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Plum Island (John Corey #1)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  33,030 Ratings  ·  1,615 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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KK What's going on with DeMille? HIs recent book was a rewrite of an earlier book and was really abysmal. Now this one being marketed as if it were new?…moreWhat's going on with DeMille? HIs recent book was a rewrite of an earlier book and was really abysmal. Now this one being marketed as if it were new? Both DeMille and his publisher need to rethink their strategy. And maybe DeMille should have had a better financial advisor- he used to be a good writer.(less)

Community Reviews

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Edward Lorn
Oct 08, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it liked it
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
Apr 02, 2010 Jess rated it it was amazing
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
May 12, 2011 Christina rated it it was ok
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)
Jan 22, 2013 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
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
Mar 15, 2008 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 05, 2015 Freda Malone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Jan 12, 2009 Leah rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
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
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
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
Sean Peters
Feb 26, 2014 Sean Peters rated it really liked it
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
Oct 22, 2013 Corey rated it it was amazing
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.

Susan Mock
Oct 28, 2015 Susan Mock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this a long time ago and liked it. Don't understand why it is being touted as a new book?
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
Feb 01, 2016 Mike rated it really liked it
Crap! 4 Stars for Plum Island. Now I have to add DeMille to that list, you know, the list with Child, Connolly, Connelly, Sandford, Hiaasen, Mills, Block, et al. The list of prolific authors who I have to buy on sight. At least I can fix the blame for this one on Anne Booklady and on Steven Z who both recommended it. Thanks a lot, no really, thanks!

John Corey is a smart ass cop, recovering from multiple holes in his body caused by small pieces of high speed lead. You will keep hearing little tid
Dec 22, 2008 Denise rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Dec 13, 2013 Luffy rated it really liked it
Plum island, truth be told, exceeded my expectations. Except in the humor department. The latter isn't the one thing I look forward to in a thriller anyway. Any book can be written in any style. There's one style, a bleak, grim and unapologetic style that I flee from like a vampire from the sun. Books that imitate life. It can crop up in any book. Fortunately, Plum Island is not like that; it is simply peachy. Oh, and if you want to read this book, you can omit Chapter 13. There's quite some de ...more
Sep 30, 2013 Kathy rated it it was amazing
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
Steven Z.
Feb 01, 2016 Steven Z. rated it really liked it
For years Nelson DeMille was one of my favorite fiction writers, and for some reason I did not pick up another of his books for a number of years. After reading an interview with Greg Iles, who mentioned that DeMille was one of his favorite writers, I decided to revisit his work. While perusing my bookshelves I noticed that there were three John Corey novels that I had never read, so I immediately took the plunge and opened PLUM ISLAND.

After the recent Ebola crisis in Africa that resulted in a
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 03, 2014 Maria Carmo rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jan 13, 2015 Miguel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: policiário
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
Sep 05, 2011 Jenny Hilborne rated it it was amazing
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.
Andrew Smith
Mar 13, 2013 Andrew Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love DeMille. He's funny and tells a good story, what more is there to know. This is where the John Corey series begins. Everyone who love mysteries/thrillers should read it.
Feb 13, 2010 Brandi rated it did not like it
I was hoping that both of the main characters (especially the narrator) would drown so the book would end sooner.
Jan 31, 2009 Eric_W rated it really liked it
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 Davie
Nov 25, 2012 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: political, thriller
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-
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Dec 02, 2009 Lyn (Readinghearts) rated it liked it  ·  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
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Nelson Richard DeMille was born in New York City on August 23, 1943 to Huron and Antonia (Panzera) DeMille, then moved with his parents to Long Island. He graduated from Elmont Memorial High School, where he played football and ran track.

DeMille spent three years at Hofstra University, then joined the Army where he attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a Lieutenant in the United S
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.” 34 likes
“Everyone looked pensive, which is good cover-up for clueless.” 12 likes
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