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Mystic River [Paperback]

Dennis Lehane
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

1 Sep 2006

There are threads in our lives. You pull one, and everything else gets affected.

When they were children, Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus and Dave Boyle were friends. But then a strange car pulled up their street. One boy got in 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 Devine is a homicide detective. Jimmy Marcus is an ex-con who owns a corner store. And Dave Boyle is trying to hold his marriage together and keep his demons at bay -demons that urge him to do horrific things.

When Jimmy Marcus' daughter is found murdered, Sean Devine is assigned to the case. His personal life unravelling, he must go back into a world he thought he'd left behind to confront not only the violence of the present but the nightmares of his past. His investigation brings him into conflict with Jimmy Marcus, who finds his old criminal impulses tempt him to solve the crime with brutal justice. And then there is Dave Boyle, who came home the night Jimmy's daughter died covered in someone else's blood...


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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; New Ed edition (1 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553818244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553818246
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dennis Lehane grew up in the Dorchester section of Boston's inner-city. Before becoming a full-time writer, he worked as a counsellor with mentally handicapped and abused children, waited tables, parked cars, drove limos, worked in bookstores, and loaded tractor-trailers. His one regret is that no one ever gave him a chance to tend bar. He has an MFA from Florida International University, and is the writer-in-residence at Eckerd College in St Petersburg, Florida, where he runs the Writers in Paradise Writers' Conference. He and his wife divide their time between St. Petersburg and Boston. For more information on Dennis Lehane and his novels, visit his website: www.dennislehanebooks.com.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Dennis Lehane's Mystic River takes the material of the ordinary police procedural thriller and shapes it into heart-break. As boys, Jimmy, Dave and Sean were friends, until one day Dave was abducted by two men pretending to be cops, and was never quite the same again. As men, Dave is a damaged fantasist, safe in a quietly happy marriage; Jimmy a retired criminal making a good respectable living for the sake of his children; and Sean is the homicide cop who finds himself investigating the murder of Jimmy's eldest daughter Katie. This is not just a book about what becomes of the children who grow into adults; it is about what happens to a neighbourhood when the rules change, when an old established working-class district acquires gentrified espresso bars at one end and the beats of the city's most dangerous whores at the other. It is also a book about the tragedy of all sudden violent deaths; we never forget our sense of Katie as she was, dancing on the last night of her life--she is never just the corpse here, never just the object of mourning and investigation. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Get Dennis Lehane's Mystic River. Boy, does he know how to write" (Elmore Leonard)

"Enormously impressive: page-turning but thoughtful; moving in its sad inevitability... One of the finest novels I've read in ages" (Peter Guttridge Observer)

"Heart-scorching... penetrating... a powerhouse of a novel" (The New York Times Book Review)

"One of the greats of crime writing" (Guardian)

"Lehane's best book by far. Like all his writing, it shimmers with great dialogue and a complex view of the world" (Newsweek)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RIVETING READ! 12 Aug 2003
Format:Paperback
This was the first Lehane book I read, but it definitely hasn't been the last. This was a first rate book, a gripping story with believable characters. I cannot believe this book has only gotten 4 stars! This book grips you from the first page and doesn't let go. Parts of the book are extremely sad and I had a tear in my eye at one particular part. I have since read Prayers before Rain which again, although very different from Mystic River is a first class book, with slightly more humour, which I have to say Lehane does extremely well. I will certainly be buying more Lehane novels.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MYSTIC RIVER 16 Oct 2005
Format:Paperback
I'd had 'MYSTIC RIVER' on my wish list for ages but did not actually purcahse it until I heard that they were turning it itno a movie staring Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon. While I heard great things anout Dennis Lehane as an author this was the firsrt of his books that I've read and I am very pleased that I chose this one to start with. Lehane paints a picture so realistically that you can alomst feel the grief, anger and despair that his characters feel.
Jimmy, Davey and Sean were childhood friends and while all very different in personality, Jimmy being the tough one, Sean the boy from the "right side of the tracks" and Davey the follower, they never missed a Saturday together. However, one Saturday things take a turn for the unexpected when two men posing as police officers abduct Davey. Once returned to his familly days later and knowing the horrors that Davey must have enduredd at the hands of these men, the friendship between the three boys is irrevocably torn. Twenty some odd years later, when Jimmy's daughter Kaite is murdered the three of them are thrown back into each others lives. Sean is the investigating officer in Katie's murder and Davey who is married to Jimmy's wife's cousin is there to lend his support. But with a secret hanging over his head about his own misdeeds the night of Katie's murder Davey must try to keep it together himself.
When young Davey is abducted in the first few chapters of the book you feel the anguish that his family and friends go through as they await his safe return. You can also feel how tourtured that experience has left Davey as an adult. When Jimmy's daughter is murdered you feel the pain and sadness that he and his family go through and understand his urge to find the killer and make him pay at any cost.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A big departure from previous books 2 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
A friend passed me 'Sacred' to read on holiday - and I had it finished by the time I'd hit the beach. When I got back I ordered the rest of Lehanes books and greedily devoured them - great characters, clever dialogue and super storylines. 'Mystic River' represents a big change in Lehanes writing style - gone are McKenzie and Gennaro, and with them goes the tongue-in-cheek wisecracks that epitomised their series. Instead we have a darker, more mature story....a tale of three long-gone schoolfriends linked by the horrific murder of one of their daughters. Old coals get raked over and secrets uncovered - and although you never feel yourself intimately enjoying the company of any of the main three characters, they are painted in good detail, and you find yourself truly compelled to find out the motivations behind all three men. All in all, a good tale that leaves you guessing till the end - heavier than Lehanes previous work, but definitely well worth reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By OEJ TOP 100 REVIEWER TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This is without doubt one of the best crime thrillers I have read this year and it could not be left out of my top ten of all time. It also demonstrates that you don't need to buy the latest book in the charts to get maximum reading pleasure; this one was published in 2001 and if you haven't read it yet then it should go straight onto your Wish List if you like crime fiction with the emphasis on outstanding character development. Do it now before you read another word.

