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3.65  ·  Rating details ·  7,178 Ratings  ·  307 Reviews
A government agent returns to his hometown and employs his hard-earned skills to rescue the woman he loves from her sadistic husband. 4 cassettes.
Audio Cassette, Abridged, 656 pages
Published October 18th 1994 by Random House Audio (first published 1984)
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Rating details
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Nov 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, audio, library
Two things:

1. Lately, I really wish that Goodreads had a half star system. This book is definitely a 3.5 for me and there is no way I could go to 4. So, I settled on 3.

2. Seems like I find myself in the midst of a lot of books with sexual torture/rape scenes. This is a pattern I hope to break!

This book was okay. The premise was fairly far fetched, the actions of the characters not all that believable, and the outcomes generally coincidental. I enjoyed parts of it, but all in all it was a bit too
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.
Benjamin Thomas
Sep 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Nov 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Dona Krueger
Sep 22, 2010 rated it did not like it
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.
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 26, 2014 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
Tamora Pierce
Jan 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Melissa Marlow
Nov 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Read by the ubiquitous Scott Brick

Let's see...

Okay story, nothing new or memorable
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
What happened? I picked up this book as it said Nelson DeMille, I normally enjoy his book, this one I had to force myself to read to the end.

A military officer, Keith Landry, who is suppose to be in intelligence and works at the White House, is put out to retire. He had not thought of retiring at this time, and the way he was treated by his government has not been good. He returns to his home town of Spencerville, why? Well, it appears years ago, his H.S. and college flame, who sent him a Dear J
Dennis D.
Dec 31, 2008 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
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
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!
Aug 26, 2009 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was ok
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.
Razvan Banciu
Sep 26, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of his best. Outcome is totally unpredictable. Hero saved by a savvy woman.
Nov 07, 2010 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 06, 2013 rated it liked it
This long novel is 6 of 10 stars.
Andrew Langert
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An oldie (1994) from one of my favorite authors. Finally got around to it.
This is not one of DeMille’s most popular works, nor does it feature a character that would appear in subsequent novels.
The main character, Keith Landry, is a military man retiring at a young age (in his 40s) back to the family farm in the small Ohio town where he grew up.
Like many DeMille novels, there is not a whole lot to the plot, even though my edition of this book ran 639 pages. Landry’s main current motive is to res
Ron Hefner
Apr 13, 2018 rated it liked it
The premise is absurd. Reminds me a little of of that old piece of crap, The Bridges of Madison County, but with other aspects. The book turns into a "chase," with all kinds of twists and turns. The chase aspect kept me reading, even though my suspension of disbelief was totally inoperable.

The sociopathic bad guy is a cardboard cutout, a sadistic, wife-abusing small town police chief (How many times has this been done?) and even the protagonist, who is going to save the wife, is not that well-d
Virginia Markhart
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow. This book was amazing. I am not usually a fan of cops and robbers type stuff, but this book captured the complete story. It had it all, including the no good cheating husband who just happened to me the chief of police and related to just about everyone in town. A long ago romance that still held a flame kept the romance part of the story interesting. High school sweethearts, pfff. This story was riveting in the details.
Sam Cromartie
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Spencerville by Nelson DeMille is the story of a cold-war warrior who leaves government service after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He returns to his hometown and connects with his childhood sweetheart who is trapped in an abusive marriage to the chief of police. Soon he faces harassment by the entire police force and she fears for her life. DeMille develops the characters well and fills the book with suspense.
Greer Andjanetta
Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it
A readable story cheapened by the author's fascination with profanity and crude sex. Too many pages are devoted to the syrupy descriptions of the two lovers' feelings of past activities, inserted no doubt to build up the contrast between these two 'good guys' and the malicious, evil bad guy, the local sherrif (who happens to be the husband of the female lover). An interesting portrayal of abuse of power by small-town police (one cannot help but think of Jackie Gleason in his 'boy-scout' hat).
John Grazide
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A retired "spy" returns to his hometown. While there he realizes what drew him there, although his family has relocated. He has unfinished business with an ex-girlfriend. They parted abruptly and now she is married to the chief of police and the chief is a major ass. Through a series of events Keith, the spy, gets to revive some of his trade-craft in attempts the get his girl back. Very good!
Mary Stenvall
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it
First let me say, I like Nelson DeMille, I'm a fan of his writing. That said, I didn't care much for this book. The most interesting character, Charlie, had a very small part, and should be brought back. As for Keith? Not so much. Mr. DeMille's characters, John Corey and Paul Brenner, are so much better drawn. Maybe if John Corey had gone back to Spencerville, it would have worked.
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Clearly one of the worst books I've read in a long time. Keith Landry is built up as the hero you don't want to mess with. Yet everytime he comes face to face with the villain he either wusses out and gets his butt kicked or his girlfriend has to step in and save him. Moreover, the book glorifies adultery which is a big turn off from the get go
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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
“And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.  ” 1 likes
“humoring me.” 0 likes
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