Plum Island
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Plum Island (John Corey #1)

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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  22,593 ratings  ·  1,134 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 vic...more
Paperback, 592 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1994)
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Plum Island by Nelson DeMilleThe Lion's Game by Nelson DeMilleNight Fall by Nelson DeMilleThe Charm School by Nelson DeMilleUp Country by Nelson DeMille
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1st out of 39 books — 98 voters
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Community Reviews

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Jess
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...more
Christina
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...more
Gina
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...more
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...more
Leah
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...more
Stephen
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...more
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...more
Denise
A protagonist to die for. Bruce Willis's comeback movie, just waiting to be made.
Eric
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-
...more
Kimberly
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.

DeMi...more
Jane Stewart
3 ½ stars. An enjoyable escape, good suspense. A couple parts felt too lengthy and dragged a bit.

STORY BRIEF:
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...more
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.
Eve
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...more
Alex
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...more
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...more
readinghearts (Lyn M)
May 21, 2010 readinghearts (Lyn M) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to readinghearts (Lyn M) 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...more
Eric_W
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
Kathy
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...more
Andrea
While this book is not a literary achievement, it is an entertaining diversion and a great summer beach book. The central characteric Det. John Corey, NYPD, even endears himself by the end of the book where he decides to give Det. Penrose a second chance and delivers a few philosophical musings: "A century ago, people occasionally came to a crossroads in their lives and had to choose a direction. Today, we live inside of microchips with a million paths opening and closing every nanosecond. What'...more
Melissa
Although a lot of people complained about the main character, I thought he was really the only thing that made the story interesting. I love the concept of a mystery on Plum Island, a biohazard zone that works with deadly viruses. However, it makes absolutely no sense that people would be able to take their own boats there and do random archaeological digs. I also didn't really understand why they made such a huge deal out of certain characters at the beginning of the book when they really didn'...more
Olgalijo
Woah!! Talk about male chauvinism! I spent half of the book trying to decide if this was a parody of male detective books or if the guy had been writing in earnest. I had to giggle each time the main character would tell one of her female counterparts(because, of course, he couldn't have only one female counterpart)"Trust me", and then a perfectly rational and smart woman would go for whatever harebrained plan the guy had. Really guys, dream on...
Brandi
I was hoping that both of the main characters (especially the narrator) would drown so the book would end sooner.
Beth
Nelson DeMille's books have been pretty banal up until this one, I thought. Pot boilers, beach reading, not very inventive or engaging. But Plum Island is...a peach! A very exciting, well designed story, filled with wonderful characters (including a hurricane) and an exciting finish. The protagonist and narrator is John Cory, a Spenser wannabe who is annoying and determined and falls for one young lady after another. He is convalescing on Long Island (where my family has lived for years, so I am...more
Chazzle
Unlike the author's The Gold Coast, which SPARKLED, this one is up and down. I remember looking at the DeMille section in a local bookstore, and the bookseller said, "So, you're looking for some Velveeta cheese today?" I think this sells the author a little short. My problems with the book were its occasional overly long passages and overly long overall length, if you follow my attempted meaning. But the lead character, John Corey, really is funny most of the time (but certainly not all of the t...more
Carlos
Nelson de Mille y yo somos viejos conocidos. Hace mucho tiempo, como 3 años, me encontré tirada en un hotel de Mazatlán una novela de él llamada Spencerville, donde narraba las improbables y “mafufas” aventuras de un muchacho que se fue con todo y Trans Am a recorrer la Unión Soviética en su propio automóvil y andando por los obscuros caminos de la madre Rusia le pidió “raite” en plena noche un americano escapado de un pueblo fantasma donde tenían secuestrados a varios americanos para que instru...more
Anthony
This was the first book I recieved as a gift in the hospital, from Judy Walker. I greatly enjoyed it, even though it's not the type of book I usually grab for myself. The main character/narrator had a wonderful voice, smarmy and charming and just witty enough for you to realize he's a more worldly person than he lets on. I'm not sure if DeMille has written any other books with the John Corey character, but if he has, I will read them.

The plot on this one, without giving anything away: John Corey...more
J.
Jan 30, 2011 J. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of mystery and Noir
A sort of modern day version of Film Noir meets Action Movie. Blend together the smarmy talk of an old Bogart mystery (only with more modern chauvinism)with bordering on unbelievable action of a Willis in Die Hard and you get the sort of story and suspense that DeMille has put together.

The "more modern" language of the book is a turn off to some, as our hero is more straightforward descriptive and less prone to using the phrases that have become running jokes of Noir (i.e. "She was no longer wea...more
Betty410
I have learned from the family "Easterner" that Plum Island is actually a nature reserve but the writing in this detective story is so convincing that I believed through the book that it is actually an animal biological research center, governed by the Dep't of Agriculture, and origially a Civil War defense station. Of course, the bunkers from that war do end up playing their part.
John Corey is a NYPD homicide detective recuperating in his Uncle's house in the township of Southold far out on Lon...more
Nike Chillemi
There once was a time when I'd read any murder mystery set in the New York metropolitan area. I've stopped that, but must've had some residual tendencies come to the fore, because that's why I picked up Plum Island, by Long Island resident Nelson DeMille. At any rate, the novel opens with its hero, NYPD homicide detective John Corey convalescing at his uncles Victorian house in the Long Island township of Southold (home to farmers, wine vinters, fisherman, and a few fiesty ladies belonging to th...more
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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
More about Nelson DeMille...
The General's Daughter The Charm School The Lion's Game (John Corey, #2) The Lion (John Corey, #5) The Gold Coast

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