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(Niceville #1)

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  2,860 ratings  ·  496 reviews
Something is wrong in Niceville. . .  
A boy literally disappears from Main Street.  A security camera captures the moment of his instant, inexplicable vanishing. An audacious bank robbery goes seriously wrong: four cops are gunned down; a TV news helicopter is shot and spins crazily out of the sky, triggering a disastrous cascade of events that ricochet across twenty diffe
Hardcover, 385 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Knopf (first published 2012)
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3.33  · 
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 ·  2,860 ratings  ·  496 reviews

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a canadian writing southern gothic?? i am there. with bells on.

so you have a town that is smalltown, but not as inbreed-y/insular as, say,in Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone. niceville is one of those southern historically-respectful towns, with its long memory of its "four families" and the war of northern aggression, and its squinty-eyed suspicion of "the outside." oh, and it might have a haunted lake and some native american curses at work.

it is a ghost story clomped together wit
Oct 23, 2014 rated it liked it

Rainey Teague is walking home from school one afternoon, looking into store windows, when he disappears. Seems this kind of thing is common in Niceville, which seems to have an unusually large number of abductions.

Other terrible things also happen in town.

- There's been a recent bank robbery, associated with the death of several citizens and four cops - in which millions of dollars and a secret high-tech device were stolen. Even worse, the robbers were a police officer and his accomplices.
- A c
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
It didn't gel for me. The author seemed to aim at somewhere between a dark comedy of errors and a ghost(ish) story in the vein of a Stephen King in the mood to tap into the history of a creepy town populated by locals with genealogies stretching back to some fatal root. It was a bit creepy, at least in the beginning. It was a bit madcap, with coincidences interweaving the major players, of which there are many. It was a bit gory. It was a bit vague.

I found myself unable to remember who certain p
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to jo by: Jason
oh, i liked this book so much. so so much. it's not the story, really, but the characters, and the hard-boiled sassiness. perfect writing.

this is a book about men -- the women are few and far in between -- but it is the kind of book about men (cops and criminals) that tickles my pleasure centers to the hilt because these guys are the caricatures of masculinity i've always loved in spaghetti westerns (clint eastwood is mentioned here quite a lot as the paragon of all things cool). in my childhoo
Brittany (UnderTheRadarBooks)
Rating: 2.5 stars

Favorite Quote: "Come what may."

This book was extremely disappointing for me. I felt like it had so much potential but there were so many times that I did not even want to continue reading. The first chapter was excellent. It grabbed me right from the first sentence and hooked me with the disappearance of a young boy on his way home from school. Literally he is there one minute and gone the next. Already there were some spooky supernatural elements to the story including a haunt
Mar 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Few will agree with me on this one, but that's ok. As they say down here in the South (the South, not Stroud's wackadoodle Niceville South), this creeped me smooth out. Don't have time for a complete review (wifi-squatting here) but jo (and, hopefully, you) might agree: Niceville (and its sequel, The Homecoming) deserve some love.
Michael Jensen
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
There was a lot to like about this book. Snappy writing, crisp dialogue, a creepy setting. Too bad it started out as a horror novel and then mixed in a crime thriller. Kept waiting for the twain to meet in some great denouement. But it never happened. Stroud desperately needed an editor to step in and ask him if the wanted to write a horror/ghost story or a crime thriller. Jamming two disparate plot lines together does not work.
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: terrible
This has to be one of the most bizzare books i have ever read. Just trying to describe it had me busting my brain for ages. Think a small American town called Niceville and a few days in the life of families and other people around it. The main part of the story is of a young boy named Rainey Teague who goes missing. Camera vision shows him literally disappearing from one frame to another. Police eventually find him in the grave of another person with the sight untampered and no explanation of h ...more
May 17, 2012 rated it liked it
A book that includes this passage in the first few pages is a winner: "At 1513:55, Rainey Teague is right there. At 1513:56, the kid is gone".

