Review: Live by Night, Dennis Lehane

Live by Night, Dennis Lehane
Boston, 1926. Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent police captain, has graduated from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city's most fearsome mobsters. Beyond money and power, even the threat of prison, one fate seems most likely for men like Joe: an early death. But until that day, he and his friends are determined to live life to the hilt.
Joe's dizzying journey up the ladder of organized crime takes him from the flash of Jazz Age Boston to the sensual shimmer of Tampa's Latin Quarter to the sizzling streets of Cuba.

Dennis Lehane (born Aug 4th, 1966) is an American author. He has written several novels, including the New York Times bestseller Mystic River, which was later made into an Academy Award winning film, also called Mystic River, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon (Lehane can be briefly seen waving from a car in the parade scene at the end of the film). The novel was a finalist for the PEN/Winship Award and won the Anthony Award and the Barry Award for Best Novel, the Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction, and France's Prix Mystere de la Critique.

Dennis Lehane is a well known writer of mystery and thriller books. Though I am an avid reader in this genre I have to admit I never before picked up a book by him. Looking for a great read for Jazz Age January about mobsters I ran into this one and it did not take me long to decide buying it.
The first fifty pages give a quick image of who Joe is. Though living as a mobster he is coming from a better situated family and choose this life. He has a plan and hopes he stays alive long enough to make everything happen.
The story unravels in a very quick pace. I felt we picked up Joe when he was still 19 and left him when he was 60, totally loosing track of a time line. Though that felt weird it was not that disturbing. The situations that are happening do make sense and follow each other. It is funny how you can sympathize with Joe looking at it from his point of view. They do all the wrong things but in his heads it makes sense and it is a way to survive. I felt the book gave a pretty good view on how the mobster live must have been in that period. Though there could have been a bit more Jazz.

Live by Night
Author: Dennis Lehane
Publisher:William Morrow
Pages: 402
Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0060004878
ISBN-13:9780060004873
Series: Coughlin #2
William Morrow: eBook | Hardcover | Paperback
Live by Night
3 stars

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29 January, 2014 delete

Oooh sounds like a different take on the Jazz Age!

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29 January, 2014 delete

I must admit it was kind of refreshing after all those Jazz Age author books.

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Melinda
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31 January, 2014 delete

How many Jazz age books have you read by now, Ciska?

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31 January, 2014 delete

I read 3. I love this period there is so much happening :)

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07 February, 2014 delete

I love Dennis Lehane (probably because I lived in Boston so I can visualize his books really well). I didn’t even know about this one, so I guess I have been slacking a bit, but I’m definitely adding it to my list!

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