Plum Island
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Product Description

Nelson DeMille's narrative engine is one of the best in the business, and it chugs away in grand style in this story of buried treasure and biological warfare on a tiny spit of land off Long Island. As told by a wry, wounded New York City detective who is drafted to explore a couple of murders, Plum Island is a rich pudding of flavorful (if familiar) ingredients, including a ferocious storm at sea. Other DeMille epics in paperback include By the Rivers of Babylon, The General's Daughter, The Gold Coast, Spencerville, and Word of Honor.

Wounded in the line of duty, NYPD homicide cop John Corey is convalescing in rural eastern Long Island when an attractive young couple he knows is found shot to death on the family patio. The victims were biologists at Plum Island, a research site rumored to be an incubator for germ warfare. Suddenly, a local double murder takes on shattering global implications--and thrusts Corey and two extraordinary women into a dangerous search for the secret of Plum Island.

Customer Reviews:

  • This is "Plum" good readin'
    I'm glad I read this. It was my first Demille book and won't be my last. I've already started The Gold Coast, and so far I like it even more.

    This is a story told by an NYPD detective who is recouperating from bullet wounds in one of the ritzy areas of Long Island. It involves murder, buried treasure, love (or perhaps more accurately, lust), greed, and biological warfare agents. Demille's use of dialog and voice of narration is great. It was so refreshing to read this after trudging through a Clancy novel. He must average two wisecracks a page. And I found all of them to be funny. That's probably why I like his writing style so much. Maybe it's not for everybody. I have a feeling there's more than a few women would get a little steamed by some of his remarks.

    This isn't a short read and there's not always a lot of action, but the story and writing style make it a page turner. Demille is now one of my favorites and I look forward to reading more of his work....more info

  • I'm Addicted
    Once you start reading Demille, it's hard to stop. John Corey is a fantastic character. His sense of humor is great. This one has a very interesting twist at the end. But be warned, if you're like me, you'll read one Demille book and run out and buy up all of them....more info
  • Funny and light
    The negative reviews I read talked about how obnoxious the lead character is, but I thought he was funny. What can I say, that uber-male banter always cracks me up. Here's an example: Corey has knocked a guy out, the guy rouses and pulls his gun on Corey. Corey goes along with the gunman, putting his hands on his head, kneeling, taking off his jacket etc. Finally he gets sick of it. The book goes, "I was sort of getting cramped in the kneeling position, so I stood. He screamed, 'Kneel! Kneel!' I walked over to him, and he pointed the Beretta right at my ding-dong and pulled the trigger. I winced even though the gun was empty..." Why does that crack me up? Well, frankly, I don't know, but it works for me. And it's pretty good writing, with a little surprise for the reader, so that we feel like insiders in on the joke, well, almost.

    Plenty of suspense, and decent, original character portrayals, and an interesting, original plot with tidbits about animal disease and buried treasure.

    It's a mystery romp, no doubt about it, but don't mistake Corey's badboy attitude with a casualness about writing on the part of DeMille. No misplaced modifiers or dangling participles, though I am sure Corey would make a joke about a dangling participle. A grammar sleuth, I take my clues from things like "dived" versus "dove." Which verb form does DeMille use? He uses the correct form: Dived. Thank you very much. To me, grammar symbolizes attention to detail. No gritting your teeth through this book on any level, and after a certain suspension of disbelief, it's light and humorous, engaging and suspenseful. A guilty pleasure, perhaps, but like Corey, I won't apologize for doing what I feel like doing, and that's liking this book. ...more info
  • The original John Corey novel is a real treat!
    After reading Nelson DeMille's newest John Corey novel, "Wild Fire", I decided to go back and revisit John Corey from his debut in Plum Island.
    Plum Island presents the reader with the frightening premise of what could happen if deadly viruses were to be sold for money to evildoers.
    When a couple that John Corey knows, Tom and Judy Gordon, scientists who work at the Plum Island animal disease research lab, are found murdered, John is called upon to investigate.
    What follows is a fast moving story that presents some of your worst fears. As Corey unravels the mystery behind the Gordon's murder, he falls in love... and then falls in love again.
    The story moves rapidly as a boulder down the side of a mountain for the first four hundred pages, then drops precipitously in the last hundred pages for DeMille's best closing since 'The Charm School.'
    Always funny, and poignant, John Corey's first novel is a great read!...more info
  • Thin; unrealistic; sexist
    This is not a book that rises above genre conventions to do something interesting. For one thing, it's really difficult to get past the cliched characterizations and contempt for women that this book displays. Author writes with a sense of humor, sort of a smug tone that can sometimes make you laugh and livens up the otherwise fairly conventional narrative. But ultimately, it is just way too falsely macho/masculinist for me; the women are ALWAYS evaluated on their physical attributes (described in cliched fashion) and then they must sleep with the protagonist and (look out) fall into jeopardy. The most stereotypical sexist approach to women characters possible--which just makes it boring; the attitude towards women is completely condescending and betraying some kind of weird masculine anxiety when it's not just straightforwardly frat-boyish. The strangest part is that the talk about women seems tacked on, almost like the author feels compelled to throw in these comments because the plot itself is not compelling....more info
  • A Wisecracking Cop, Deadly Germs, Pirate Treasure and a Hurricane, Good Stuff
    Tiny Plum Island lays just off Long Island, but it's not a tourist haven, far from it. There is a secured government research facility out there, where they play with germs. Deadly germs, as in the anthrax kind, or perhaps the ebola kind. maybe they even mess with biological warfare, who knows, it all secret. Well, it's supposed to be secret anyway.

