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Mystic River [Paperback]

Dennis Lehane
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)

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Paperback CDN $13.36  
Paperback, March 14 2002 --  
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Book Description

March 14 2002

When they were children, Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus, and Dave Boyle were friends. But then a strange car drove up their street. One boy got in 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. And Dave is trying to hold his marriage together and keep his demons at bay-demons that urge him to do horrific things.

When Jimmy's daughter is found murdered, Sean is assigned to the case. His investigation brings him into serious conflict with Jimmy. And then there is Dave, who came home covered in someone else's blood the night Jimmy's daughter died. While Sean attempts to use the law to return peace and order to the neighborhood, Jimmy finds his need for vengeance pushing him ever closer to a moral abyss from which he won't be able to return.

A tense and unnerving psychological thriller, Mystic River is also an epic novel of love, loyalty, faith, and family.

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Product Details

Product Description

From Amazon

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 Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

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 themesAregret over life choices, the psychological imprints of childhood, personal and professional compromiseAa richer context and his characters a deeper exploration. Agent, Ann Rittenberg. (Feb. 6) Forecast: Given the excitement in-house at Morrow that this is Lehane's breakthrough book, and the promotion they're placing behind it, it stands an excellent chance of leaping straight onto the bestseller lists. A one-day laydown, $250,000 ad-promo and an 11-city author tour, plus a blurb from Michael Connelly designating Lehane as "the heir apparent," should provide the groundwork for explosive sales. Rights have been sold in the U.K., France and Germany, and there will be a large-print edition as well as an audio from Harper Audio.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
WHEN SEAN DEVINE and Jimmy Marcus were kids, their fathers worked together at the Coleman Candy plant and carried the stench of warm chocolate back home with them. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing June 3 2005
I found this book to be just amazimg. There is so much going on this book as well as the characters are three dimensional not one dimensional. In addition to being mystery, it is an exploration of friendships past and human nature. At the beginning of the book we are presented with Jimmy, Sean, and Dave and with the one event that changed everything in their lives and friendship. Later on in the book, with Jimmy's daughters death, the author explores how they three will interact. This is a gripping book and it never lets. All through the book, we come back to that one event that changed their lives forever.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Read March 13 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed the book immensely. Lots of realistic twists and turns concluding with a surprising ending. Would recommend this book to any mystery enthusiasts
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4.0 out of 5 stars Suspensefully complex Jan. 18 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written, complex characters, and unexpected ending. Highly recommended for those who enjoy guessing until the end. I plan on watching the movie version to compare.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Much that is good....but ultimately a let down June 10 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lehane is undeniably an able writer, and I did appreciate the overall craft of the book. The story of friendship gone astray is interesting. There was an effort to make the characters seem likeable and human despite their flaws. The story also carries a certain amount of suspense. But ultimately, I found it disappointing. I had been told Lehane was an exceptional writer by a friend whose opinion I value, but my own assessment is quite different. First of all, the story is composed of an odd collection of coincidences, and the juxtaposition of these coincidences stretches my sense of belief, although the way the story unfolds, this is not at first obvious. The writer appears to be using the the relationships between the characters to attempt to motivate us to accept these coincidences, but this ploy doesn't quite make it. Secondly, the characters start out likeable but eventually fall back into people who are fundamentally ugly. For example, although Jimmy is portrayed as an earnest family man, he is ultimately revealed to have never really moved past being little more than a thug. I like a story to take me places I wouldn't go otherwise, but not uselessly down into the sewers. Third, I didn't find the psychology to be all that believable, and, despite the shift of 25 years, the characters didn't really change much. Finally, the language ends up being irritating. It allows the writer to get inside the heads of the different characters, but it is long-winded and overly elaborate much of the time, an artifice. Overall, the writing left me more frustrated than enlightened.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Sept. 11 2006
By J.E.L.
A superbly written, character-driven story. Rich and meaty, like a scrumptious steak dinner (that's if you're not a vegetarian, of course), Mystic River is the best novel I've read in a very long time. Shutter Island was also terrific. I wish more authors could write like this.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Eastwood Cries a Better River March 3 2005
I don't often come across a book that I like less than its movie adaptation, but Mystic River happened to be one of those books. Just because an author can elaborate with thousands of words - it doesn't mean that he should, and this incredibly drawn out story made me wish for the exactness of gifted authors like Graham Greene. Clint Eastwood did the story justice though - and his portrayal of the characters was exactly what the audience needed to know...
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5.0 out of 5 stars All I can say is WOW! July 17 2004
This is one of my all time favorite books! I hadn't seen the movie, but recognized the name when I picked up the book at a local Barnes and Nobles. I could not put this book down. It was absolutely amazing. The description is outstanding and Lehane will keep you wanting more and more as you turn each page. I literally was staying up all night reading. This was one of those books that I was very disappointed when I finished it, because i enjoyed reading it so much. Soon after, we rented the movie. Although the movie is GREAT, the book is 100% better!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars lehane lover July 16 2004
By A Customer
I devoured the Kenzie and Gennaro books in rapid succession after reading Sacred but was hesitant to read Mystic River for some reason. Since I had a trip ahead of me I packed it for on-flight reading and tried to get into it. I will say that it wasn't as much of a page turner for me as his other books but that once I really sat down and got into it I loved it. I usually figure out who the killer is early in a book but he threw me a terrific plot twist. Pick up his books, all of them, you won't be sorry you did.
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