Rapid Review: Gone Baby Gone (2007)

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GoneBabyGoneposter

“Kids forgive, they don’t judge, they turn the other cheek, and what do they get for it?”
 – Detective Remy Bressant

SYNOPSIS: Two Boston area detectives investigate a little girl’s kidnapping, which ultimately turns into a crisis both professionally and personally. – via IMDB

gone baby gone working

GRADE 7I recall enjoying this movie quite a bit when it came out a few years ago, and then I read the book by Dennis Lehane and I freaking loved that, though it certainly wasn’t an easy read at all. Naturally I stumbled across this movie and thought now would be a good time to watch it again, and let me tell you, it lost a lot of the magic for me. Not because it wasn’t done well or anything, it just missed a lot of the things that made the book so great. Ben Affleck did a damn fine job directing this, and I think he has some real talent as a director. Casey Aflleck was very good here, though not quite what I pictured Patrick Kenzie to be. While I find that Michelle Monaghan is one of the most beautiful women ever, I honestly think she was a terrible Angie. Why? Angie is this sexy, loud, in-your-face, smart-as-a-whip cussing part-Italian with ties to the Boston mob… and Monaghan was just a little too timid, quiet and mousy for me, which really sucked. Also, Bressant and Poole were underplayed, and I felt the story was far too rushed, skipping out completely on the things that actually gave you chills, and didn’t spend time building on anything. For instance, there is the scene in the bar where it was implied that Angie and Patrick were going to get attacked and Angie raped, and that scene carried no power and no weight. I blame the writers for this, because the movie also had a ridiculously short runtime for what it needed to tell, and so a lot was cut out and discarded along the way, which is a pity. Don’t get me wrong, I know this sounds like I hated it, this is just a typical case of the book is better, infinitely so. The film is entertaining, though it certainly falls short, but it is worth a watch, if for nothing else other than seeing Ben Affleck’s impressive skills as a director.

Review: Gone, Baby, Gone – Dennis Lehane

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gone baby gone cover

Kenzie & Gennaro #4

SYNOPSIS: The tough neighborhood of Dorchester is no place for the innocent or the weak. A territory defined by hard heads and even harder luck, its streets are littered with the detritus of broken families, hearts, dreams. Now, one of its youngest is missing. Private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro don’t want the case. But after pleas from the child’s aunt, they open an investigation that will ultimately risk everything—their relationship, their sanity, and even their lives—to find a little girl-lost. – via Goodreads

GRADE 8.5Yes, this was a damn fine read. I can totally see how, of all the books in this series (that I have read so far), this one would get the film deal. It was an intense story to boot, with plenty of characters and a very engaging plot. Things just don’t make sense for quite a while, but you are along with Lehane for the ride. Let me tell you, he doesn’t disappoint, either. I am really happy that Angie and Patrick have finally found each other, and that things are going well since they got together in Sacred. However, when the pair finally dip their toes back into the dark side of private investigation work again for the first time since Desiree Stone, the knowledge that things are going to get rough for them is pretty much self-evident. Hunting lost children is a terribly sad thing, and missing and hurt children are always rough to deal with. Lehane tackles the source material in a gritty and no-nonsense manner, and really gets right down to the gory details of what could go wrong. Lehane, while not going into excruciating details about what happened with certain children, also gave us a sliver more than most authors, and it resonates with you and sickens you at once. It speaks of his craft that, even though things are getting insane, you want to read more. The dialogue was sharp and witty, as always, and the sarcasm ran fluid and effectively throughout the book. Some terrific characters were introduced, and some moral issues were raised and dealt with. Bubba Rogowski makes an appearance again which, naturally, thrilled me endlessly – I truly do enjoy his character. Gone, Baby, Gone is a dark read, but oh-so-worth-it when you make it through the entire ordeal. I was disgusted with Helene McCready, little missing Amanda’s mother, because, unfortunately, there really are such useless and irresponsible people in the world, and it sickens me. Children should be cherished, treasured and cared for, not broken when so young. I am having difficulty expressing what it was like to read this book – it was dark, dramatic, incredibly well-written, it had a good pace and fantastic characters and a heavy whack of evil and there was plenty of action and riveting scenes… I just don’t know how to describe it all. It is a whirlwind story with an intriguing plot that draws you in from the very off, demands your attention, and will dominate you. Read it, if you have not. Even as a standalone novel it should work, though I think it will pack far more punch if you know more on the history of the characters. The book definitely sticks with you when all is said and done, and Dennis Lehane is genuinely not afraid of going against the grain. I love that!