Sadly, that opening and the tension surrounding the disappearance of Rainey disappear in the next few chapters. There are five main strands here: Rainey's reappearance and subsequent catatonic state, the bank robbery in Gracie followed by the killing of four policemen and two reporters, the mischievous malice of Tony Brock, several disappearances of older
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

Niceville is a lovely little southern town. No matter if there have been a number of unexplained disappearances over the last hundred years or so. So many that they top the national average by quite a bit, in fact. Surely, though, it’s an anomaly, nothing to be too concerned about, right? When a young boy, Rainey Teague, disappears on his way home from school, however, it seems to kick off something very powerful, possibly
Review originally published here:

Niceville is probably the strangest, most boring book I’ve ever read. Why is it boring? Because it makes no sense. It starts out interesting enough with a boy disappearing from Main Street in broad daylight, while he was glancing through a mirror in a pawn shop. One moment he’s there, the other moment he’s not. When I read this part of the synopsis, I was hooked. Then they find the boy inside a tomb, which hasn’t been open
Mike (the Paladin)
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, conspiracy
I like this book. (I guess you picked that up from the 4 star rating). I included it on my conspiracy shelf...that may be a borderline thing but it fits, in a way.

See, things in Niceville are really very...well, nice. When a young man simply vanishes (literally on camera in a now you see me now you don't way) things for Nick and Kate Kavanaugh become obviously off kilter. Followed by murders mayhem and just plain weirdness...well the story is "compulsively readable" as is said elsewhere.

While i'
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller-mystery
The town that is the setting for Carsten Stroud's "Niceville" (Alfred A Knopf 2012) is anything but. On the surface, it's sleepy, safe, small town America, but one scratch and you expose a tawdry underside where its vile secrets are slowly--over generations--tearing the place apart.

"Niceville" is the story of an easy-going layback town with a fifty year string of murders/disappearances/deaths that comes to a head when first a teenage boy disappears, then his mother, and then, well, more townspeo
NICEVILLE didn't live up to my expectations of an intense thriller with significant horror elements. Instead, it turned out to be a slow burning, complicated (and admittedly complex) crime/mystery story with subtle horror on the side. The exposition takes up half of the book (I listened to the unabridged audio version), and new characters and/or events are introduced every other chapter. It's very difficult not to lose track of who's who and how they relate to each other. NICEVILLE ended up bein ...more
Alicia Nieman
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
By nature I am a reader, not a writer, and I like it that way. I must say something about this novel, though. Read it. This was a real page-turner! Absolutely descriptive and imaginative; and the story had me completely engrossed. I have not read anything written by Carsten Stroud; however, I am certainly going to be checking out some of his other works. This book was just the right amount of eerie, freaky, chilling, spooky, and completely entertaining--these are the types of books I most enjoy ...more
Dec 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Rating: 3 of 5

A boy, walking home from school in broad daylight on a busy street, vanished (literally!) and an old southern town with a dark history were the two reasons I chose Niceville. Had I know it was the first in a trilogy (does anyone write standalone books anymore?!) I might not have borrowed it.

That's not to say I was disappointed with Niceville just ... underwhelmed.

Stroud hooked me from the first chapter (crafty devil) and ended each chapter with just enough to keep me turning the pa
Wow, this novel is a real gem...! As soon as I started listening to the audiobook, I was sucked into this strange little town called Niceville and it's people. The narrator, Ann Marie Lee, is a consummate professional who was not only able to keep all the many characters straight, but they all had fully defined speech patterns, inflections, and voices. She was spellbinding! I'm going to have to find more of her audiobooks. Black stone audio, take note...!
The novel was something completely differ
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012, audiobook
I was excited to read Niceville because I thought the synopsis sounded very interesting. About a quarter of the way into the book, I wasn't so excited anymore. Niceville was a disappointment to me. It think it tried to be too many things at once. The ghost story was really cool and had it been the main focal point of the story, I would have liked it a lot more. For me, there were too many characters to keep track of as well as too many points of view. The bank robbery really had nothing to do wi ...more
Sue Moro
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was ok
Found this one a little disjointed. I don't know, is that a word?? It's best how I would describe it. Started out promising with the misterious disapperance of a boy, but then a seemingly unassociated story about a bank robbery is tossed in there, and suddenly I was wondering if I was still reading the same book. By the time the author got back to the interesting story about all the other disappearances in the town of Niceville, the story seemed to end rather abruptly.
May 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror, thriller, mystery
Way too many characters and I didnt like one of them :)
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Carsten Stroud

Quick summary...

A young boy disappears on the way home from school...this seems to set the pace for about a million other odd and unexplainable things happening in the town of Niceville.

My thoughts...

