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3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  5,539 ratings  ·  217 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
Paperback, 656 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1984)
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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.
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
Andrea Larson
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
Benjamin Thomas
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
Tamora Pierce
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
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.
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
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
Oct 12, 2013 Will rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa Marlow
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.
Mindy Conde
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
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
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.
Sharon Walton
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.
Dona Krueger
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.
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.
Kevin Canwell
One of his best. Outcome is totally unpredictable. Hero saved by a savvy woman.
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
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.
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
Neva Williams
Nelson DeMille is my favorite author. Of all times. This book is the ONLY book of his that I would not give 5 stars. I am writing this review many years after actually reading the book - I'm not sure even what year I read it, but I remember vividly thinking... NELSON DEMILLE DID NOT WRITE THIS BOOK!!!! I even had a theory that his wife wrote the book and they published under his name, just to get it published. I don't even remember all the reasons why that made sense to me at the time. I think h ...more
Cagney Katrenak
This was the first novel i ever read as a young teen. Not the most appropriate for a young teen but it has remained at the top of favorites list ever since. This book was unique and clever and one of few books ive read more than twice. i highly recommend this book! it can be a little bit slow at times but it makes up for it!!!!
For the most part, I liked this book, although I don't think it's one of DeMille's best (I'm a big fan). I knocked this down from three to two stars, when I looked up Toledo, & realized it's almost on the Michigan border. Why didn't the two idiots cross the state line???
Chris Noland
I read this a long time ago so I don't remember much about it other than it seemed different than most of the books he writes. No recurring character like John Cory and nothing to do with Vietnam or the Cold War. I do remember liking it quite a bit though.
David Schlack
DeMille wrote in Spencerville a forbidden love story that's suspenseful and frightening. Keith Landry, a retired military/government agent, Annie Prentiss Baxter, Landry's college girlfriend, and Cliff Baxter, Annie's husband and chief of police, meet in Spencerville and the troubles begin. I would give this novel a 3.5. Enjoy!
Chris Elston
This was my first De Mille book and to put it simply, it was freakin' awesome! It was epic, the narrative pace was clean and rapid, it kept me hanging at every page turn and I knocked it over in three days. I literally couldn't put it down. Not many authors do this to me and now I can look forward to devouring the rest of his stuff!
The first half of the book read like a Harlequin romance, and I almost quit there, as the rest looked predictable. But then DeMille's usual style kicked in, the action began, and it was both funny and suspenseful.
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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...
The General's Daughter Plum Island (John Corey, #1) The Charm School The Lion's Game (John Corey, #2) The Lion (John Corey, #5)

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