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Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

Mystic River (2001)

by Dennis Lehane

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,014941,273 (4.05)215
  1. 10
    Gone, Baby, Gone: A Novel by Dennis Lehane (sturlington)
  2. 10
    Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  3. 00
    Broken Harbor by Tana French (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Painful childhood memories haunt the detectives of these dark psychological thrillers. Both authors write their respective cities (Boston and Dublin) with realism that augments the flawed, believable characters' struggles. Their secrets and suspicions offer compelling insight into trust in relationships.… (more)
  4. 00
    Amagansett by Mark Mills (amyblue)
  5. 01
    The Strangler by William Landay (KingRat)
    KingRat: Mystic River and The Strangler share common themes of close people growing up to eventually be on opposite sides of the law, with all sorts of mixed loyalties on all sides. Both are set in Boston and have the same hard-boiled feel to them.

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» See also 215 mentions

English (88)  French (2)  Greek (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (94)
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
This was a reread for me. It's one of the best mystery novels I've ever read. Lehane's writing is beautiful and the arch of ( )
  bookworm12 | Nov 19, 2015 |
Oo é perturbadorzinho... ( )
  MarthaNunes | Nov 2, 2015 |
I read this book years ago and decided to give it a re-read for many reasons, primarily b/c of my latest WIP.

Suffice it to say, Dennis Lehane is a master at establishing the psyche of his characters, showing the progression of their mental state as the story goes along. He has a unique way of describing emotions and feelings, which enhance the reader's view of what is going on in his character's head, and he nails it time and again. His descriptions of the neighborhoods his characters reside make you feel like you are standing there, on the streets with them.

I did wish for more resolution at the end, but it seemed as if he'd left the door open for a sequel, and from what I've read in regards to interviews with him, we are all still waiting anxiously for that. ( )
  DonnaEverhart | Oct 27, 2015 |
Three boys from different family backgrounds grow up together and share an occurrence which changes and interconnects their future lives.

Stand out dialog, characterizations and pacing. And the detailed descriptions of what it was like growing up with poor role models for parents, bad housing, scary and sketchy neighbors, no money, and little opportunity for improvement makes me believe that sadly Lehane has personal experience.

Excellent read! ( )
  Bookish59 | Aug 29, 2015 |
Good book. Watched the movie. I was glad I had the extra story info from the book first. ( )
  gail616 | May 25, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lehane, Dennisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kuipers, HugoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuipers, NienkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stignani, FrancescaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Important events
Related movies
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[He] did not understand women. It wasn't the
way bartenders or comedians didn't understand
women, it was the way poor people didn't
understand the economy. You could stand
outside the Girard Bank Building every day of
your life and never guess anything about what
went on in there. That's why, in their hearts,
they'd always rather stick up a 7-Eleven.
- Pete Dexter, God's Pocket
There is no street with mute stones
and no house without echoes. - Gongora
For my wife, Sheila
First words
When Sean Devine and Jimmy Marcus were kids, their fathers worked together at the Coleman Candy Plant and carried the stench of warm chocolate back home with them.
You ever think how the most minor decision can change the entire course of your life?
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please distinguish between this 2001 Dennis Lehane novel, Mystic River, and the 2003 movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, of the same name. Thank you.
Publisher's editors
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
The book focuses on the stories of three boys who grow up as friends in Boston — Dave Boyle, Sean Devine, and Jimmy Marcus. When the story opens, we see Dave abducted by child molesters while he, Sean, and Jimmy are horsing around on a neighborhood street. Dave is returned home days later, emotionally shattered by his experience. The book then moves forward 25 years: Sean has become a homicide detective, Jimmy is an ex-convict and currently owns a convenience store, and Dave is a shell of a man. Jimmy's daughter disappears and is found brutally murdered in a city park, and that same night, Dave comes home to his wife, covered in blood. Sean is assigned to investigate the murder, and the three childhood friends are caught up in each other's lives again.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060584750, Paperback)

Ever since blasting onto the literary scene with the Shamus Award-winning A Drink Before the War, Dennis Lehane has been the golden boy of noir. His Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro novels are marvels of tight pacing, dialogue so good it gets under your skin and stays there, with dead-on portrayals of working-class Boston neighborhoods. Sure, he's the oft-proclaimed, hard-boiled heir to Hammett and Chandler, but Lehane also takes a page from the Hemingway school of hyper-intense writing. He pares away and pares away until he's left with the absolute essentials--and then those essentials just explode off the page.

In his five Kenzie-Gennaro novels, the detective duo is at the nexus of Lehane's big bang. Darkly funny and just this side of jaded, Angie and Patrick move through Dorchester's bleak streets with an assurance born of familiarity. It's impossible to imagine these streets without the pair, or to imagine the pair away from those streets. Mystic River, then, arrives as a bit of a gamble, as Lehane moves from the sharp edges of portraiture to the broader strokes of landscape. No Angie, no Patrick: this neighborhood is on its own. It's not any prettier and certainly no friendlier, and its working-class façade still barely masks the irresistible tug of violent ways, means, and ends.

Twenty-five years ago, Dave Boyle got into a car. When he came back four days later, he was different in a way that destroyed his friendship with Sean Devine and Jimmy Marcus. Now Sean's a cop, Jimmy's a store owner with a prison record and mob connections, and Dave's trying hard to keep his demons safely submerged. When Jimmy's daughter Katie is found murdered, each of the men must confront a past that none is eager to acknowledge. Lehane tugs delicately on the strands that weave this neighborhood together, testing for their strengths and weaknesses; this novel seems as much anthropological case study as thriller.

By turns violent and pensive, Mystic River is vintage Lehane. How good is it? You may go in missing Angie and Patrick, but after a few pages you won't even realize they're gone. Lehane's noir is still black magic. --Kelly Flynn

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:02 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

When they were children, Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus, and Dave Boyle were friends. But then a strange car pulled up to their street. One boy got into the car, two did not, and something terrible happened -- something that ended their friendship and changed all three boys forever. Twenty-five years later, Sean is a homicide detective. Jimmy is an ex-con who owns a corner store. And Dave is trying to hold his marriage together and keep his demons at bay -- demons that urge him to do terrible things. When Jimmy's daughter is found murdered, Sean is assigned to the case. His investigation brings him into conflict with Jimmy, who finds his old criminal impulses tempt him to solve the crime with brutal justice. And then there is Dave, who came home the night Jimmy's daughter died covered in someone else's blood. A tense and unnerving psychological thriller, Mystic River is also an epic novel of love and loyalty, faith and family, in which people irrevocably marked by the past find themselves on a collision course with the darkest truths of their own hidden selves.… (more)

» see all 14 descriptions

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