Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Gold Coast [Demille]

Book: The Gold Coast
Author: Nelson Demille

Review: John Whitman Sutter and his wife, Susan Stanhope Sutter, seem to have the perfect life in one of American's most exclusive areas, the Gold Coast (Long Island). John (a relative of Walt Whitman) is a tax attorney with offices on Wall Street and Long Island. Susan is a wealthy society wife (her parents own the 500+ room Stanhope Hall next door) and spends most of her time taking care of her horses. They have a daughter at Yale and a son away at boarding school. They epitomize the term WASP. Their lives are quickly turned upside down when American's most notorious mob boss, Frank Delarossa moves in next door. John tries to distance himself from Frank, but soon finds himself agreeing to represent Frank on a murder charge. John and Susan are soon seduced into Frank's life which has lasting consequences for all of them.

Often described as a cross between 'The Great Gatsby' and 'The Godfather,' 'The Gold Coast' is a good read. Narrated by John, I at times thought he was hilarious, annoying, rude and/or condescending. I loved the exploits he and Susan engaged in throughout much of the novel (a lot of role playing) and it was fascinating to see how Frank drew John in and then kept a hold on him. Susan, for her part, ended up being a crazy redhead just as John warned readers throughout the book. Overall, enjoyable read. 

Grade: B+

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