Extremely well written This author can do for character development in one or two pages than others try in 30 There was not one moment of let down or disbelief This is a very good, gritty, tough and tragic mystery Has to be on a top 10 of all time list somewhere. Find all of my reviews atWe bury our sins here We wash them cleanMystic River was another selection of mine for the already completed Read to Reel challenge at my local library Although I ve owned this book for years, for whatever reason it remained on the hysterectomy shelves untouched until the librarian forced my hand Amazingly, I have also been able to avoid ever seeing the movie that was released 10 years ago due to my dislike for Clint Eastwood s directing Ahhhhh save it, Clint The story here is about Sean, Jimmy and Dave Twenty five years ago they were rough housing in the street when two men claiming to be cops pulled up in an unmarked police cruiser Sean and Jimmy went home, Dave got in the car with the men and managed to find his way back four days later Fast forward to the present where Sean is a detective with a wife and possible daughter who have split on him, Jimmy is an ex con turned family man who owns and operates the corner store and Dave is someone who presents a good front, but whose past torments him than anyone could ever imagine When Jimmy s daughter is brutally murdered in a local park the three former friends find their lives intertwined once again and all the demons buried so long ago come boiling to the surface Like all of the other Dennis Lehane s I ve read, this one was a real wicked pissa If you ever need an excuse for putting your head in the oven, Lehane is an author who will deliver them in spades Mystic River is categorized as a Mystery Thriller like all of the author s other works, but that sells this novel so short While there is most assuredly a mystery to solve, I believe most readers will find that aspect of the book takes second fiddle to the character study of these three families It s quite easy to see the red herring and, for people who gravitate toward the thriller or crime genres, it s pretty simple to see the end well before you ever reach it And if your brain works like mine and 100% refuses to acknowledge the casting decisions made by the pros, but instead replaces them with A story like Mystic River can only end one way.If you like em dark, look no further Lehane is a master of this art and proves once again thatI think anyone s capable of anythingAll the stars And if you want to continue on a downward spiral of superbads happening that eff up kids lives forever, look no further than sleepers Book I lost count in the Library Winter Reading Challenge 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 Just before picking this book up my first Lehane it won t be my last I came across a quote by him illuminating the working class, blue collar nature of noir In Greek tragedy, they fall from great heights In noir, they fall from the curb I love this quote It slices right to the heart of who we are reading about, and even why we are reading about them In Mystic River, Lehane is shooting from both barrels he intuitively knows who he is writing about and where the gritty, depressed, working class neighborhoods of South Boston and the largely white, blue collar families who live there These are residents bound to one another when not by blood, then by loyalties forged from childhood friendships and the kinship that comes from growing up in the same neighborhood A shared history, a sense of community, no matter how co dependent, damaging or predatory Lehane s characters are so vivid and three dimensional they sigh and bleed across the pages But you won t love them They are beyond flawed, and you could even argue beyond redemption Lehane is not writing about beauty and love or hope and healing Lehane is painting a portrait of despair and guilt His characters are damaged goods in many ways, with painful histories that have consumed them with a slow burning rage The love Jimmy Marcus has for his eldest daughter Katie is primal, almost animalistic in its fierceness When a savage beating and shooting violently rips her away from him, Jimmy vows to see her killer brought to justice, one way or another Who could have killed Katie Marcus Nineteen years old, sweet and non threatening, a good friend, a loving sister, working part time in her father s neighborhood corner store When Jimmy s childhood friend Sean is brought in to lead the investigation, there are questions than answers to be found It doesn t take long however, before Sean and his senior partner Whitey begin looking hard at Dave Boyle another childhood friend from the neighborhood with dark secrets of his own The handling of the mystery here, the construction, the pacing, the clues and final reveal, it s all flawlessly done My only regret reading this novel is that I had seen the film first While already knowing who killed Katie did not diminish my enjoyment, I can only imagine the sheer thrill this book delivers at the moment of climax if you didn t know I found the women in this story to be at least as interesting as the men, if not so view spoiler While I could sympathize with Celeste s confusion and doubt about Dave, I questioned her motives for going to Jimmy with her suspicions Why go to the father Why not the police What did she think was going to happen She knew the rules of the neighborhood Did she really imagine Jimmy would not act, unequivocally