characters and dialogue. If only the other parts of the book were as interesting, and if they had been connected together better...
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