The Gold Coast (John Sutter #1) by Nelson DeMille
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.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Yet another re-read for me. Despite this being far away from my normal genres I really enjoyed this story. It’s all down to the quality of the writing and the character creation, especially the two male characters of John Sutter and Frank Bellarosa.
Apparently the author grew up close to the setting of the book and that is very obvious from the detail he provides of the geography, history and cultural background of the area. Combine this with the excellent (if slightly self-destructive) main character of John Sutter and you have a cracker of a story.
Why not 5 stars then? I found the relationship between John and Susan to be very weird. I just couldn’t see what had brought them together or kept them together. Maybe though their particular relationship was required for the rest of the story. The main reason for dropping a star was the irritating constant of being half-told something and then informed that you’ll get the full story later. This happened a number of times in the first half of the book.
It’s quite a long book taking me at least a week to complete (I’m a speedy reader) but the story and characters are more than strong enough to keep the interest strong. There’s no happy ending but it’s a very good ending.
Spoiler: I really loved the scene where John told his father in law:
“You are an unprincipled asshole, an utterly cynical bastard, a monumental prick, and a conniving fuck.”