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John Sutter Books In Order

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Publication Order of John Sutter Books

The Gold Coast (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Gate House (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

The name ‘John Sutter’ refers to a series of novels written by Nelson Demille and which follow the exploits of a lawyer who is drawn into the dangerous machinations of a Mafia Boss.

+The Story

The John Sutter series did not start out as a series. Nelson Demille had a great idea for a book, he wrote it and it was a hit. A little while later, the author decided that the story he had written in ‘Gold Coast’ deserved a sequel, thus paving the way for the John Sutter series.

The series takes readers to the North Shore of Long Island, the best neighborhood in the United States and a location that once boasted the greatest concentration of wealth in the country.

By the time the John Sutter series begins, the Gold Coast has definitely seen better days. John Sutter is a wall street lawyer with a great life. He has a decent amount of money, and most men would die for the opportunity to have a wife as beautiful as his.

Sutter has a strong attachment to the Gold Coast. His wife Susan is a fairly renowned socialite, and even though the pair can only afford to live in the guest house on the estates, their lives are pretty decent.

Things start to change when Sutter grows restless. As his midlife crisis kicks in, the lawyer begins to seek more thrilling experiences, encounters that can add a bit of a spark to his life.

Sutter does not realize just how drastically his life is about to change until he meets Frank Bellarosa. The charming gentleman rolls into the estate one random day, he buys a crumbling mansion for more money than Sutter has ever seen and settles into a life of luxury with his wife.

It doesn’t take Sutter long to get drawn into Frank’s orbit. The lawyer realizes too late that Frank is actually the head of a New York crime family, and he is not the sort of man anyone would ever want to cross.

What follows is a dramatic telling of John Sutter’s efforts to integrate into and then escape Frank’s criminal empire.

Nelson Demille was best known for his cold war thrillers when the first John Sutter novel was published. So it was a bit of a surprise to see him exploring a dramatic tale with a gangster angle.

The author has always had a fascination for Long Island’s North Shore, the result of the work his father, a Canadian immigrant, and contractor did on the mansions in the area. Demille did a lot of research on the setting, talking to workers, residents, and visitors to the Gold Coast.

Because the location has changed so drastically over the years and is continuing to change, Nelson Demille also spoke to historians. Most of them were more of amateurs and hobbyists than certified historians, and Demille sought them out because he wasn’t as interested in the significant occurrences in Long Island’s history as he was in the minutiae of the Gold Coast’s social history.

He wanted to find those combinations of fact and fiction that hadn’t been recorded in any books, the lore and the legends surrounding the affairs and the murders and the gossip.

And Gold Coast enthusiasts will tell you that the author’s efforts paid off handsomely, with his novel succeeding in painting an accurate picture of the privileged aspect of the setting.

The characters aren’t particularly likable. This is especially true for Susan, John Sutter’s wife. The woman could be described as a snob. She was brought up to expect and seek the finer things in life, and Demille goes to great pains to portray her personality, not just in her actions but with the way she peaks, using complete sentences and broad vowels.

For all the chaos that Frank injects into John Sutter’s life, his wife’s actions prove to be just as destructive. A substantial portion of the book is spent delving into Sutter’s relationship with Susan. His own actions do not always paint him in the most positive light.

In fact, there is little in the way of true heroes in this series; though, John Sutter is often commended for undergoing a positive transformational journey over the course of this series.

+The Author
Nelson Demille is an American author born in 1943. A writer of mystery, adventure and suspense fiction, Demille has produced works under pen names like Ellen Kay and Jack Cannon.

A native of New York who spent many years on Long Island, Demille spent a few years in the army, earning numerous notable accolades over the course of his distinguishable service before studying Political Science at Hofstra University.

+Gold Coast
Once upon a time, Long Island’s North Shore boasted the most impressive concentration of money and power in the country. By the time John Sutter’s midlife crisis strikes, things are not quite as rosy.

Though, the Gold Coast is still a great place to live for the wall street attorney and his incredibly beautiful wife. Sutter meets Frank Bellarosa at a time when he so strongly desires excitement in his life.

Sutter has no idea that Frank is a Mafia boss, and neither does he realize just how far he will be dragged into the criminal’s illegal empire. By the time the truth dawns on him, Sutter is trapped, facing a man who doesn’t take disappointment kindly.

+The Gate House
John Sutter loved the Gold Coast. But he abandoned it when his wife fell into bed with their neighbor, Frank, a Mafia Boss, and then killed him. Sutter abandoned his life and spent a few years traveling the world.

He eventually learned to call London home. When Sutter returns to the Gold coast for the funeral of a friend, it has been ten years since the events that drove him away. Immediately, Sutter’s attraction to Susan is reignited.

As the pair struggles to make sense of their emotions for one another, Frank Bellarosa’s son comes to town. Frank was the Mafia boss that Susan, Sutter’s ex-wife killed, and the son is determined to get his revenge.

Book Series In Order » Characters » John Sutter

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