    Wisecracking New York homicide detective John Corey is recuperating from three near-fatal gunshot wounds at his uncle's house on Long Island, when the Chief of the Southold Town Police Department, an old friend, asks him to help out in the investigation of the brutal murder of two Plum Island research scientists Tom and Judy Gordon, who also happen to have been friends of Corey's.

    The Gordons apparently spent beyond their means and had access to all the deadly stuff out on the island and there are those who wonder if perhaps their killer now has some of that stuff. The government, to prevent panic, does what it always does in this kind of situation. They lie, or rather they put out a cover story, saying the Gordons were smuggling out a vaccine to sell.

    Corey doesn't believe this, but he's taken off the case. So what's a wisecracking cop supposed to do in a situation like that. He keeps investigating, of course. And in the course of Corey's investigating we learn a bit about local wine making and about pirate treasure. How will good police work tie this into the Gordon's murder, well, that you'll have to get the book to see, but it's worth it, it really is. John Corey is a delicious character who I just want to read more about. Fortunately Mr. DeMille has been very obliging and written a few more books with him as the main character. I intend to star LION'S GAME right now.

    Oh yes, did I forget to mention the thrill a minute climax that takes place even as a hurricane is charging toward Plum Island, threatening -- Well I'll say no more, you'll just have to get this book....more info
    I Don't know what the other reviewers were reading, to think that this book was slow and unfunny. These are probably the people who laugh at puns and riddles on P.B.S. I don't know how to make it more clear, I loved Plum Island, especially the lead character John Corey he made me laugh out loud (haha) funny dialogue.
    This is my first Demille novel and I loved his writing style. Demille is very good all around, his characters are well developed, his mystery is well structured, the action is great, and his rap up is fun fun fun.
    I quickly ran out and purchased "The Lion's Game" just because John Corey is featured in it. I love this Guy....more info
  • couldn't finish
    I liked the sarcasm and wit of the main character, but for heavens sake, I want a thriller to move along at a brisker pace. I lost interest 2/3 of the way through....more info
  • Not Free SF Reader
    Detective John Corey is on leave, recuperating from gunshot wounds at his rich uncle's joint in Long Island. He is also a smartarse, bigtime.

    Two of the friends he has made there are murdered, and they were research scientists at a biological weapons type facility on Plum Island, a nearby piece of land.

    He has to work out the reason they were killed, which, despite the biological red herring, turns out to be pirate treasure.

    This book drags quite a bit in the middle with a lot of discussion of Captain Kidd, he of the pirate treasure fame, but the end was decent.

    ...more info
  • Find a Comfy Rocking Chair and Read This One !
    Nelson DeMille is one of those trusted authors where when you see his name as author, you can't go wrong. His books keep you entertained for hours, or until you're tired of sitting, but not of reading.

    "Plum Island" is another one of his greats. I won't get into plot, but his characters are real, a bit loveable, and people you want to be friends with. The story is believable and keeps you turning the pages as you eavesdrop as him and his associates "solve the crime" and bounce along to an exciding ending.

    Get this book, schedule at least three hours of quality reading time, and ready-set-go! You'll enjoy it - a perfect plum summer read!
    ...more info
  • Kept me up til 4AM!
    At my age, most books help me get to sleep. But when I read this book, I was riveted. The historical local details DeMille gives and his sarcastic wit are two of the reasons I'm going back for more DeMille. This story is even more relevant in light of the current events at Plum Island....more info
  • Meet the irresistible John Corey and you won't be disappointed!!!!
    Convalescing in the North Fork of Long Island, NYPD cop John Corey is asked by the local police chief to look into the murder of a young couple. The Gordons worked as scientists at Plum Island, a Government research site, on biological diseases such as Ebola and Anthrax. Could the Gordons' have tried to sell samples of the disease to the wrong people? Or could the answer be routed in the past, since Plum Island has a notorious history going back to the pirates who frequented it. Corey is definitely one of the wittiest characters I've ever come across. I love his flippant attitude. The pirate lore was fascinating, and I was totally surprised by the plot twist toward the end of the book. This will not be the last John Corey book I read. ...more info
  • Loved it!
    Great read...I finished it in two days! As always DeMille writes a thriller that is action packed and doesn't leave you disappointed in the end! Wild Fire is my all time favorite of his, then Nightfall this is 3rd. It's a great read and well worth the time....more info
  • Start with this DeMille Book
    Pros: Wise cracking gutsy detective. Good plot that you can't see through. Excellent prose. Some introspection and great character development. John Corey is a truly great character, and this is his debut novel. The whole work hangs together well.

