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3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,256 Ratings  ·  255 Reviews
The cold war is over, and Keith Landry, one of the nation's top intelligence officers, is forced into early and unwanted retirement. Restless, Landry returns to Spencerville, the small Midwestern town where he grew up. The place has changed in the quarter century since Landry stepped off his front porch into the world, but two important people from his past are still there ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 639 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1984)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 23, 2011 RJ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some artists can work in different styles without diminishing quality. Michelangelo's work with oils and sculpture come to mind. When it comes to action mysteries with humor, Nelson DeMille's John Corey series is at the top of my list. I gave all but Wild Fire a 5 star rating. However, Spencerville is not an action mystery with humor. It's a slow romance with an action climax. It's Michelangelo standing under a bridge holding two cans of spray paint.
Dec 03, 2010 Elaine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For an intelligence officer the guy was pretty stupid!!!!

FACTS:Orwellian" describes the situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free society. It connotes an attitude and a policy of control by propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past, including the "unperson" — a person whose past existence is expunged from the public record and memory, practiced by modern repressive governments
Benjamin Thomas
Oct 29, 2014 Benjamin Thomas rated it really liked it
This novel suffers from mis-categorization. If you begin reading it expecting a thriller in the same vein as Plum Island, Cathedral, or Wild Fire, you will be disappointed, as many of the other reviews here admit. However, if you are looking for a more of a straight fiction, character-driven novel, with lots of backstory, and some bits of action thrown in, then you've come to the right place. DeMille is an excellent writer and has a way of drawing you in no matter what he is writing. I think eve ...more
Andrea Larson
Nov 19, 2011 Andrea Larson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nelson Demille arrived on my favorite authors list after reading The Gatehouse, so I was anxious to read another selection and found Spencerville in the library.

Keith Landry finds himself without a job after budget cuts in the federal government force him to review his life and decide what comes next. After twenty years of serving as a soldier and then intelligence for Uncle Sam, he decides to return to his hometown of Spencerville, OH. Though he won't admit it to himself at first, his main obje
Jan 24, 2013 Revo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hands down, the silliest DeMille book.
The cold war has ended, the MC (ex-CIA) returnes home to a lost love in the heartland and is almost immediately outwitted by a stereotypical, wife-beatin', cheatin', lyin' and theivin' hick cop.
No, really...I'm serious. It's in the book, honest.
Unfortunately, I read this book immediately after "Word of Honor" and was nearly crippled by story intelligence whiplash. I'm still not sure what the moral of the story was behind this one. Maybe it didn't have one.
Tamora Pierce
Jan 28, 2009 Tamora Pierce rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Is it just me, or does DeMille really have a problem with women? I read several of his books when he first began publishing and stopped because I didn't like the way he handled his female characters. Then I thought I'd try this one because I was on a trip and desperate for a page-turner, it wasn't one of his military titles, and it took place in small town America. I figured it might be okay. Instead the entire ending revolves around the abuse--pages and pages of it--of the errant wife, far more ...more
Marcia Chocinsky
I usually love anything by Nelson DeMille, but this must be an earlier work and his writing wasn't as great as it is now. I found the story itself interesting and I would get caught up in it for a time. Then it would switch gears and I would want to skim over parts just to get through them. I forced myself not to skim and would have quit reading it (something I can't remember doing in forever) but I did want to know how it ended, AND I kept hoping it would improve - after all it is written by Ne ...more
Oct 26, 2014 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Once again, DeMille has created a book to keep me up all night. After having read only so-so books for the last couple of weeks, what a pleasure it was to finally pick up a red-hot page-turner.

Spencerville is one of his stand-alone books (i.e., not a John Corey novel), and although it was first published in 1995, it stands the test of time well. Part of artistry he brings to his craft is the ability to create believable three-dimensional characters. That along with a consistent fast pace make r
Dona Krueger
Sep 22, 2010 Dona Krueger rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite authors. How this same DeMille could write Cathedral is a critics question. I felt I was reading a very bad romance with a tiny bit of elementary evil thrown in.
Oct 12, 2013 Will rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who hasn't read it
Shelves: adventure
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dennis D.
Nov 01, 2010 Dennis D. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've enjoyed most of Nelson DeMille's books, but this one was an exception.

Spencerville is a standalone story unrelated to some of the author's recurring characters. Keith Landry is an ex-CIA agent who returns home to the rural Ohio town that gives the books its title. Landry still has the hots for his high-school sweetheart, but she’s now married to the abusive and misogynistic small-town sheriff. Can you see where this is headed? Me, too.

The central character is well-drawn, but there’s little
Perry Mowbray
Spencerville was not one of Nelson DeMille's best, we didn't think...

It just never got into the believable realm, which was funny, as in an abstract way the plot made lots of sense, but it just didn't ever get filled out so that it was believable.

In the end, though not un-enjoyable (we didn't hate it), it just seemed ho-hum... but we continue to love his sense of humour!
Mar 12, 2014 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa Marlow
Nov 29, 2010 Melissa Marlow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very detail and could see everything he was explaining to detail. I loved this book so much that I went out and bought three more of his books.
It was a very heart wrenching story and at times a little disterbing, but thrilling. He builds and builds till the end and then you can not put it down so you can get to the end. I like that he didn't use the heroin to fix all the problems, he uses tact to creat the need to finish something.
I was satisfied at the end.
Aug 11, 2015 Imanol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
La idea de la novela es muy buena, pero el estilo del amigo Nelson no termina de convencerme, por lo que todo el "punch" que puede tener el guión se diluye en las más de 500 hojas escritas a cámara lenta por el autor.

