Live by Night by Dennis Lehane
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"This writer's got this"...It's nice as a reader when you realize that and can sit back and enjoy the story. Dennis Lehane is a writer who will put you in that easychair.
Live by Night was my first Lehane and midway through the first chapter I knew I was in safe hands. His writing flows, it touches on all the plot's necessary points and no more. Scenes breathe, characters grow, and the story seldom slows down.
This may not be a 5-star book for everyone. I'm giving it an extra bump up for the content. Part of it's about Boston gangsters during the 1920s prohibition days. Right up my alley! I was born and raised right outside of Boston and I'm a big fan of gangster lore. Live by Night marries two of my favorite things!
The story follows small-time criminal Joe Coughlin from a speakeasy heist to his career as a regional mob boss. It takes us from Boston down to Tampa, Florida and ropes in Cuba to boot. That last part really reminded me of The Godfather. I'm not saying Lehane copies Coppola. Mobsters from the Northeast U.S. historically migrated to Cuba. It was a natural progression. Lehane does a fantastic job with the period details, tastefully inserting real figures-of-the-day like Lucky Luciano and creating a marvelous historical fiction.
It's been a long time since I've been able to say this, but I'm really excited to read more from this author!
View all my reviews