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Plum Island (John Corey #1)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  28,758 ratings  ·  1,392 reviews
The hair-raising suspense of The General's Daughter... the wry wit of The Gold Coast...this is vintage Nelson DeMille at the peak of his originality and the height of his powers.
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 victi
Paperback, 592 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Grand Central Publishing (first published April 1st 1997)
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Plum Island by Nelson DeMilleThe Lion's Game by Nelson DeMilleNight Fall by Nelson DeMilleThe Charm School by Nelson DeMilleThe Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille
Top Nelson DeMille Books
1st out of 40 books — 109 voters
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Hunt for Red October by Tom ClancyThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Best Spy Novels
59th out of 773 books — 1,391 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Edward Lorn
Nov 10, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: swinging dicks
Shelves: 52-in-52-2015
With any review I do, I ask myself a single question: "How much do you care whether or not people read this book." This time, the answer is not so simple. I honestly have no idea whether or not people are interested in Nelson DeMille. Dude has a following. He doesn't need my help. Also, he's not terrible, so I don't feel the need to be satirical with my review. He's somewhere between Greg Iles and Howard Stern. Basically, this guy writes really verbose books for middle-aged men. There's some men ...more
I probably wouldn't have picked up this book if it weren't for a group I was in suggesting it. I have never read anything by this author, and to be honest I never really heard of him before this.

I really enjoyed this book. It started off a little slowly, and the main character John Corey was such a sarcastic SOB that he was great! I liked his style and his humor... although I'm not sure I was really supposed to like him. John is a homicide detective with the NYPD and is currently recuperating in
I will forever remember this book as the one I painstakingly read in tiny font, all 574 pages of it, and found that it could have been shortened to less than half of the pages without reducing any substance or plot whatsoever. What a waste of time.
I was expecting some big story or conspiracy to unfold, as that's what I was lead to believe by reading the back cover. Dead scientists who used to work in an animal research facility, dealing with viruses and bacteria--sounds promising isn't it? Too b
Mike (the Paladin)
I sat here for a good while considering what to rate this book. I came very close to giving it 5 stars and am still thinking it over (I reserve the right to come back and up the rating if I decide to, LOL).

This is an excellent book in a genre that I don't usually find my favorite. It's well written with a likeable yet infuriating protagonist. (Not too unlike Harry Dresden if that's a reference you're familiar with.) He does hit one of my annoyance buttons which I'll mention later under a spoiler
First book in the series, and I really liked it!

When I found out that DeMille wrote The General's Daughter, I did a little more research on his 'John Corey' series. It seems that he hadn't wanted to write a series, but there were too many of his readers who wanted another John Corey book. He'd been afraid of his female readers; what they'd think of John as a character. He's cocky, tactless, crude, and a real ass, but I adored him. I loved how his mind worked, how he processed what he saw, what h
Freda Malone
John Corey is convalescing at his Uncle Harry's Victorian home in the North Fork of Long Island, NY. The Suffolk County Chief, Sylvester Maxwell (Max) has asked John to be a consultant in a double homicide. John learns it is friends of his, Tom and Judy Gordon. A delightful couple who worked at the infamous Plum Island Research Facility for the Department of Agriculture studying animal diseases, viruses and flu's. Immediately, there are several people involved, Foster (FBI), Nash (DOA), Detectiv ...more
My dad works on Plum Island...the real one. I was dying to read this book because it's about my home on Long Island and because I know quite a bit about PLum Island, so I wanted to see what Demille would do with the story. Indulge my rant, if you will...

Plum Island is a biosafety level 3 lab off the coast of the north fork of LI that studies animal deseases like Foot & Mouth, Mad Cow, etc., and does everything they can to keep these diseases out of the US and protect the livestock in our cou
Tim "The Enchanter"
Something, Whatever, You Know - 4 Stars

Despite a vocabulary that included more non-specific words than a valley girl, I found myself amused and entertained by John Corey. Both irreverent and brilliant, Corey is one of the most entertaining protagonists I have read in a long time. Because of my preference for reading lesser know authors, I have put off reading this series for a long time. Fortunately, it was well written and entertaining and I will certainly continue the series.

Plot Summary
With this novel I've got beef. Let's begin!

