Summary and book reviews of Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

Mystic River

By Dennis Lehane

Mystic River
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  • Hardcover: Jan 2001,
    320 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2002,
    320 pages.

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About this Book

Book Summary

"There are threads in our lives. You pull one, and everything else gets affected."

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 Devine is a homicide detective. Jimmy Marcus is an ex-con who owns a corner store. And Dave Boyle is trying to hold his marriage together and keep his demons at bay -- demons that urge him to do terrible things.

When Jimmy Marcus's daughter is found murdered, Sean Devine is assigned to the case. His personal life unraveling, he must go back into a world he thought he'd left behind to confront not only the violence, of the present but the nightmares of his past. His investigation brings him into conflict with Jimmy Marcus, who finds that his old criminal impulses tempt him to solve the crime with brutal justice. And then there is Dave Boyle, who came home the night Jimmy's daughter died covered with someone else's blood.

While Sean Devine attempts to use the law to return peace and order to the neighborhood, Jimmy Marcus finds his need for vengeance pushing him ever closer to a moral abyss from which he won't be able to return, and Dave's wife, Celeste, sleeps at night with a man she fears may very well be a monster - a monster who fathered her child and hides his true nature from everyone, possibly even himself.

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.

THE POINT AND THE FLATS

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. It became a permanent character of their clothes, the beds they slept in, the vinyl backs of their car seats. Sean's kitchen smelled like a Fudgsicle, his bathroom like a Coleman Chew-Chew bar. By the time they were eleven, Sean and Jimmy had developed a hatred of sweets so total they took their coffee black for the rest of their lives and never ate dessert.

On Saturdays, Jimmy's father would drop by the Devines' to have a beer with Sean's father. He'd bring Jimmy with him, and as one beer turned into six, plus two or three shots of Dewar's, Jimmy and Sean would play in the backyard, sometimes with Dave Boyle, a kid with girl's wrists and weak eyes who was always telling jokes he'd learned from his uncles. From the other side of the kitchen window screen, they could hear the hiss of the beer ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Esquire

(Dennis Lehane is one of) the very best young mystery writers.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. An emotionally wrenching crime drama about the effects of a savage killing on a tightly knit, blue-collar Boston neighborhood...Lehane's story slams the reader with uncomfortable images, a beautifully rendered setting and an unnerving finale.

Library Journal

Starred Review. Lehane once again proves himself non-pareil in writing about the dark side of the human character...another winner.

Kirkus Reviews

A spellbinding tale...a powerfully lacerating story, by an author who knows every block of the neighborhood and every hair on his character's heads.

Author Blurb Elmore Leonard
Get Dennis Lehane's Mystic River. Boy does he know how to write.

Reader Reviews
Pimento

Good book, but dragged in spots
I enjoyed this book overall. It was a very good story and much of it was very hard to put down. I read it fairly quickly. However, sometimes I found myself skimming over long descriptions of characters or places because I found myself impatient...   Read More

MONI80

BETTER THAN THE MOVIE!
After watching the movie and leaving somewhat unsatisfied I tracked down the book and can now say that the story just a as hearttouching and moving as the reviews say. In the movie though Tim Robbins does an awesome job it seems incomplete without ...   Read More

Nicolle

Great book! would recommend it to any one


- a n t h -

This book is awesome. I couldn't put it down, I just had to keep on reading. What an ending! The movie was great too!

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