This book contains a whole lot of crazy.  Fabulous, fascinating, heart pounding crazy!!! the beginning...the chapters do not seem all that connected.  But as I got deeper and deeper into the heart of this book...there were tons of amazing connections.  The char
Tobin Elliott
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars, hard-copy
In March 2013, I read this book and I loved it...until the end. Have you ever been reading a book, and hit that point where you realize, barring a miracle, there's no way the story will be wrapped up in the few remaining pages you have left?

I've had that happen on several occasions, but I had never been more disappointed than I was when I reached the end of Niceville. Why?

I loved this book. As I was reading it, I recommended it to anyone I thought might like its quirky mix of hard-boiled action
Rich Rosell
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Niceville may look like an idyllic Southern town, but there's weirdness aplenty here. Stroud populates this town with a batch of hard, violent characters and enough convoluted, intertwined family history that sometimes it was tough to remember who was related to who. But amidst child abductions, kiddie porn, bank robberies and corporate espionage there's trouble from the "outside", and in Stroud's world that means some kind of alternate plane of existence or ghosts or something else entirely.

Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca Martin
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
What the heck IS this book? So many genres criss-cross here and the tone is so hard to peg that I never figured out why this book was even written. It has--in no particular order--the supernatural, people with Dickensian names (Mavis Crossfire, and others), brutal modern violence of the gun variety, a setting that seems like it is out of time and place, though people drive "Cayennes" and moms get zoned out on Oxy and it is in the "Deep South," and places with names that even Dickens would shy aw ...more
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, mystery
A little boy disappears. Actually a lot of children disappear in this lovely little town. The little boy is found, just after his mother disappears (looks like suicide), and becomes catatonic just before his father blows off his own head. There is a mysterious mirror in the mix. And that's the introductory story. After this it gets weird and dark.

People disappear left and right. A bank is robbed. The internet is used for evil. And more. This is a very dark book. There might be some "good guys" o
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be a beautifully written horror story encased within a small southern American town; where the reader gets to really engross themselves into the lives of the population of Niceville. Not only did this book captivate me with its fast-paced, thrill of the chase story line but, it highlights the complexity of one individual town, with numerous stories all intertwining into each other, albeit somewhat loosely. Not since reading Stephen King's Under the Dome have I felt such like ...more
Aug 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I tumbled into this book and had a blast. The dialogue was snarky and snappy. The story was intriguing and kept my interest. It is exactly the kind of thing one wants to while away a rainy day and not have to tax the brain. Briefly, you have a weird southern town where people disappear at an alarming rate to the suggestion of some supernatural forces at play. And then you have your typical assortment of greedy bad guys, most of whom appear to be ex-military, who pull off a bank robbery and get m ...more
Oct 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Loved this book! It's actually the first in a trilogy, recommended by Stephen King. I figured anything he finds creepy is a must-read, and I was right. This book was the perfect blend of suspense and horror—I found it to be creepy, eerie, and spooky, and I love the wide ranging characters and all the plot lines. Couldn't put it down and finished it very quickly. On to the second!
Holly Haze
Jan 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
I chose this book because it was on a list of must-reads suggested by Stephen King. It was not a page-turner in the least. I honestly have no clue what I just read. I am sitting here feeling stupid. I couldn't follow the plot or the characters. If you asked me what it was about, I could not even muster up an answer. I have no idea.
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Vampires, Weres a...: Niceville 6 13 Aug 06, 2016 02:46PM  
Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff pick -- Niceville 1 12 Aug 04, 2012 04:35PM  
Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Pick - Niceville by Carsten Stroud 2 7 Jul 26, 2012 04:47PM  

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Carsten Stroud is the author of the New York Times bestseller Close Pursuit, and the award-winning Sniper's Moon, both set in the New York City Police Department. He lives and writes in Thunder Beach, Ontario, Canada.

* Arthur Ellis Award Best First Novel (1991): Sniper's Moon
* Arthur Ellis Award Best Novel (1993): Lizardskin

Other books in the series

Niceville (3 books)
  • The Homecoming
  • The Reckoning (Niceville, #3)
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“The weed-whacker dad was helping his kid whack weeds. Dad was blitzed to the eyeballs on beer, and the kid was waving the weed whacker around like he was Luke Skywalker. It wasn’t going to end well.” 2 likes
“Money might be the root of all evil, but two million in stolen cash was mainly a hernia risk.” 1 likes
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