Review: Sacred – Dennis Lehane

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Kenzie & Gennaro #3

Private investigators Patrick Kenzie and his partner, Angela Gennaro, seem to be out of the PI game, and so far it seems to be working them out alright. Except one day when they are kidnapped and taken to see Trevor Stone, a dying billionaire with a dying wish: his daughter, Desiree, needs to be found. She has gone missing after the death of her mother, in lieu of a severe depression. The original PI hired by Stone to find Desiree, Patrick’s role model Jay Becker, is also missing, and this seems to sway them. That, and Trevor manages to speak to the broken part within Angie that is still mourning the death of her ex-husband, Phil.

Trevor Stone is a man with plenty of power, and when Angie and Patrick start digging around, their leads take them to Grief Release, Inc. which seems to be some cover for cult-like church. Bubba Rugowski, their slightly psychopathic friend, assists in scaring the bejesus out of two members of Grief Release, Inc. especially after they make the mistake of wiping Patrick’s funds out. They also report to Trevor Stone that they may have a lead, one they got from their two very talkative friends at the hands of Bubba. Sean Price, their lead on Desiree and Jay, turns out to be Jeff Price, who had last swiped  his credit card in Florida. Stone spares no expense, and packs Angie and Patrick up and sends them down.

Hunting down any and all leads possible, the more they hear about the Stones, the more they think the people are crazy. Desiree is beautiful, but broken, and Trevor is dying, but extremely rich and used to getting his own way. Naturally, Stone sends his own men to tail Angie and Patrick, who shake them and start looking. In Florida they discover Jay Becker in prison for killing Jeff Price and completely grief stricken over Desiree’s murder. Bailing him out, Angie and Patrick start re-evaluating the case from scratch, sure that they have missed something. Stone has his own stories about his daughter and all, and Jay has totally different, grotesque stories from Desiree about Stone, and there are many little things that are just not adding up across the board, making Patrick and Angie rather fidgety. Nothing is as it seems, and some terrifying rumours about Stone and his power surfaces. Patrick and Angie are even caught in the midst of it later, though they are trying their best to keep Jay in Florida, and not to rush off to Boston to even out the cards with Trevor Stone. Being away from Boston is certainly bringing Angie out of her shell a bit more.

What is really going on? Why were Desiree and Price together so long? Why is Trevor Stone so determined to find his daughter? Are Angie and Patrick ever going to acknowledge what is between them? Will they ever realise their importance to one another? What will Stone do to Patrick and Angie? Will Jay Becker make good on his threat to kill Stone for the things Desiree claimed he did?

GRADE 7I liked this one. Lehane surely knows how to write a fast and slick novel, which is a winner. This was a pretty short read, and didn’t really have a hell of a lot of surprises popping up (they’re good, we all knew they were going to find Desiree Stone). What I really liked about this novel, and probably what makes it so good for me, is the relationship changes between Angie and Patrick. It is just something that is so totally worth the read in every sense of the word. They are more than just best friends and partners in business, they are twined together in an inexplicably beautiful way. Lehane works wonders with this neo-noir genre of his, and this Kenzie and Gennaro series is so cool. The plot for Sacred raced along, and I liked reading about Bubba and Nelson in the beginning, and how Bubba is always such a great help, though there is no denying that he is not all straight upstairs. I like that though. It works for this setting. Angie dealing with Phil’s loss is still going on here, but it never takes centre stage, but neither is it forgotten. I wish we had heard more about the church, though, as well as whatever the hell happened with Patrick’s money. Look, sure, I get it. After being visited by Bubba, I am sure the colossal mistake would have been fixed, but I would liked to have heard when it was resolved. What I did like a lot was the conclusion of this book, it came together nicely and wrapped things up. This book did not feel as distinct as the previous two, but it did sink it’s teeth into the aspects of Angie and Patrick, and I will have appreciation for that. It adds so much more dynamic to all that is going on. Anyway, another solid read, and definitely worth checking out. I think these books will certainly appeal to guys that don’t read a lot – they just strike me as those kind of books. You don’t need to be a reader to appreciate that they flow nicely and are sharp and witty.

Completed Book Challenge 2014

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Another year, done and dusted! Here are the new books that I have made it through this year. I managed some rereads in between, but I cannot count those again. It was most enjoyable. Thanks to all who gave me recommendations that I got to, it was lovely!

