Excerpt from Live by Night by Dennis Lehane, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Live by Night

By Dennis Lehane

Live by Night
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Oct 2012,
    416 pages.
    Paperback: May 2013,
    416 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


The Bartolo brothers lived on Dorchester Avenue above a butcher and a cobbler. The butcher and the cobbler had married sisters and hated each other only slightly less than they hated their wives. This didn't stop them, however, from running a speakeasy in their shared basement. Nightly, people came from the other sixteen parishes of Dorchester, as well as from parishes as far away as the North Shore, to drink the best liquor south of Montreal and hear a Negro songstress named Delilah Deluth sing about heartbreak in a place whose unofficial name was The Shoelace, which infuriated the butcher so much he'd gone bald over it. The Bartolo brothers were in The Shoelace almost every night, which was fine, but going so far as to reside above the place seemed idiotic to Joe. It would only take one legitimate raid by honest cops or T-Men, however unlikely that might be, and it would be nothing for them to kick in Dion's and Paulo's door and discover money, guns, and jewelry that two wops who worked in a department store and a grocer, respectively, could never account for.

True, the jewelry usually went right back out the door to Hymie Drago, the fence they'd been using since they were fifteen, but the money usually went no further than a gaming table in the back of The Shoelace, or into their mattresses.

Joe leaned against the icebox and watched Paulo put his and his brother's split there that morning, just pull back the sweat-yellowed sheet to reveal one of a series of slits they'd cut into the side, Dion handing the stacks of bills to Paulo and Paulo shoving them in like he was stuffing a holiday bird

At twenty-three, Paulo was the oldest of them. Dion, younger by two years, seemed older, however, maybe because he was smarter or maybe because he was meaner. Joe, who would turn twenty next month, was the youngest of them but had been acknowledged as the brains of the operation since they'd joined forces to knock over news¬stands when Joe was thirteen.

Paulo rose from the floor. "I know where I seen her." He slapped the dust off his knees.

Joe came off the icebox. "Where?"

"But he's not sweet on her," Dion said.

"Where?" Joe repeated.

Paulo pointed at the floor. "Downstairs."

"In The Shoelace?"

Paulo nodded. "She come in with Albert."

"Albert who?"

"Albert, the King of Montenegro," Dion said. "Albert Who Do You Think?"

Unfortunately, there was only one Albert in Boston who could be referred to without a last name. Albert White, the guy they'd just robbed.

Albert was a former hero of the Philippine Moro Wars and a former policeman, who'd lost his job, like Joe's own brother, after the strike in '19. Currently he was the owner of White Garage and Automotive Glass Repair (formerly Halloran's Tire and Automotive), White's Downtown Café (formerly Halloran's Lunch Counter), and White's Freight and Transcontinental Shipping (formerly Halloran's Trucking). Rumored to have personally rubbed out Bitsy Halloran. Bitsy got himself shot eleven times in an oak phone booth inside a Rexall Drugstore in Egleston Square. So many shots fired at such close range, they set the booth on fire. It was rumored Albert had bought the charred remains of the phone booth, restored it, and kept it in the study of the home he owned on Ashmont Hill, made all his calls from it.

"So she's Albert's girl." It deflated Joe to think of her as just another gangster's moll. He'd already had visions of them racing across the country in a stolen car, unencumbered by a past or a future, chasing a red sky and a setting sun all the way to Mexico.

"I seen them together three times," Paulo said.

"So now it's three times."

Paulo looked down at his fingers for confirmation. "Yeah."

Excerpted from Live by Night by Dennis Lehane. Copyright © 2012 by Dennis Lehane. Excerpted by permission of William Morrow. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.