Niceville: Book summary and reviews of Niceville by Carsten Stroud

Niceville

A Novel

By Carsten Stroud

Niceville
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2012,
    400 pages.

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Book Summary

One fine spring day in Niceville, a young boy named Rainey Teague disappears on his way home from school. Literally disappears - security camera footage captures the moment of his instant, inexplicable vanishing. The search for the boy is led by ex-Special Forces veteran Nick Kavanaugh, now a detective with the local police and no stranger to lowlifes and their criminal hijinks. In the nightmare that follows Rainey's disappearance, Nick and his wife, Kate, a family practice lawyer, find themselves drawn into a shadow world between life and death, where they will come face-to-face with an ancient malevolent power that lies beneath Niceville, darker and older than the mountain forest surrounding its source: a 1,000-foot-deep pit known as Crater Sink.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In this unnecessarily convoluted mind-bender, Stroud introduces key players without sufficient backstory, making differentiation difficult." - Publishers Weekly

"Stroud's combination of the supernatural with the hyperrealistic never quite jells, but, on balance, he literally gives plenty of bang for the buck. A generous collection of memorable villains, tight action sequences, and an occasional bit of black humor are enough to keep readers turning pages." - Booklist

"Stroud's latest is booming..." - Library Journal

"Terrific dialogue, oddball characters, and a wild story make this a great read." - Elmore Leonard, author of Get Shorty and Out of Sight

"Carsten Stroud's hard-boiled and engrossing Niceville rockets around its deceptively staid southern town, pulling bad guys and worse guys and long-ago misdeeds into a widening and unfolding tale about every kind of wickedness. Somehow it manages to get tighter, nastier, and more delightful as it rolls along toward its lovely and completely black-hearted final pages." - Peter Straub

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Reader Reviews

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Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Pepper E. (Lawrenceville, NJ)
Suspenseful!
Creative, richly imagined characters will keep you turning the pages of this book. Set in the small secret-rich southern town of Niceville, some residents may not have truly died after all, and old family feuds still rage. I prefer my plots without the fantasy, but I thought the characters were the saving grace. Stroud reminded me of Carl Hiaasen, only darker and grittier. The bad guys were perfectly despicable! I'd like to see them again.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Kelly H. (Martinsville, IN)
Niceville-I don't think so!
Wow! What a crazy, creepy, fun read! Took me forever to pick up this book, but once I did, I could not put it down. I have never read anything like this, but now I want more! Stroud is an amazing storyteller. This book has a lot of characters and a lot going on, but Stroud manages these characters and events flawlessly. I did not think this book would be for me, but I loved it, and will be passing it on.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Kwen
OK
I only read it because I am from Niceville, Fl...yes there's actually a town called Niceville. Anyways it was an alright book but maybe it's because I was expecting the characters to be like the people who live in this town, a bunch of red neck hillbillys, I didn't really find it all too interesting.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Nancy C. (Newton, KS)
Niceville: Not So Nice
It is impossible to put this book down. Carsten Stroud has woven a fascinating plot that manages to keep multiple characters and their stories from losing their way. This novel is a blend of great fiction with a twist of the supernatural. A missing boy, a well planned bank robbery and a secret weapon combine to to hold the readers attention. The characters are well developed as the plot unfolds. I can't help but wonder if Stroud plans to write a sequel to tie the lose ends together. Regardless, this is a book that will stay with you for a long time.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Mary G. (Purcellville, VA)
Enjoyably Odd
Niceville is one of the oddest books I have ever read--and I loved it! There are two concurrent plotlines. One reminds me of Cormac McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men." The other reminds me of a Dean Koontz novel. Both are set in Niceville with overlapping characters, and the plots dip into one another throughout the book. There is an awful lot going on in this book, but I didn't have too much trouble keeping track. I did feel, however, that one of the plots was not satisfactorily resolved. Nonetheless, I would highly recommend this book.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Harriette K. (Northbrook, IL)
Niceville
A seemingly pleasant southern town is rocked by the mysterious disappearance of a child, his recovery and then a bank robbery and the murder of four policemen who are chasing the robbers. What starts out as a "cop" drama turns into a Southern Gothic tale, with mysterious disappearances and unearthly occurrences. I found much of it extremely confusing, as if the author wasn't sure which way he wanted his narrative to go. Only my obligation to review this book kept me going to the end. I felt something that I couldn't quite put my finger on missing in the narrative. I might recommend the book to a Stephen King fan, but found it less than I had expected.

...15 more reader reviews

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More Information

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Carsten Stroud is a seasoned writer of fiction and nonfiction, including the true crime account Close Pursuit, a New York Times best seller when it was published almost twenty-five years ago. His novels include Sniper's Moon, Lizard, Skin, Black Water Transit, Cuba Strait, and Cobraville. Visit him online at www.carstenstroudbooks.com.

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