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The Gold Coast Paperback – April 1, 1997

Book 1 of 2 in the John Sutter Series

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 707 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; Reprint edition (April 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446673218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446673211
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (594 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What happens to a priggish, WASPy, disillusioned Wall Street lawyer when a Mafia crime boss moves into the mansion next door in his posh Long Island neighborhood? He ends up representing the gangster on a murder rap and even perjures himself so the mafiosostet lc can be released on $5 million bail. That's the premise of DeMille's ( The Charm School ) bloated, unpersuasive thriller. Attorney John Sutter has problems that would daunt even Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby. His marriage is crumbling, despite kinky sex games with his self-centered wife, Susan, who's the mistress of his underworld client Frank Bellarosa. The IRS is after Sutter, and his law firm wants to dump him. As a sardonic morality tale of one man's self-willed disintegration, the impact is flattened by its elitist narrator's patrician tones. A comic courtroom scene and some punches at the end, however, redeem the novel somewhat. BOMC main selection; film rights to Guber/Peters-Columbia.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


'The so-called 'Gold Coast' will never be the same again.' Daily Mail. 'DeMille's best so far.' Kirkus Reviews. 'Captivating ... addictive ... irresistible!' Washington Post --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Gold Coast is the best book by Nelson DeMille I've read.
This is one of those books that stays with you long after you have read it, however I find myself rereading it every so often.
Samantha W. Mckevitt
If you're looking for a book that has humor, great characters, a compelling story and good writing, look no more.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Antoinette Klein on July 20, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This was my introduction to Nelson DeMille and I am thrilled to have discovered him. THE GOLD COAST is a fast-paced, thrilling, and highly irreverent read set in a fabled and affluent section of Long Island. Life will never be the same for attorney John Sutter and his beautiful wife Susan after the most famous Mafia don of New York purchases the estate next door.

John seems to have it all---a good profession, a quirky and sensual wife, an enviable estate---but he is facing the doldrums of a mid-life crisis and needs excitement in his life. Enter Frank Bellarosa, a man Sutter describes as "an unindicted and unconvicted felon as well as a citizen and a taxpayer. He is what federal prosecutors mean when they tell parolees not to consort with known criminals."

A chance meeting at the local nursery leads to friendship, to favors, to Sutter representing Bellarosa when he is charged for murder, and even to perjuring himself to save the Don.

I haven't read as compelling a book about the Mafia since THE GODFATHER nor such a poignant tale of longing since THE GREAT GATSBY, both novels to which this has been compared.

But it is DeMille's writing in the first person voice of John Sutter, his wickedly funny lines, his clever repartee, his upper class snobbery, his ability to capture the heart and soul of the Mafia don that lifts this book to greatness.

DeMille's relentless foreshadowing of doom builds tension with each chapter until the reader is totally caught up in the life of John Sutter, his wife Susan, and the next door neighbor who both enhances and destroys their lives. I'm sure these characters will stay with me a long time and I will often remember John Sutter saying "Mamma Mia! It shouldn't happen to a High Episcopalian."
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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 14, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Nelson DeMille is my favorite author, and The Gold Coast is one of his better books. This is a hilarious novel. The basic premise is simple enough. John Sutter is an upper-class WASP lawyer who lives in the most exclusive area in America, an area in Long Island known to insiders as "The Gold Coast." He has a beautiful wife, an OK law practice, looks, class, and health. All seems well. Then, the local Mafia Don decides to move into the property next to the Sutters. And so begins the tale of a mid-life crisis to beat all mid-life crises. The rest would be telling.
As is the case with many of DeMille's novels, John Sutter is a hoot. His insights into life in general, the Gold Coast in particular, and his encounters with the local Mafia Don are very funny. The novel is written in first person, not a perspective I always like, but here it is extraordinarily effective. The reader comes to know, like, and care about John Sutter and his deepening predicament. DeMille's prose is superb. The writing is clear and crisp. The storyline starts out at a leisurely pace, but it always keeps the reader's attention and interest, and the plot quickly picks up momentum. This is an absorbing and very funny story.
DeMille is one of the great novelists of the times. I do not exaggerate; many of his books in my opinion are instant classics. The Gold Coast is one of these.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By M. Beck on May 26, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a recent convert to DeMille. My first book was The Charm School which I liked a great deal. It was a little predictable, but it held my attention throughout, actually getting better as I read. By the end I was eager to try another DeMille book, which is pretty high praise.
I picked up The Gold Coast based on the positive reviews I read here on and I'm writing to add my strong recommendation for this very entertaining and poignant novel. DeMille's description of the WASP community and mindset is hilarious and affecting. The Mafia component is less successful - solid, interesting, but not especially ground-breaking.
However, the transformation of John Sutter is amazing. I found myself constantly surprised by the depth of this book. Nothing in the Charm School prepared me for the last hundred pages of the Gold Coast. The last sentence of the novel will make you gasp.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Samantha W. Mckevitt on November 8, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of those books that stays with you long after you have read it, however I find myself rereading it every so often. I catch myself making references to it and recalling favorite lines and scenes.
Gold Coast has everything. It is suspenseful, poignant and surpisingly witty. The protagonist John Sutter has a great dry humor that is actually laugh out loud funny. It helps to live on Long Island and spot landmarks such as Hicks Nursery, CW Post College, and Oheka castle, but the themes are universal.
This is truly a modern Gatsby. DeMille borrows imagery from that previous Long Island classic. Most notably the hauntng image of a green light that represents all that could be. I have read all of loved most of DeMille's other work (Lion's Game and Plum Island are wonderful action novels), but Gold Coast is truly literature. The suspense growns and you wonder when Sutter truly got caught up in the world of the mafia.
The finely woven dicotomoy of two fading worlds is complex, as is Sutter's own growth in the spring and summer of his own diasastrous mid life crisis.
I recommend this book to every person I meet. When I spent a summer working in a public library I asked countless patrons, Have you read Gold Coast. I wish I could give it more than five stars as it surpasses every other book I have read!
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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.

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