Básicamente se trata de un romance juvenil que por culpa de la guerra de Vietnam no se materializa, y cuando regresa Keith a Spencerville ya es demasiado tarde porque su mujer se ha casado con el jefe de Policía de la ciudad.
Destaco la descripción de este personaje, llamado Jefe Bax
Mindy Conde
Mar 15, 2015 Mindy Conde rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
My husband is a big fan of Nelson DeMille and has been after me to read something of his for awhile now. Since I was in between books, he recommended this one to me and I was surprised that I liked it more than I expected. It is definitely more of a romance novel than adventure, which I've heard is this author's normal forte, but there was certainly some adventure tossed in there as well. There was a definite good guy, a despicable bad guy, and the sassy love interest who is caught in between. O ...more
Aug 26, 2009 Kip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great page-turner from DeMille. His characters and settings are very deep, very rich. You'd swear he grew up in this small town, rural atmosphere.

* Couldn't finish
** I had nothing else to do
*** Passed the time, would be **** for genre / author fans
**** Everyone could enjoy this book
***** Everyone should read this book, I'll read it again
Jan 02, 2012 Klusch rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It is not the best written story, but I really enjoyed reading this. It all happens in Ohio where I grew up, so it was fun to read about Ohio State, Bowling Green State University and the area along 75.
Elaine Byrne
Feb 03, 2016 Elaine Byrne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Keith Landry worked for the government in espionage for 25 years. When the Cold War ended he was "retired" to civilian life. Having become cynical about government and Washington politics, Keith was looking forward to returning to his hometown in Ohio and looking up his high school and college love. Even though Annie has been married to the local town sheriff for 20 years, she and Keith are still in love with each other. The return to farm life and strategy to re-claim Annie touches on the '70s, ...more
Sep 25, 2012 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 stars, DeMille's ability to write such diverse novels that never seem to become repetitive, as some other authors do, is uncanny and makes him one of today's best authors, in my opinion.
Feb 05, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Non-series - Keith Landry, his Cold War intelligence job a victim of the Soviet collapse, returns to the little Ohio town where he grew up and begins to tinker with thoughts of reviving the family farm. A former sweetheart, Annie, despondent after Keith went off to Vietnam, had married aggressive, good-looking Cliff Baxter on the rebound, but Keith and Annie had never ceased to correspond. Now that he's back, the old interest is rekindled in both, but Baxter, now police chief and a womanizing pe ...more
Razvan Banciu
not one of his best. more romance than fiction, with quite a violent finish. I find hard to believe that a fine, bright and civilised young woman would marry such a brute.
May 25, 2016 Nina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DeMille never disappoints. This novel is set in northwest Ohio and I loved the descriptions of the rural land in the region. In this book, a veteran of the covert campaigns of the Cold War is laid off and returns home to Spencerville after 25 years. His former girlfriend is married to the sadistic police chief and she can't figure out how to escape. DeMille did a good job of outlining why a highly educated woman would choose to marry this low life to begin with, much less stay with for two decad ...more
Kevin Canwell
Mar 03, 2013 Kevin Canwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of his best. Outcome is totally unpredictable. Hero saved by a savvy woman.
Ada Iaboni
So far, this is the worst novel I've read from Nelson DeMille.
There was so much introspection and so much fluff that I had a hard time getting to the end.
The main character came across has a wimp, even with 25 yrs in the military and many of those years in intelligence, but could not figure out what was what in his hometown.
The bad guy was bad, but at time almost cartoon-ish, which made the good guy even more wimpy and slow to get to the point.
Galen Johnson
This book was much different than the couple other DeMille books I have read; it was a little like Nicholas Sparks meets Nelson DeMille, I suppose. Keith Landry retires from a career in the Intelligence community to his family farm in Ohio, with the intention of discovering what his high school/college girlfriend is up to twenty-five years later. He soon discovers that she is trapped in an abusive marriage with the town's Chief of Police, and Keith is harassed as he tries to reconnect with Annie ...more
Kimberly Hicks
Apr 07, 2014 Kimberly Hicks rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have read all of Nelson DeMille's books and I generally find them wonderfully enjoyable. Some of them (Charm School, Lion's Game) are among my favorite books written by any author. Spencerville, however, is a miserable experience. I wish it just didn't exist. It is unhappy, ugly, and disturbing. I sent mine to the trash just to ensure no one else might accidentally pick it up and read it.
Jun 21, 2016 SVEN rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I will try not to spoil the book but I wonder if I wouldn't do everyone a favor if I did so anyway. The writer is good, he could write menu-cards, food-labels and I'd read them but boy is this story thin, I couldn't imagine it not annoying anyone to pass this much time on so little story unless they happy to have romantic ideals abouot re-connecting with school-loves. Be warned.
Feb 22, 2011 Andrea rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
Keith Landry, the protagonist, returns to his hometown of Spencerville in western Ohio.

The willing suspension of disbelief is often a necessary requirement to enjoy well-written fiction. This is a story of the return of a cold warrior from the power centers of Washington DC and Europe. (This story is copyright 1994, well before the rise of Islamic terrorism and threats to western govenments). The cold warrior returns to a farming community in western Ohio, even though he has only distant family
Jun 08, 2015 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't really feel like a DeMille book until 3/4 of the way in, when the typical razor tension stuff begins. Until then, it is an enjoyable but slow-moving story. One big problem--the bullying husband is cardboard thin--ahrd to believe that either someone like him could exist or that the main female character would ever have married him.
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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
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“And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.  ” 1 likes
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