1. The Fault In Our Stars – John Green

2. The Perfect Husband (FBI Profiler Series – Quincy #1) – Lisa Gardner

3. Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder #1) – Linda Castillo

4. One False Move – Alex Kava

5. Windmills of the Gods – Sidney Sheldon

6. Night Shift – Stephen King

7. The Third Victim (FBI Profiler Series – Quincy #2) – Lisa Gardner

8. The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt

9. Unseen (Georgia #5) – Karin Slaughter

10. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

11. Pray for Silence (Kate Burkholder #2) – Linda Castillo

12. The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1) – Stephen King

13. Horns – Joe Hill

14. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

15. An Abundance of Katherines – John Green

16. Mailman: A Novel – J Robert Lennon

17. Whitewash – Alex Kava

18. Shutter Island – Dennis Lehane

19. The Rolling Stones: 50 – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood

20. Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

21. Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green & David Levithan

22. Drive – James Sallis

23. Looking for Alaska – John Green

24. Are You Afraid of the Dark? – Sidney Sheldon

25. The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter #2) – Thomas Harris

26. Under the Knife – Tess Gerritsen

27. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) – George R.R. Martin

28. Dracula – Bram Stoker

29. Dead Until Dark (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #1) – Charlaine Harris

30. Tell Me Your Dreams – Sidney Sheldon

 


 

That was the original challenge. I finished all of those and then decided to up it to fifty.

31. Living Dead in Dallas (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #2) – Charlaine Harris

32. Paper Towns – John Green

33. Club Dead (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #3) – Charlaine Harris

34. One Scream Away (Sheridan #1) – Kate Brady

35. Dead to the World (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #4) – Charlaine Harris

36. Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies #1) – Isaac Marion

37. Dead as a Doornail (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #5) – Charlaine Harris

38. Heart-Shaped Box – Joe Hill

39. Definitely Dead (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #6) – Charlaine Harris

40. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

41. All Together Dead (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #7) – Charlaine Harris

42. Cop Town – Karin Slaughter

43. From Dead to Worse (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #8) – Charlaine Harris

44. The Bad Place – Dean Koontz

45. Dead and Gone (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #9) – Charlaine Harris

46. A Drink Before The War (Kenzie & Gennaro #1) – Dennis Lehane

47. Dead in the Family (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #10) – Charlaine Harris

48. The Villa – Nora Roberts

49. Dead Reckoning (The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #11) – Charlaine Harris

50. Darkness, Take My Hand (Kenzie & Gennaro #1) – Dennis Lehane

Well, there we have it folks. I know I have some recommendations that were given to me, they are on my list, they will most likely make the new year’s challenge 🙂 Thanks so much to everyone who read, commented and recommended, it is much appreciated!

Review: Darkness, Take My Hand – Dennis Lehane

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Kenzie & Gennaro #2

Private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are back when they are called in by Eric Gault, an old teacher of Patrick’s, to help Diandra Warren. She claims that her son, Jason, is being stalked by the Irish mob after she has a girl see her about dating an abusive Kevin Hurlihy and she receives a photograph of Jason and a threat. She feels that he is in danger. It seems like a routine case, and the pair take it up immediately. Angie is still binging after her split from her abusive husband Phil, and Patrick is dealing with the guilt of not being there for Angie enough due to his newly formed relationship with a doctor named Grace. Grace has a daughter, Mae, who adores Patrick and vice versa. He seems to have the perfect relationship and is truly happy.

Nobody seems to be stalking Jared, and after meeting with the Irish mobsters through their contact, Bubba Rogowski, they start to wonder if someone is playing a prank on Diandra Warren. A girl from the neighbourhood, Kara Rider, dies shortly after speaking with Patrick, and before they even know what is going on, there is a body count piling up. The latest death seems to point to an old case from back in the day when Patrick and Angie were kids, and Alex Hardiman was imprisoned for the brutal slayings in the area at the time. Still, Patrick starts to dig, and soon he learns that some of the latest victims’ families received photos like Diandra Warren did, and he and Angie realise too late that Jason was in danger, and he is found murdered.