    Cons: Wise cracking gutsy detective...OK..if you don't like the style of having a character talk to you in his thoughts, it might drive you a little nuts, but personally, I think its great.

    The bottom line: Nelson DeMille is probably my favorite modern day author. I love his blend of wit, wisdom, sarcasm, and story telling. You can pick up any one of his books and be just plain entertained. I do recommend doing the John Corey series in order, which is: Plum Island, The Lion's Game, Night Fall, Wild Fire. If you're going to try Nelson DeMille, I recommend starting with Plum Island...if you're entertained, proceed, if you distinctly don't like the style, then its best to stop because his writing style is similar throughout his books. One last thing....if you do audio books like I do...then these are great listening, and I think Scott Brick is the best. To me, Scott Brick IS John Corey.
    ...more info
  • John Corey at its best
    This is the Fourth Novel I read from Nelson DeMille, First being night fall and second being Lions Game and third being The General's Daughter and now plum island. I am already a fan of Jon Corey and his sense of humor.

    Plum Island is about a scientist couple, working on Plum Island, who were killed and John Corey is hired by local police as Private Detective. Nelson is best at taking twisting turns and you do not like to keep this book down at all.

    Although this novel is piece of fiction, but I appreciate the research Nelson has done to make this fiction amamzing is excellent.
    ...more info
  • The First of Many Outstanding John Corey Novels
    Nelson DeMille is one of my favorite authors. I know that if I'm going to pick up one of his books, I'm going to be sitting there for awhile. His writing is just that good that it will keep you there no matter what you're supposed to be doing.

    Luckily for me, we aren't supposed to be doing anything, so I can sit here for a long time...As I usually am with one of his books.

    Plum Island is the first in a series of books with the main character John Corey. You either love him or hate him, sometimes you do both in the same chapter.

    How can you go wrong when you have buried treasure, biological warfare, double homicides and steamy romance all on a tiny spit of land off Long Island. Reading Plum Island, I learned so much history without even knowing I was getting a lesson.

    The story is told by a cocky, New York City detective who was wounded in the line of duty, and is supposed to be taking the summer off to recover. Instead, John Corey is drafted to explore a couple of murders, and before you know it, he's so wrapped up in the case, there is no way out.

    Don't start reading this book unless you have a few days to sit and finish it. You wont be able to put it down!

    Pat Bonish [...]...more info
  • Piece of cheese.
    This so called novel isn't even good enough to be received as a gift. Bad pun after bad pun, bad characters, bad everywhere.

    But apparently well enough to be published.

    Somehow!...more info
    This book was my first introduction to this author, and now I cannot wait to read each and everyone of his books! In this book, the author introduces NYPD homicide detective John Corey, who, having been seriously wounded in the line of duty, is convalescing at his uncle's home on Long Island's North Forth. When the local Police Chief asks for his assistance in the double homicide of two of Corey's friends, biologists who worked on Plum Island where a top secret government research facility exists, Corey begins an adventure of a lifetime.

    Well-researched, this book is replete with interesting historical information about Long Island's North Fork, which is the heart of its wine country. The author weaves a compelling narrative filled with many twists and turns that will definitely keep the reader compulsively turning the pages of this well-written book. It is an exciting, intricately plotted thriller with fully fleshed characters and snappy dialogue. The main character, John Corey, is a tough talking, wise-cracking hero, with nerves of steel. An alpha male who takes no prisoners, Corey is an interesting and likable character, and one that the reader hopes will appear in another of the author's novels. I was thrilled to discover that this character appears in a number of subsequent novels by this author.

    Those who enjoy mysteries, police procedurals, and thrillers will simply love this book!...more info
  • Hooray for Nelson Demille
    John Corey is the best charactor in any of Demille's books. I read Plum Island and then immediatly dove into The Lion's Game. Both were tremendous stories and I would recommend them to everyone who wants action! Can't wait for John Corey's next adventure. And when are they going to make a MOVIE?
    ...more info
  • Demille is the best....
  • John Corey ... what a piece of work!
    Take Michael Connelly's Detective Harry Bosch, a hard-boiled, talented, nearly burnt-out loner with lots of psychological baggage and absolutely no respect for superiors or procedure. Add the self-deprecating faux stumble-bum approach of Peter Falk's Columbo and toss in a heaping helping of smart-aleck motor mouth Rodney Dangerfield complete inability to control the flow of virulent sarcasm and wisecracks! Sounds a little much, doesn't it? But he's our hero for Nelson DeMille's "Plum Island".