1. It's twice as long as it needs to be. 700+ pages is an absurd length for a standard suspense/detective novel. And there's nothing special about this novel from a narrative standpoint to warrant this kind of length. There's an initial mystery; some intriguing facts; the plot thickens; TWIST!; plot comes together; bad guy revealed; final encounter; resolution. I've read dozens upon dozens of books with this format, and I would be hard pressed to find a
Corey Tardif
An excellent murder mystery! This was my first book by Nelson Demille, I had heard many good things about the John Corey series, so I decided to give Plum Island a shot, and I wasn't disappointed. I love his writing style and how he involves some comedy in his books, I even laughed out loud at some of the funny parts.

John Corey to me was like a Bruce Willis type guy, I was really impressed with his character. I look forward to reading more by Nelson Demille!
Meet John Corey. He's a wise-cracking, know-it-all detective recovering at his deceased relative's house in the Long Island area.

Wouldn't you know it there he is minding his own business when all of a sudden . . . you get the idea.

Well crafted murder mystery. DeMille gets the subculture of Long Island.

OVERALL GRADE: A minus to A.

Sean Peters
My first book my author Nelson De Mille, and also my first with the great witty character John Corley, and a great end to the 2014 book pal reads for me, so thank you Book Pal friends.

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 rumoured to be an incubator for germ warfare. Suddenly, a local doub
Jenny Maloney
Ah...sarcastic narrators. This book's got one.

"I gripped my right ear and twisted, which is how I tune out idiots."

Unfortunately, it's apparent that everyone except John Corey (our fearless, convalescing-from-getting-shot-on-the-job narrator/hero) is an idiot. I sorta wish that his ear had been turned off for some larger chunks of the book -- because the reader has to wade through a lot of red herrings and schtuff to get to the meat of the book.

For example, getting a tour of Plum Island, the sp
A protagonist to die for. Bruce Willis's comeback movie, just waiting to be made.
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
4.5 Stars

Nelson DeMille has created a wonderful character - John Corey! "I think I'm in love." Corey isn't your usual loner, introverted, and serious dark homicide detective. He's snarky. He's smart mouthed. He's juvenile. He appears to be a bumbling idiot just like Peter Falk's character - Columbo. He's smart and is narcissistic, but I loved him! Being in his head for over 600 pages was fun and I've never laughed so hard during a novel in a long time, even though the plot line was serious, dead
Excellent. Would love to meet this author. His humor "kills" me! I usually read 2-3 books per week but this is the FIRST ONE BY NELSON DEMILLE. How could I have missed his books???????? No one told me. Finally my daughter passed along this book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. She told me that if I liked this one, I would really, really like the next two in this series.

I enjoyed the characters, the dialogue, plot and certainly the humor. Mr. DeMille is just an excellent storyteller. The book was wr
Jane Stewart
3 stars. An enjoyable escape, good suspense. A couple parts felt too lengthy and dragged a bit.

John Corey is a New York City homicide detective who was shot in April. He has been convalescing for several months at his Uncle’s home on Long Island, not far from Plum Island. Plum Island is run by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to study vaccines and viruses like Ebola and Anthrax. Tom and Judy Gordon were scientists working on Plum Island and were killed. The local sheriff hires John as
Maria Carmo
Dec 15, 2014 Maria Carmo rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
A great first story of Detective John Corey!
Quite a thriller, one cannot stop and it only took me so many days because I have to work! LOL.
The first book I read of these John Corey's adventures was the third of the series - it had been a gift last Christmas... In the mean time I waited for Plum Island to be reprinted in Portuguese (I tried to get the English version, but was also out of print... Now I will try to see which is the second adventure of Corey...
What did I like about it? John Corey i
Um policial bem pensado e bem escrito, com sentido de humor e um herói "para ficar", e que mistura a guerra biológica com a caça aos tesouros dos piratas do século XVI. A narrativa é um pouco arrastada e fica a impressão de que a história ganhava eficácia e economia com uma centena de páginas a menos.
Jenny Hilborne
This is my first DeMille read and it won't be my last. Apart from a slow section in the middle, Plum Island is a terrific, exciting and action packed read filled with suspense, horror and humour. Loved it.
Mar 14, 2014 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of detective fiction
Recommended to Eric by: Greg Buscemi
This book started out needlessly verbose, and languished far too long on its tour of Plum Island, which encompassed six chapters and over 100 pages alone (view spoiler). Add to that, the main character, NYPD detective John Corey, was as irritating and grating to me as the book's first-person narra ...more
Kathy Davie
First in the John Corey suspense series revolving around a cop in New York City convalescing from bullet wounds. Although, the story actually takes place in Long Island.