Torture, dismemberment, murder, mutilation. It seems the way to go for the current serial killer. Devin Amronklin and Oscar Lee of the Boston Police Department calls Patrick and Angie in, they need all the help they can get, and Patrick and Angie keep getting tied back to what is going on. Angie and Phil, too, seem to be spending too much time together, but not so much to reconcile. Angie finally signs her divorce papers, and Phil and Patrick have their first civil conversations in years. From boyhood friends to enemies, the two have a lot to discuss. Patrick, meanwhile, goes to see Alex Hardiman in prison, and soon starts to wonder if there is more going on than he is familiar with, and again the topic is broached as to Hardiman having a partner on the outside. The more digging they do, the more it seems that whatever is going on now is linked up with their own childhoods. Threats against Patrick and Angie start surfacing, and they know that they are in danger, and Patrick starts to really worry about Grace, the first woman he has ever really let into his life, and her daughter.

Who is butchering these people and why? Who was killing the people all those years ago? Does Alex Hardiman have a partner? Is he even involved with what is going on? Can Patrick protect Grace and Mae? Will they be safe? Will Angie ever deal with her divorce from Phil? Will Patrick and Phil manage to stay at this civil place, continue to work through their differences and maybe be friends again? Will Patrick and Angie stop whoever is hunting them before they, too, are dead?

GRADE 8I liked this one. I liked it a lot. It’s no secret that I am a fan of Lehane’s work, not at all, and I thought that his debut novel, A Drink Before The War, was a damn fine first novel. I really liked Patrick and Angie, so I knew I was definitely going to be back for more. Darkness, Take My Hand is so different from its predecessor that it’s scary, and not in a bad way, either, just so we are clear on that front. Initially it took me by surprise a bit that Patrick would be in a serious relationship, though I was not surprised that Angie was on a party mission after splitting from Phil. The case that they got from Diandra Warren started simply enough, and the next thing you know, the story is racing along, mob members are involved (and I do so love reading about the Mafia), an insane serial killer is on the loose, Patrick and Angie are in trouble again, and they are still dealing with the things that came up months before with Marion Socia. Obviously nothing can be easy for them. I had a good few laughs at Angie and her threats in this novel, that woman is badass. The attitudes of her and Patrick were vastly different from the last book in that there were less jokes between them and there seemed to be some distance, too. Angie was putting up a good front but not quite pulling it off, and Patrick was in a really confusing place for him (psychologically, of course) with dating Grace and loving her and her daughter. I loved Bubba making an appearance again. I know he is a total psychopath and all that, but I find him seriously entertaining. Oscar and Devin, too, though totally less psychopathic. I liked the story and I thought the plot sped along nicely and never lost you along the way (always a winner for me), and I thought it was amusing to find a Scorsese reference in here. I can certainly recommend this series wholeheartedly.

Review: A Drink Before The War – Dennis Lehane

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a drink before the war dennis lehane cover

Kenzie & Gennaro #1

Private detective Patrick Kenzie meets with Sterling Mulkern, a politician, and takes a job from Mulkern and two of his cohorts to track down Jenna Angeline, a former cleaning lady of theirs. It seems like a pretty simple case, all Mulkern wants is some documents that she took with her. Patrick meets up with his partner, Angela Gennaro, and the two decide to start looking into things. After taking the job, Patrick sustains some injuries in an attack outside of the church across from his home, though he is alive. Tracking Jenna down does not prove to be too much of a hassle for the duo, but then they are very good at their jobs. Patrick and Angie and best friends, and he is slightly in love with her, though he is a known womaniser.

Along the way, kids on the street warn Patrick that he must be careful of Roland, though nobody seems to want to elaborate on that. After finding Jenna, Patrick goes with her to a safety deposit box where she has hidden the documents, which turn out to not be documents, but a photograph that will be highly damaging for one Mulkern’s cohorts. Leaving the bank, Jenna is gunned down, and Patrick barely makes it out alive. At Jenna’s funeral, it is discovered that seriously scary mobster Marion Socia is Jenna’s husband, and the terrifying Roland that Patrick has been warned about is her sixteen year old son. Things are taking on a whole different outlook.

Investigating further, Angela is dealing with her extremely abusive husband, Phil, and will not let Patrick help her at all because she loves Phil. The more they look into things, the more they are dealing with race, gender, and socio-economic issues. Marion Socia and Roland are heading up opposing gangs, and as much as Mulkern wants the “documents” that Jenna stole, it would seem that Marion wants them just as badly. Now that Jenna has passed away, a full-fledged war between father and son seems imminent, seeing as how it has been brewing for years. Instead of just backing out of the equation, Patrick and Angie get more involved than ever, wanting to get to the bottom of the photos, to figure out why a street terrorism bill that was initially pushed so hard is suddenly not getting any action, especially since the gang violence is escalating immensely. They need to find the rest of the photos that Jenna hid, and they need to do it soon, and they need to keep safe, because Socia and Roland want them both dead, and they want that bad.

