Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille
The Gold Coast will never be the same again.
WELCOME TO THE FABLED GOLD COAST, that stretch on the North Shore of Long Island that once held the greatest concentration of wealth and power in America.
Here two men are destined for an explosive collision: John Sutter, Wall Street lawyer, holding fast to a fading aristocratic legacy; and Frank Bellarosa, the Mafia don who seizes his piece of the staid and unprepared Gold Coast like a latter-day barbarian chief and draws Sutter and his regally beautiful wife, Susan, into his violent world.
Told from Sutter’s sardonic and often hilarious point of view, and laced with sexual passion and suspense, The Gold Coast is Nelson DeMille’s captivating story of friendship and seduction, love and betrayal.
Amazon Review by Antoinette Klein:
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.”