My Take
Oh my god. I swear, if you look up "snark" in the dictionary, you'll find John Corey's picture. He is so incredibly funny as the sarcasm just falls right out of his mouth.

Early on, John visits the murder scene (as a consultant for the cops), and the homicide detective in charge is annoyed at what appears to be some lookie-
If you like immature (think 40-something going on 12 1/2) assholes who think they're funny and god's gift to women, then you'll probably enjoy this book. I, on the other hand, only thought it was alright.

DeMille is so generous and obvious with the clues that I had figured out the "why-done-it" before I had gotten 1/4 of the way into the story. I figured out the "who-done-it" a couple of pages later. That said, he kept me interested enough to stick with it to the end to get the particulars.

Lyn (Readinghearts)
May 21, 2010 Lyn (Readinghearts) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: novel ladies 5 star read
John Corey is a NYPD homicide detective who was shot three times in the line of duty and is staying at his uncle's old Victorian on the North Shore of Long Island while he convalesces. While there, though, he becomes involved in the double murder of a couple that he has socialized with a few times.

Thus starts this thriller by Nelson DeMille. I have to say, I had to put more thought into this review than most because I both liked and didn't like this book.

Mostly what I didn't like was the main
John Corey, rapidly becoming a favorite character of mine, is back again (reading chronologically backwards). I believe Plum Island was the first to feature Corey, star of Lion's Game. Plum Island is a restricted, government-owned island at the end of Long Island. Ostensibly, it is owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but locals and others have speculated for years that the Defense Department has been conducting research on biological weapons. It has been remodeled over the ...more
Debbie Maskus
This was not a series that I will enjoy, and this will probably be the only book of the John Corey series that I will read. John Corey, is a self-centered jerk that thinks every woman lusts after him. Right now, he is a policeman that lounges and convalesces in Long Island from a gunshot wound received in the line of duty. The story is told by John, and the reader hears or reads all his terrible habits. While recuperating, John is asked to assist in a double homicide of scientists on a special a ...more
I had been looking for crime fiction with humour, for characters who deal with gruesome crimes but don't take themselves too seriously. Mostly, I was looking for authors who can pull it off. I'm glad I've discovered Nelson DeMille.

From the get-go, I liked the voice, which was strong, self-assured and witty. Sample quote: "I should mention that I was convalescing, not from the mumps, but from three bullet wounds, two 9mm ones and one .44 caliber Magnum, not that the size of the holes matters. As
In my opinion, without knowing his work and based on his reputation of being 'great', he phoned this book in.

First the good - The settings and character descriptions were SO well done. I could completely see everything happening in my mind. Very nice!

The not so great - DeMille really went for the now SO common convention of "he [main character] knew it was wrong but...." Ugh. Clearly Dan Brown has studied with him. :-) In any event, so many things that happened in this book led the title charac
Joyce Lagow
1st in the John Corey series.

Corey, a NYC homicide detective on leave after being seriously wounded, is recovering at his uncle’s house on Long Island. The police chief of the small hamlet, a long-time family acquaintance, persuades Corey to become involved in a double murder homicide of two biologists whom Corey has met and liked. But since the couple worked on generating genetically altered viruses for vaccines at a Department of Agriculture animal biological research station on Plum Island, a
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Nelson Richard DeMille was born in New York City on August 23, 1943 to Huron and Antonia (Panzera) DeMille. He moved as a child with his family to Long Island. In high school, he played football and ran track.

DeMille spent three years at Hofstra University, then joined the Army and attended Officer Candidate School. He was a First Lieutenant in the United States Army (1966-69) and saw action as an
More about Nelson DeMille...

Other Books in the Series

John Corey (7 books)
  • The Lion's Game (John Corey, #2)
  • Night Fall (John Corey, #3)
  • Wild Fire (John Corey, #4)
  • The Lion (John Corey, #5)
  • The Panther  (John Corey, #6)
  • Radiant Angel (John Corey, #7)

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“A lot of our perception of history is influenced by inaccurate movies.” 33 likes
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