The three main characters are Sean, Jimmy and Dave, who for the first fifty pages of the story are young kids roaming the streets of The Flats, a rough working-class district in East Buckingham, north of Boston - although Sean comes from a nearby but slightly more up-market area called The Point. Dave is abducted by two men claiming to be police, and disappears for several days. It's an experience that is to shape his entire life. The remainder of the story takes place twenty-five years later, they have taken very different routes in life but they still live in much the same area. All three are in various states of parenthood and marriage; Jimmy's an ex-con gone straight, Sean a police trooper and Dave in a low-paid job. The crux of the story is the murder of Jimmy's 19-year-old daughter, and for the reader an ever-changing prime suspect as both sides of the law - Sean and Jimmy - try to hunt down the killer.

This is an exquisitely told story, one in which even the neighbourhood in which everything takes place manages to formulate a character of its own. There is a wonderfully nurtured artistry to this element that acts as the perfect support for the intimately drawn characters.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it....
Such a great read. Bleak in parks but so descriptive & full of feeling. I found myself rushing off to read it at every opportunity, well into the early hours to finish it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lindylou
5.0 out of 5 stars GRIPPING, DRAMATIC STORY. A VERY TALENTED WRITER.
incredibly book, the film was very faithful to the book, and as we know the film is a gem. I could picture all the actors' faces while reading it, it the film was that close to the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Florence
3.0 out of 5 stars Gut-wrenching stuff
I quite enjoyed this. It's strong stuff set in a lack-lustre Boston neighbourhood which no one seems inclined to leave. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Gargoyle
1.0 out of 5 stars A yawn
This is a good example of a wafer-thin plot stretched and padded out to three times the proper length. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Stanley
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a magnificent book.
Great writer - able to reveal his protagonists' inner lives with great economy. A tragic story unfolded expertly to its shattering denouement. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Telebloke
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't go near the water...
Dennis Lehane has to be one of, if not the best, current writers of crime fiction.
He knows how to create hugely realistic characters and finely woven plots that keep the... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Scouse Chap
5.0 out of 5 stars marvellous
Dennis at his peak. Superb story and characters. Lehane really sucks you into the Boston underbelly and keeps the feeling of unease goibg right to the end.
Published 13 months ago by Gorams Gloves
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but plot too full of holes for me
It's 1975 in a blue-collar area of Boston. Three Irish-American boys - Sean, Dave and Jimmy - are playing in the street. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Philtrum
4.0 out of 5 stars One that you can't stop thinking about afterwards
A really good, thought provoking read, set in small town America. Refreshing
opposite to the usual Hollywood glitz scene. Will read more from this author.
Published 17 months ago by CHew
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of superb thriller writing
this book is the best Dennis Lehane I have ever read, the characters are real, they have depth, the reader feels their emotions. Read more
Published 17 months ago by patsydors
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