One of Nelson DeMille‘s most popular novels was THE GOLD COAST. Now to the delight of his fans he has written a sequel to that story and titled it THE GATE HOUSE. This book follows up on what happened to John Sutter, the hero of the first book.
Most people read DeMille’s stories for the plots. They are unique and convoluted and hold the readers’ interest from beginning to end. I, however, read DeMille’s books for the humor. THE GATE HOUSE has moments that are laugh out loud funny. John Sutter has a droll wit about him and his statements and asides are phrased in such a way as to make me laugh hysterically. Maybe our senses of humor just match but I laughed through this book from beginning to end. Nelson DeMille should be a stand-up comic.
The story itself concerns John’s return to the North Shore of Long Island. He is staying at the gate house to the Stanhope Estate. He had left this area ten years ago due to the fact his then wife Susan had shot and killed her lover, a Mafia leader. Susan got off on the murder charge but Sutter could not put the past behind him and left.
Now he is back and so is his ex-wife. She is staying at one of the smaller houses on the estate. John knows their paths will cross but he is trying to avoid it for as long as possible. His reason for returning ostensibly is to take care of the estate of one of the Stanhope’s servants. She is terminally ill and has had a life estate in the gate house. John is staying there while he gets her affairs in order.
Eventually John and Susan do meet and things progress from there. There is danger afoot as the son of the man Susan killed wants revenge, which means there is a target on her back. Also Susan’s parents hate John and if the two of them were to get back together Susan would lose her inheritance as possibly would their children.
The book held my attention all the way through but then the end came and it turned me off. Overall I would not put it on the list of my favorite stories. But as for humor, it is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I haven’t laughed that much in ages.
So my score for THE GATE HOUSE is this – for literature 6 out of 10; for laughter 10 out of 10!