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Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

Mystic River (2001)

by Dennis Lehane

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,4021051,116 (4.06)239
  1. 10
    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)
  2. 10
    Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  3. 00
    Amagansett by Mark Mills (amyblue)
  4. 00
    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 239 mentions

English (99)  French (2)  Greek (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  All (105)
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
While this is clearly a 'crime novel', it is also a look at life in the lower middle class of Boston's South End area. I knew before starting that this would be dark and gritty (not my usual cup of tea) & it was but Lehane managed to draw me into the lives of Jimmy, Dave and Sean so much that even when I knew that I wouldn't like what was coming, I had to know what happened.

Lehane also managed to draw the cops (well, state troopers actually) so that they weren't either the good guys or the bad ones. Sean's boss (& temporary partner) Whitey does some questionable things yet he is clearly not corrupt. Pigheaded perhaps but not really dirty.

Finally, the dilemma posed by Dave is one that is still niggling at the back of my mind.

Overall, even though this wasn't the style of mystery I like best, Lehane is a good enough writer that I will read more of his books. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 20, 2017 |
This was a bit of a weird book for me - I struggled to understand it in some places and really the ending just left me down. ( )
  Soulmuser | May 30, 2017 |
This book was highly reviewed. I listened to the audio version and it was well done. To me the story was about troubled, miserable people, who led troubled sad lives and did terrible cruel things to their friends and family. I am sure it was deeper than that, and one could say that it is truly the lives that some people live and how difficult or impossible it may be to remove yourself from that lifestyle, but I just couldn't relate (happily). So I will clarify the it was well written, interesting story line and I did finish it!! If you like that type of book, you won't go wrong! I just didn't enjoy it! ( )
  LASMIT | Nov 3, 2016 |
Three friends-by-circumstance grow up and go their separate ways, until they are drawn together again by the murder of one of their children.

This book is terrific for the genre. The characters have depth, and no one is entirely good or entirely bad. There are several red herrings. I did guess the outcome but I was not sure I was right. The atmosphere of the neighborhood is portrayed so well I felt I was there.

This is a dark book. The murder is brutal. There is a child abduction and molestation, although, fortunately, that is not graphic.

There are no winners in this book, just sad and flawed people whose lives were torn apart long before the murder. The mystery and the atmosphere and characterization all blend together to make this a fascinating story. ( )
  TooBusyReading | Jun 24, 2016 |
A thriller which starts with the introduction of 3 young boys who have their own problems in life as well as their friendship. And one day one among them is taken by strangers who claim themselves as police and as the boys to get in their car and only one goes in. After few days the missing boy comes back home but he was not the same as the one who was taken by the strangers (kidnappers), and the friendship changes between these 3 boys. So on they 3 grow apart and meet again after years in different circumstances. A murder, a police inspector and an innocent, life goes on like it was before ...

A wonderful book if you not see it only as a thriller, there are emotions, strained relations and guilt, memories and love. ( )
  PallaviSharma | May 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 99 (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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[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.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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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