Combining edgy suspense and the vivid period detail that made The Given Day a smashing
success, award-winning, bestselling author Dennis Lehane delivers a masterful epic of
Prohibition-era America told through the story of a charismatic young gangster on his
rise through the glitz and the violence of the Roaring 20s. (Oct 2012)
This book has already been optioned by Warner Bro. for actor Leonardo DiCaprio. As a fan of Dennis Lehane’s work, I can’t wait to read this one. My favorite books by him are: Mystic River, Darkness Take My Hand, Gone Baby Gone, Shutter Island and Prayers For Rain. You can preorder your copy here (Amazon) and B&N.
The reading world was dealt a devastating blow with the loss of Diana Norman (Aug 25, 1933 – Jan 27, 2011). For readers who are unfamiliar with her work, she wrote mostly historical fiction novels set in late 18th Century and a set of crime fiction novels featuring a female pathologist set during the 12th Century. She had a way of bringing her characters to life like no other and her recreation of the past made you feel like you were right there. She was a gifted storyteller who will be sorely missed.
I pulled out A Catch of Consequence (2003) for a reread and wanted to give a brief review. This is the first book I’d read by her that made me a fan. The story is broken down into three parts covering several years. There’s love, tragedy, hope and peace between these pages. This is the first of three books that feature the indomitable Makepeace Burke. She’s an independent woman running a successful tavern called The Roaring Meg in Boston, out by the waterfront. Continue reading
There are people who say that they’ve been reading the late Robert B. Parker’s Spencer novels for thirty years or more. Wow, he had some loyal fans. I can’t say that I’ve ever read the same author like that for that many years. Usually after the first three or four books in a series, I bail.
Spencer is a former cop turned private detective who was first introduced in 1973 in The Godwulf Manuscript. My first introduction to his work was actually with Mortal Stakes (1975), a baseball book. I knew after finishing that I wanted to read more in this series.
As of today, there are 40 novels featuring the wise-cracking private detective from Boston. Sixkill was released posthumously this year to decent reviews. The one thing I notice fans remark on repeatedly is how ageless the characters seem to be in the novels. It’s as if time never passes in the Spencer universe. Characters never seem to grow old (do we want them to?) and everything seems to stay the same and formulaic. But anyway I picked up book #5, The Judas Goat (1978) and enjoyed reading it for the most part. Continue reading
“Mortal Stakes” (1987) by Robert B. Parker is the third book in the Spencer series. Confession: I’m not a baseball fan but you needn’t be one to enjoy this book. Here we have a Boston detective and what a character he is, too, investigating a baseball player who might be throwing games. I can’t help but be reminded of Dennis Lehane now that I know who influenced him. Moving on. I’m glad I read this story and will write this review without spoilers. It was a quick and fast read. Reading out of order, I wasn’t lost.
“And the work is play for goddamned mortal stakes/Is the deed ever really done?”
Spencer, a wise-cracking private detective from Boston, is hired to discreetly investigate The Red Sox star pitcher. He’s suspected of throwing games. Spencer delves into the case under the guise of writing a book on what else? baseball. As he scrutinizes the players and other associated personnel, he runs into a couple of thugs who have an issue with Spencer hanging around the ball park and asking questions. Continue reading
“Moonlight Mile” (2010) by Dennis Lehane is the long-awaited, most anticipated sixth entry in the PI series that featured Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro. The series is set in the author’s hometown of Boston. These characters were introduced to us in A Drink Before the War (1994)
Warning: This review contains spoilers for Gone, Baby, Gone.
Moonlight Mile takes up 12 years after the events in Gone, Baby, Gone. Amanda McCready was kidnapped at age four. Her mother, Helene, was a neglectful parent. Patrick and Angie took on the case of finding her and the outcome shattered their relationship. In “Moonlight Mile” the two are back together and are tracking down now sixteen-year old Amanda McCready, who has once again disappeared.
Times are hard and money is tight in the Commonwealth. Since we last caught up with Patrick and Angie, their relationship has changed. Work wise, Patrick’s been subcontracting with an elite security firm, Duhamel-Standiford. He hopes to get an offer from them for something more permanent. He desperately needs the work. However, Patrick’s been accused of having “class rage.” The clients he’s asked to protect are somewhat shady but for Patrick, it’s just a job. Before the security firm will hire him though, he must to learn how to keep his opinions to himself and bury the guilt of doing assignments that make him feel morally uncomfortable. Continue reading