    John Corey, NYPD homicide detective, is on medical leave recovering from bullet wounds when his friend, chief of the Southold Police Department, enlists his aid looking into the double homicide of Tom and Judy Gordon, also friends of Corey, and employees of Plum Island, the nearby high-level bio-containment facility studying deadly animal diseases such as anthrax and simian Ebola. First terrifying appearances were that some sort of biological terrorist threat had gone sour but the old rule of "follow the money" lead to a somewhat more tolerable line of investigation. It seemed the Gordons had stolen a vaccine with the motive of peddling it to the pharmaceutical world for billions.

    But Corey's in-your-face persistence was uncovering clues and details that just didn't seem to mesh with that story. Simple drug-running was a possibility but even that didn't quite click. Eventually, Corey uncovers an amazingly entertaining story of greed, money, murder, mayhem and political skullduggery spanning three hundred years of history and ranging geographically from New York, to the Caribbean, to England and back again.

    In a style that reminded me of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's incurable penchant for technical sidebars, DeMille has tossed off a bewildering variety of essays that entertained, informed and, at the same time, moved the story forward. The staged lecture tour of Plum Island's hazardous facility, hosted first by Security Chief Paul Stevens and followed by the facility's director Dr Zollner was worth the reading of the book all by itself. But you'll also be treated to snippets of detail on coastal marine navigation, a cornucopia of procedural information on the necessary foundation police work to solving a homicide and (are you ready for this?) a rather extensive history of Captain Kidd and his 17th century privateering exploits that ultimately ended in his execution in England!

    Lots of promise to be sure and there's certainly no doubt about DeMille's skill as a writer! But, just as a little bit of someone like John Corey would go a long, long way in real life, his constant cracking wise left me cold on the printed page as well! If DeMille had seen his way to lopping 100 pages off the final draft, it would have been just right and I would have ended the story not only entertained by the police procedural but laughing at Corey's antics in the bargain. Just three stars but recommended as a quick and entertaining piece of brain candy anyway! Enjoy!

    Paul Weiss
    ...more info
  • Plum Island Strikes Gold
    After reading Charm School, another Demille novel which I found to be more of a lesson in Russian history and politics than anything else, I was reticent to pick up Plum Island.
    With Plum Island, on the other hand, Nelson Demille strikes gold. If you enjoy action, comedy, intrigue and adventure, this one is right on target, or I should say "right between the eyes".
    Our hero, John Corey, a wounded and convalescing New York City homicide detective reluctantly finds himself out of his natural habitat, but well within his element, as he faces the most challenging and rewarding, yet personal murder investigations of his career.
    As Plum Island opens, we find Corey busy recuperating from three gunshot wounds and a killer hangover in a quiet New England seaside community. He receives news that his neighbors and close friends, two highly placed scientists working at a secretive biological research facility have been murdered.
    Hired by an overwhelmed and under experienced local police chief to sift and sniff out the killer and motive, he soon finds himself at odds with the FBI, CIA and a particularly annoying head of security, not to mention his boss back in the Big Apple.
    The Aforementioned biological research facility is located, by the way, on Plum...more info
  • A Plum Read
    Plum Island is the first of several novels by Nelson DeMille featuring retired NYPD detective John Corey, a hard-bitten but humorous protagonist, who definitely does not practice PC in his language or actions. A very fast-paced read, with interesting characters, good and bad. Set on NY's Long Island and the nearby Plum Island, a real-life secret government disease-testing laboratory, both loom large in the story and may hold the answer to the murders of two of the laboratory's scientists. Clever twists and turns, interesting historical and boating information, love and murder abound....more info
  • Good mystery; drags on and on; not alot of action; happy ending.
    The writing is very good. The character John Cory is one you will love. However, the mystery takes a while to be revealed, and then it takes forever to come to the happy ending. Hardly any action at all except the mandatory action in the end. For what it was, it was way too long. Not one of my favorite Nelson Demille books, however the writing was so good and the character John Cory so interesting that I endured to the happy ending. ...more info
  • Plum Pickin's!
    I might be the only person in the world to read the John Corey series backwards ("Night Fall" then "Lion's Game", and finally "Plum Island"), but it doesn't matter. However you read these novels, you will walk away wanting more!

    John Corey is a charming lead character who is smart enough to know when to act dumb. He likes to act like he doesn't care, but his problem is often that he cares too much.

    I have November 6th circled on my calendar for the next installment and until then I will find a copy of the Gold Coast (not a John Corey novel, but a page-turner by all indications...) and enjoy!

    If you want to get drawn into a wonderful series, pick this plum and enjoy!...more info