and ruthlessly She signed Dave s death warrant the moment she decided to tell Jimmy what she thought she knew She got her husband killed and unraveled her own life, perhaps even her own sanity, in one careless impulse Jimmy s wife Annabeth is ruthless in her own way, thinking only of her own family and status in the neighborhood Her acceptance of Jimmy s violence, her pride in it, is practically sociopathic Her husband won t find the cure for cancer, but dammit, he looks after his own He does what needs to be done, like a King that rules over his realm Her support is icky but oh so very real Her disdain of Celeste s weakness, and her betrayal of her husband, revealing of character than any other act or a thousand words hide spoiler Three young boys Three young lives A car with two scoundrels in the road Silence.Many years later, a murder of someone s daughter Life had a story to tell Friendship broke out in different voices I m not going to say much about this book An excellent, gritty, somber, literary, psycho thriller The murder mystery denied me sleep I wanted to cry for all of them Still do To Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus, and Dave Boyle I can never forget, or give up on you Friendship does not work that way Sad that the ending of the book interrupted our story.This should have been a buddie read Oy I need someone to discuss the ending with Unusual, unique, thought provoking You do not read this book to escape reality In fact, you re thrown right into it with no way out, or Plan B, in sight A slice of life dished out in no uncertain terms He couldn t remember much of the specifics just a few details, unconnected and he had a sense that there hadn t been much of a narrative flow in the first place Still, the raw texture of it had sunk like razor points into the back of his skull, left him feeling skittish all morning. Mark my words, this quote is prophetic. Writing this review as I sit here watching Sean Penn discover the brutal death of his daughter, kicking myself once again because this is another book I should of read a long time ago Just glad in a way that I also hadn t seen the film and blown a powerfully compelling ending that managed to stay just out of my grasp until two pages before the big reveal Mystic River is a riveting character driven crime thriller about three boys, one abducted and forever scarred with what he endured, all grown up but with distinctly different futures Shaped by circumstance, three very different characters, surviving life with wildly opposing ideals but nonetheless each one totally gripping Jimmy Marcus s daughter goes out one night and never makes it home, tragically killed, devastation closely follows and the hunt for a killer that cleverly shifts focus leaving deep consequences in its wake I know in my soul I contributed to my child s death I can feel it But I don t know how Sean Devine, now a detective and hauled back to his old neighbourhood to investigate the murder, old friends, old memories and lies occupy his thoughts, the truth just out of reach Sean felt a sudden lurch in the morning, a shifting in the softness of it And Dave Boyle, abducted as a child, both an intense sadness and madness, never far away, following him round hand in hand with a wretched betrayal And he d grown up into this tall, smart, handsome guy with a voice you could listen to all night and eyes that seemed to peel you away in layers Top marks for an absolutely gripping plot, powerful and compelling characters, and delightful prose One of the best, simple as I don t normally swear in my reviews but this deserves a fucking big round of applause and I ll be visiting Mr Lehane s back catalogue very soon and the film is nowhere near as good as the read IMHO.Also posted at I read this masterpiece a while ago before I joined Goodreads and I ve been contemplating posting a review because it s on the top of my favorites list But for a while I wasn t sure I could say anything that could do justice to this remarkable book Not only is it Dennis Lehane s greatest book and that s saying a lot , this modern tragedy sets the standard for all contemporary crime dramas and thrillers It s one of the only books that I would consider near perfect and I would recommend it to anyone It s the novel that stuck with me the longest after reading it, and if I was forced to name a top favorite book, this would probably be it This gush of praise might not be much of a reviewbut hey, just go read it. If one approaches Mystic River with the same mindset that one would approach a conventional thriller , one is apt to be a tad disappointed Because what Dennis Lehane does here is to masterfully use the structure of the genre to explore deep psychological and moral issues.Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus and Dave Boyle are kids playing and growing up together in the small town of East Buckingham in the US Sean, being from the blue collar neighbourhood of the Point, is socially a cut above Jimmy and Dave who live in the Flats Dave is even underprivileged because he does not have a father and his mother is a bit crazy But as children, such differences do not affect them until one day, Dave is kidnapped by child molesters right from in front of their eyes He returns, scarred by his experience, and is further traumatised by the social stigma he faces It also ends the friendship between the three kids, and they move their different ways.However, they meet twenty five years down the line Now Jimmy is an ex convict with a wife and three daughters Dave is a one time baseball hero with a wife and son, but who is still battling his ghosts And Sean is a policeman whose wife has just left him The reason for their meeting Jimmy s daughter Katie is murdered, Sean is assigned to the case, and Dave is one of the suspects because he came back home, covered in somebody else s blood, the night Katie died.As events proceed to their tragic conclusion, the three former friends realise that they can never outrun their karma Have you ever wondered how much randomness affects our lives For example, if Hitler had become successful as a painter, he probably would have never created the Nazi party If Gandhi had not been chucked out from the first class compartment in South Africa, he may not have joined the freedom movement If some random bit of mould had not dropped into Alexander Fleming s bacterial cultures, we probably would not have discovered penicillin.Similarly, one random event in three boys life spreads its tentacles far down the line so as to twist their lives beyond recognition Even though cause and effect is explicit only in the case of Dave, the author gives the impression that the lives of Sean and Jimmy as well have been impacted by that cursed afternoon maybe even Jimmy s life of crime the karma of which came back, according to him also had a start that day As well as Sean s failure to connect with his wife and the collapse of his marriage The karma in this tale is random it does not have the focussed energy of just desserts usually found in such literature Karma here is a loose cannon, running berserk, letting go at random intervals those in the line of fire get it This is the collective karma of a people who have created a society where wolves in human clothing like those who took Dave can grow A karma which is much, much brutal than the people whom it affects.For ultimately, this novel, I felt, is an indictment of America a mystic river whose cavernous depths are populated with corpses of age old sins sins which are submerged but unforgotten.Because old sins have long shadows. Intense, stunning, and shocking.And I always wanted to know what was going on in Jimmy s head after the last stunt that he pulled Movies would never tell us that, and that s why books are always better Every adult human being has the chance to choose a personally favored path of life considering it isn t predeterminated by illnesses, accidents etc , but the general direction this path heads towards will usually already be marked during childhood This might be the idea which provoked Dennis Lehane to write about the abysms of humanity and the fateful consequences one single deed might release to weigh heavily upon your conscience for the rest of your life even if it is something as simple as not entering a certain car while you are a kid.Lehane might be well known because of the successful movie adaption with Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Kingsley of his 2003 thriller Shutter Island, but when it comes to exploring human minds in their deepest psychological profundities, Mystic River is where the author truly shines This novel which has also been adapted into a movie starring Tim Robbins, Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon focuses on three young childhood friends Sean, Jimmy and Dave whose friendship was changed forever when one of the boys was pulled into a strange car and had to go through something which could not be worse as an incisive childhood experience About twenty years later, they have all grown into men with their own or less intact families although you might as well scratch the or part The story gets going when one of the friend s daughters is brutally murdered, another one of them starts to investigate the case as a police detective and the third friend soon turns into one of the suspects himself with very strong evidence pointing towards him.This is no easy thriller to get through with his elaborate descriptions of a Boston crime scene and the complex plot twists and dynamics between the relationships, Lehane keeps the intellectual niveau on a high level throughout the entire course of the novel as he explores failing marriages, bursting families and shocking revelations As he did with Shutter Island , he once again managed to challenge my personal perception of what human minds can be capable of It might be fiction, but the author managed to write it in such a convincing way as if it was a nightmare come true.Dennis Lehane refrains from fast pace and instead relies on extensively detailed descriptions, painting a vivid picture filled with a dark atmosphere This made it sometimes easy to put the book down again, yet all the time the book included enough potential to prompt the reader to return to reading You may call the novel a classic whodunnit tale, but it s than that so much The mystery thriller genre is a very difficult one for an author to emerge out of the masses of authors who claim to glue their readers eyes to their books, and yet many readers keep returning to this genre out of the hope to hold a true masterpiece in their hands one day Mystic River might not be a masterpiece, but it s still everything you can possibly look for as a reader of crime fiction.It wasn t my first Lehane novel, and it definitely won t be my last either.
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
- 416 pages
- Mystic River
- Dennis Lehane
- 20 August 2018 Dennis Lehane