The Gate House, by Nelson DeMille (Read by Christian Rummel)
At last, the sequel for DeMille's most renowned book, The Gold Coast, is finally here. It opens ten years after the ending of the earlier book. The affluent Long Island location is the same, as are many of the characters. There is a new mafia don, Anthony Bellarosa, the son of Fran Bellarosa who was killed in the previous book. Tax attorney, John Sutter, tells the story in a manner that effectively presents the events of the earlier book. After divorcing his wife, John first spent three years sailing around the world, and for the next seven years he worked in London as an American tax lawyer. He has returned to the Stanhope Hall estate because a client is dying, and he now lives, not in his former home, but in the gate house. Shortly after his return, John is approached by Anthony Bellarosa, the new Mafia don, who wants John to become his lawyer. The offer of $250,000 a year to start is tempting, and John tells him he will think about it.
In the interim, ex-wife Susan Stanhope Sutter, has also returned to Stanhope Hall and is living in the guest house. She and John rediscover love, and when it looks like they might reconcile her father intercedes with an even larger offer for John if he'll leave Susan. John angers both men when he refuses their offers and the fun begins. Anthony Bellarosa is so furious with John that he suggests that his decision might put Susan's life at risk. The various happenings from this point on will keep listeners glued to their boom boxes. The final conclusion is gut-wrenching and somewhat unbelievable.
Demille uses such vivid language to describe
the characters, scenes and events in this book, that
the listener becomes ensnared in it. As engrossing as
the book is, though, it's possible to read, understand
and enjoy this book, without having read The Gold Coast.
Christian Rummel, the narrator, does one of the finest jobs of any of today's readers.
He enables the listener to understand and appreciate the personalities of each character, slipping easily between the dialects of the working class and elite. This audio book is pure enjoyment. Make this a must on your list, and you will find yourself asking your friends to do the same.