Why is there such strife between Socia and Roland? Where did Jenna hide the rest of the photos? What are in the rest of the photos? Will Patrick and Angie survive this gang war? How will they deal with the violence, as well as the personal issues they are facing with love, friendship, survivial, race and class? What is going on with the street terrorism bill? How desperate is Mulkern to cover up the photos of Brian Paulson? Will Patrick ever accept that Angie and Phil are married, and that she lets him smack her around the way he does?

GRADE 7.5I have been meaning to get to this series for a while now, because I really like Lehane’s work (which I am sure you all know by now). I finally decided to get cracking on this one, and I was impressed. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in here, and the humour and sarcasm was sharp and in abundance – definitely enjoyable. It got a little wearing for me when the whole racism issue was addressed, but that is purely because I am so over hearing about racism, having that card played for everything in my country, and it features prominently in the subjects that I have been studying for my course (though that was to be obvious, of course). The writing style flowed, and Lehane painted a fantastic picture of Boston. I thoroughly enjoyed the relationship between Angie and Patrick, and I felt sorry for the both of them and the demons that they kept hidden in their closets. This is a fast read with some solid pacing, so you can’t go wrong there either. The plot flows, and whisks you along with it. It is a gripping story, too, and I had a lot of fun with it, though it does tackle some heavy and serious issues. This was a great introduction to the series, and another great read from Lehane. I am immensely impressed that this was his debut novel, and I definitely recommend it.

Review: Shutter Island – Dennis Lehane

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In 1954, US Marshal Edward “Teddy” Daniels meets up with his new partner Chuck Aule on the way to head up an investigation on Shutter Island. The island houses a mental asylum for the criminally insane and is run by Dr John Cawley called Ashecliffe. Teddy has never worked with Chuck before, but the two soon click. Arriving on the island, they are taken to discuss the particulars with Dr Cawley: the missing patient is Rachel Solondo, who is on Shutter Island for having killed her three children. She has disappeared from a locked room upon the island, has not taken her shoes, and has not turned up in any search that the warden and his men have undertaken. Dr Cawley seems to have another way with dealing with patients, and does not seem overly keen on pharmacology as the answer or the radical surgical procedures, either.

Teddy is warring with himself while on the investigation, still pining for the loss of his wife, Dolores, who was killed in a house fire two years before that. He is battling with intense migraines that have plagued him for years. The two marshals set out to discover what happened to the missing patient Rachel Solondo, but seem to be met with resistance at every turn, irritating Teddy but also making him extremely suspicious. A massive storm is brewing, which soon turns to a fully fledged hurricane, trapping Teddy and Chuck on Shutter Island, for better of for worse. In Rachel Solondo’s room they discover a note she has written which they come to call “The Law of 4”, and the note is very cryptic. Teddy sets about cracking the code as well as investigating her disappearance more, but it soon becomes evident to Chuck that Teddy is working an angle that he has not shared with his partner.

Teddy has been looking into Ashecliffe for years, or more specifically, Ward C, which houses only the most dangerous criminal patients. A lead he knew outside of the hospital confided in him that they do some highly illegal things in the hospital, scary procedures, dodgy government sanctioned experiments, and that they also have a resident named Andrew Laeddis living on the island. Teddy has done what he could to get the Shutter Island assignment so that he might “stumble” upon Laeddis, the man responsible for his wife’s death, the man that cost Teddy everything he ever had, and so he has come to rectify things. Chuck questions Teddy’s motivations, but eventually agrees to help Teddy find Laeddis, if only to bring the man some peace. The more time that the marshals spend on the island, the more complicated matters become.

What if Dr Cawley deliberately had Teddy brought onto the island because he knew Teddy was looking into Laeddis? Will Teddy find Laeddis? If he does, what will he do? Will Teddy and Chuck be able to find Rachel Solondo? What happened to her? Why does nothing surrounding her disappearance make sense?

