“If your only tool is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.”
Wounded in the line of duty, NYPD homicide detective John Corey convalesces in the Long Island township of Southold, home to farmers, fishermen — and at least one killer. Tom and Judy Gordon, a young, attractive couple Corey knows, have been found on their patio, each with a bullet in the head. The local police chief, Sylvester Maxwell, wants Corey’s big-city expertise, but Maxwell gets more than he bargained for.
John Corey doesn’t like mysteries, which is why he likes to solve them. His investigations lead him into the lore, legends, and ancient secrets of northern Long Island — more deadly and more dangerous than he could ever have imagined. During his journey of discovery, he meets two remarkable women, Detective Beth Penrose and Mayflower descendant Emma Whitestone, both of whom change his life irrevocably. Ultimately, through his understanding of the murders, John Corey comes to understand himself.
Fast-paced and atmospheric, marked by entrancing characters, incandescent storytelling, and brilliant comic touches, Plum Island is Nelson DeMille at his thrill-inducing best.
How have I not found this author before? And the book so right down my favorite genre alley. A protagonist that has the smarts, expertise of Connelly’s serious Harry Bosch and the wise-cracking but intelligent David Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter. John Corey is a seasoned homicide detective convalescing on Long Island who transcends both with additional snarky, often sexual, acerbic comments.
“Do you know why Daughters of the American Revolution don’t have group sex?….
“Daughters of the American Revolution don’t have group sex because they don’t want to have to write all those thank you notes.”
It’s his delivery. Most of the time funny, though as a woman, can be offensive as well. Corey has seen it all, done it all, just doesn’t give a flying fig anymore. Whether another detective or supervisor, he’ll casually pull an unaffected Bosch. The thing is—he’s good at what he does.
In this case, he is asked by Southold Police to look into the double homicide of friends of his. As employees of Plum Island, they come under a heavily shielded rumor mill regarding the island said to study deadly animal diseases. Is it biological warfare? Perhaps something more on the opposite side of the microscopic bugs—a vaccine that could have made them billions. If so, did the deal go bad?
Corey doesn’t come off subtle as he pursues clues, posing and dismissing various scenarios—drugs maybe? He goes to Plum Island for a detailed canned lecture tour of the facility. Definitely an eye-opening tour into a major federal virus and bacterial research facility!
After confronting and eliminating most theories, he accidentally stumbles over another reason for the legal archeological digs on the island. Okay—it could happen. There are SOOO many entertaining stories, folklore, out there of treasures (including the one my grandfather wrote of on Cocos Island).
With all the theories, the interviews, and the characters, it is a fast-paced well-plotted storyline that entertains as well as informs. Twists and turns shine in the multi-faceted texture of the narrative, never a dull moment. Except for the side trip into the (rather ridiculous) romance, I enjoyed the police procedural aspect, the suspense, and the non-stop action.
My first experience with this author won’t be my last. Also, I’ve already found another audiobook narrated by Scott Brick who does an excellent job with this kind of novel. I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts.
Genre: Suspense Action Fiction, Mystery Action Fiction, Mystery Action & Adventure
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Listening Length: 19 hrs 43 mins
Narrator: Scott Brick
Publication Date: June 11, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Plum Island [Amazon]
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars
The Author: Nelson Richard DeMille was born in New York City on August 23, 1943 to Huron and Antonia (Panzera) DeMille, then moved with his parents to Long Island. He graduated from Elmont Memorial High School, where he played football and ran track.
DeMille spent three years at Hofstra University, then joined the Army where he attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a Lieutenant in the United States Army (1966-69). He saw action in Vietnam as an infantry platoon leader with the First Cavalry Division and was decorated with the Air Medal, Bronze Star, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
After his discharge, DeMille returned to Hofstra University where he received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History. He has three children, Lauren, Alexander, and James, and resides on Long Island.
DeMille’s first major novel was By the Rivers of Babylon, published in 1978, and is still in print as are all his succeeding novels. He is a member of American Mensa, The Authors Guild, and is past president of the Mystery Writers of America. He is also a member of International Thriller Writers and was chosen as ThrillerMaster of the Year 2015. He holds three honorary doctorates: Doctor of Humane Letters from Hofstra University, Doctor of Literature from Long Island University, and Doctor of Humane Letters from Dowling College.
Nelson DeMille is the author of: By the Rivers of Babylon, Cathedral, The Talbot Odyssey, Word of Honor, The Charm School, The Gold Coast, The General’s Daughter, Spencerville, Plum Island, The Lion’s Game, Up Country, Night Fall, Wild Fire, The Gate House, The Lion, The Panther, The Quest, Radiant Angel, The Cuban Affair and The Deserter. He also co-authored Mayday with Thomas Block and has contributed short stories to anthologies, and book reviews and articles to magazines and newspapers.
The Narrator: Scott Brick is an American actor, writer and award-winning narrator of over 800 audiobooks. Audiobook narrator Scott Brick (2012). Born, (1966-01-30) January 30, 1966 (age 57). Santa Barbara, California, US. Occupation(s), Actor, Writer, Narrator. [Wikipedia]
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