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Mystic River Mass Market Paperback – 30 Sep 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, 30 Sep 2003
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; Reissue edition (30 Sept. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380731851
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380731855
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,104,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 the Paperback edition.


'Dennis Lehane establishes himself as one of the greats of crime-writing with MYSTIC RIVER' -- Guardian (Maxim Jakubowski)

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

'Get Dennis Lehane's MYSTIC RIVER. Boy, does he know how to write' -- Elmore Leonard

'Heart-scorching…penetrating…a powerhouse of a novel' -- New York Times Book Review

'Lehane's best book by far. Like all his writing, it shimmers with great dialogue and a complex view of the world' -- Newsweek --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Dave, Sean and Jimmy are childhood friends. But their friendship, and for Dave his childhood, ends when Dave is abducted from the street outside Sean's house by two pedophiles posing as cops. 25 years later Dave and Jimmy are still living in the same neighbourhood, Dave in a dead end job, Jimmy running a local store. When Jimmy's daughter, Katie, is murdered Sean, now a homicide cop with the state police, is assigned to the investigation.

Many of Lehane's trademark concerns are in place in this book: violence against children and child abuse (as was the focus in Gone Baby, Gone); a strong Greene Catholic morality; life and community in working class Irish Boston; and, more lightheartedly, the vicissitudes of contemporary culture (In one passage Sean's partner Whitey actually discusses who should play him in the movie version of the case. "Brian Dennehy" is his conclusion. He is ultimately played by the great Laurence Fishburne, which would probably have annoyed Whitey...if he were a real person).

Like The Killing, which this book predates, it does the unusual thing in crime fiction of keeping a focus on the bereaved and the details of bereavement not just the investigation. It is also in many respects, another rarity, a character driven crime novel: alongside the compelling procedural account of Sean's investigation is the story of the consequences of Katie's killing on, in particular, Dave and Jimmy, and it is from this that much of the tension and dread in the novel derives.

Mystic River is a gripping, out of the ordinary crime novel, powerful and bleak. It is probably Dennis Lehane's masterpiece: an exquisitely written exploration of violent crime and its consequences in a working class Massachusetts neighbourhood.
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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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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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