GRADE 8This novel was fantastically written and had great characters to follow. It was engaging and  had humour and drama and a wonderful puzzle to follow. I am so glad that I saw the movie before I read this (*GASP* yes, I actually just said that), because the movie was such a puzzle for me to work through, I didn’t know what was going to happen and I had no idea where it was going. Teddy is an interesting character, and Chuck was hilarious. Lehane is a wonderful writer, and I still cannot get over the fact that it took me so long to get to his work, although I am going through as much of it as I can get my hands on now! The prose flows simply and gracefully, and keeps you hooked at every page. Teddy’s history is terribly sad, and I liked how the marriage between him and Dolores was not painted as perfect, making his guilt all the more palpable when you read it. The events that transpire are very interesting, and there was no fault to be found with the pacing of this book either. I don’t know, I am a big fan of the story, so this book was just my cup of tea, this is the kind of thing that I like. I would highly recommend checking out this book if you have not done so already.

Review: Mystic River – Dennis Lehane

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dennis lehane mystic river book cover

Jimmy Marcus is from a lower class neighbourhood and Sean Devine from the more middle class family, though the two are good childhood friends. Jimmy has a boy named Dave Boyle who tails him everywhere, an added friend so to speak. One day while scuffling around outside over a disagreement, a car rolls up and takes Dave with them under the pretext of being cops. The boys are young and gullible, but it is only Dave that is foolish enough to join them. Dave disappeared for four days before he finally escaped, which was certainly not part of the plan. Dave suffered terrible atrocities at the hands of two monsters. Naturally the friends grow apart due to age as well as the tragedy that struck them.

Many years later the boys have grown into men with jobs, families and responsibilities. Jimmy Marcus followed his natural crazy roots and landed himself in prison, and while he was inside his wife Marita died. His daughter, Katie, was left behind, and after he was let out, Jimmy swore onto the good life, the straight and narrow for Katie. Having remarried to Annabeth and having two more daughters with her, his life seems set. Running a little store in the Flats, Jimmy is doing well for himself. Except one morning when Katie does not come in to work without word. She misses out her sister’s First Communion, and when Jimmy leaves the church he sees that cops have gathered around Penitentiary Park like flies. He knows, in the pit of his stomach, that this is about Katie, and muscles his way into the crime scene where he discovers her abandoned and bloody car. The officer to respond to Jimmy and keep him back just so happens to be Sean Devine, who has chosen a life in law enforcement.

Jimmy’s life crumbles when his Katie is discovered to be shot and beaten in Penitentiary Park. Dave Boyle, however, has bigger fish to fry when he returns home on the night of Katie’s murder covered in blood and brain matter to his wife, Celeste. He claims that he was mugged and just lost his temper completely. Naturally, when Celeste hears about Katie’s murder, her mind runs rampant, and Dave is acting very strange indeed. He is lying about everything about the night of the murder. Sean swears to investigate the murder thoroughly; meanwhile Jimmy is out for blood. His relations, the Savages, are intent on finding out what went down that night and who needs to pay for the gruesome deed that they performed.

Sean is desperate to keep Jimmy out of this and do his job, all the while suffering his own personal issues what with his wife, Lauren, who left him. Will Sean be able to figure out quickly enough what happened to Katie the night her soul was ripped from the earth? Will Jimmy let the law takes its natural course, or is his thirst for vengeance that strong that reason becomes a myth? What happened with Dave Boyle the night Katie was killed? Was he present and involved? Was there another issue that captivated his attention? Was he truly mugged?

GRADE 8.5I have never read a Dennis Lehane novel before (scandalous, I know), though I enjoyed so many of the film adaptions that were bred from his books. I remember enjoying the movie for Mystic River when it came out, but that was so long ago I couldn’t even remember the content. Which works me out fine; it is all fresh for me. I cannot tell you how unprepared I was for how much I was going to enjoy the book. It is tightly written with a great story and pretty great characters that have depth and meaning and emotions that are right out there to see. There is progression to the story that moves at a reasonable pace, and plenty of situations that you can identify with or that will leave you wondering. The writing style was also completely unexpected for me and I really, really enjoyed it. The reflections of the three main characters as well as their pasts that continually come up is good, and the writing was very consistent. Everything was intertwining, the reactions were spot on and you could identify with the situations. Jimmy Marcus was an especially good character with a lot of depth and a lot of thoughts and emotions. He was the most interesting for me of all the childhood friends, and not just because he was dangerous, but because he had that it factor going for him. Sean was average, completely average and bitter. Dave was the most psychologically screwed of them all, which was also completely understandable.