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There are currently 37 reader reviews for Live by Night
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Ray P. (Selden, NY)
Classic gangster noir circa the 1920's.
Dennis Lehane is so good at what he does as soon as he releases a new novel it goes directly to the top of my 'read next' pile --- regardless of who else is on that pile.
Steve B. (Spring, TX)
Compelling Prohibition Era Drama
LIVE BY NIGHT is set in the time of prohibition, bootleggers and gangster's. Young Joe Coughlin is a major disappointment to his father, who happens to be a Police Captain in Boston. When Joe is arrested for his involvement in a criminal act whereby a cop was killed, his father washes his hands of Joe and let's him face his punishment in prison.
It is in prison where Joe comes alive. Teaming up with some well-known crime lords, Joe is able to blaze a path for himself and set up his life outside of prison. Still reeling from the death of his gangster's moll girlfriend and the sudden passing of his father, Joe makes tracks from Boston and heads to Tampa upon release.
It is here where the novel really catches fire. Joe finds himself in Ybor City --- a town of mixed races and an emerging Cuban population --- and he quickly takes on the popular illegal trade of the area --- rum-running. Bouncing between Florida and Cuba, filled with good and bad villains and surprises at every turn makes LIVE BY NIGHT an instant classic. In the hands of Lehane, he raises what could be common noir material to the level of fine literature and creates characters and scenes that you can actually smell and taste. Another hit for Mr. Lehane!
Dennis Lehane has written a fantastic, gripping, keep you on the edge of your seat novel. There are no good guys or good gals in this story; some are just “less bad” than others. The main character, Joe Coughlin, has many appealing characteristics but he is also a ruthless, cold hearted outlaw and admitted gangster. His escapades lead to chilling, exciting drama. I got intensely involved in this book and hated to see it end. This was the first time I have read anything by Dennis Lehane but I definitely plan to read more.
Portia A. (Mount Laurel, NJ)
Evocative of an era
The story, set in the Prohibition Era filled with violence, crime and love, this book is not for someone who craves a cozy read. It is a thriller that is often brutal in execution, but never failed to hold my interest. If you want a book that will keep you reading until the end, this is it!
Elizabeth K. (Glenshaw, PA)
Live by Night
I was hooked from the first sentence, the line did not slacken until the last sentence. Gangster and bookleggers were brought to life from Boston to Tampa to Cuba. They are humanized as the reader delves into their dark lives. The actions so vivid, it was almost like watching them occur as I was reading. This is a real page turner.
Jeff M. (Morris Plains, NJ)
Live By Night - An Absolutely Geat Read!
Let me say right at the outset, that Dennis Lehane's "Live by Nght" is one of the best books that I've read recently (and I read a good deal). The story will grab you right from the opening paragraph and will not let go until you finish. Lehane's writing transports you back to the sights, sounds and corruption of Boston during Prohibition in the 1920s and you can feel the humidity in the air when the story shifts to Florida. Lehane has done his research, fitting actual historical events and people into a well-crafted and written story that moves his principal character, Joe Coughlin, from small-time hood to big-time gangster. There is an impressive array of supporting cast, both male and female, and the novel does not lack for action. It's not too often that I read an ARC that I think is so good that it has sent me back to start reading the earlier story of the Coughlin family in "The Given Day" (2009).