The New York Times bestselling novel from Dennis Lehane is a gripping, unnerving psychological thriller about the effects of a savage killing on three former friends in a tightly knit, blue-collar Boston neighborhood.
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.
Lehane ventures beyond his acclaimed private eye series with this emotionally wrenching crime drama about the effects of a savage killing on a tightly knit, blue-collar Boston neighborhood. Written with a sensitivity toward character that exceeds his previous efforts, the story tracks the friendship of three boys from a defining moment in their childhood, when 11-year-old Dave Boyle was abducted off the streets of East Buckingham and sexually molested by two men before managing to escape. Boyle, Jimmy Marcus and Sean Devine grow apart as the years pass, but a quarter century later they are thrust back together when Marcus's 19-year-old daughter, Katie, is murdered in a local park. Marcus, a reformed master thief turned family man, goes through a period of intense grief, followed by a thirst for revenge. Devine, now a homicide cop assigned to the murder, tries to control his old friend while working to make sense of the baffling case, which involves turning over the past as much as it does sifting through new evidence. In time, Devine begins to suspect Boyle, a man of many ghoulish secrets who has led a double life ever since the molestation. Lehane's story slams the reader with uncomfortable images, a beautifully rendered setting and an unnerving finale. With his sixth novel, the author has replaced the graphic descriptions of crime and violence found in his Patrick Kenzie-Angela Gennaro series (Prayers for Rain; Gone, Baby, Gone) with a more pensive, inward view of life's dark corners. It's a change that garners his themes--regret over life choices, the psychological imprints of childhood, personal and professional compromise--a richer context and his characters a deeper exploration.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I love the movie, cinematically perfect imho. But the book - so much deeper and moving. The focus on Dave and Celeste is perfect.
Love love love this book!!
This book was great! I kept remembering specific scenes days after I read it, and this rarely happens. I smiled, got angry, and even shed tears while reading this book. If you're looking for a great book with suspense, love, sadness, and the acts of human nature then this is it! The characters were well developed and I managed to fall in love with or hate every single one of them. It is a beautifully written book that deals with the aftermath of loss/death, and just how far a fathers love would go to avenge his daughters death.
Few books effect me like this one did. I saw the movie when it came out years ago. My brother told me to read the book. I just did. Lehane has a masterful ability to punch you in the gut. Kafka related that the harder you tried to figure it all out, the further away you got from it all. Lehane gets you away from it all, but after the last page, you feel you've pulled a little ratty strand that uncoils a little something that just might relate to this thing we call the human condition. Bravo, Lehane. Bravo.