Book Review Wednesday: Mystic River (5 stars)

Posted: May 21, 2014 in Book Reviews
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Another Dennis Lehane. Love this guy.

This one was harder to read than my previous one of his: ‘A drink before the war.’ They both deal with difficult topics, but this one seemed to go deeper. I don’t think it was any more graphic, but as a lot of the book was based around one event that tied the three main characters together: one of them getting abducted and abused as a child, and this character was a pov character, it went deeper into the psychology.

Here’s the blurb:

Reluctantly, Sean Devine confronts the world of violence and pain when his childhood friend’s daughter is murdered and the investigation brings him face-to-face with a vigilante killer and a man with a dangerous secret.

I’m not sure that blurb does the best job describing it. Mystic River is a mystery. Most of it revolves around Jimmy’s, Sean’s childhood friend’s daughter being murdered. Sean is detective in the case and sets out to find out who did it. And then there’s Dave, the friend abducted while they were playing. He came home the night Jimmy’s daughter was murdered covered in blood.

I guessed all the twists before they came about, but that didn’t stop it from being a good read, even if I puzzled out who did it a short way through the book. Lehane gives enough clues for the reader to be able to work things out before the conclusion, and while I prefer being shocked, I didn’t mind that. Sure, the puzzle was interesting while it lasted, but it was still rewarding to see the characters find their way to the truth.

Disclaimer here: I’m told I’m unusually good at puzzling out who done its, so the twists may not be as obvious as they appeared to me, and even if they are, it’s nice sometimes for the reader to feel cleverer than the characters.

Lehane’s writing was great. Don’t expect the humor you get in his Kenzie and Gennaro series, but you still get the emotional poignancy. Even though I knew the twists were coming, they still wacked a emotional punch.

Everything wrapped up pretty neatly by the end, even if some bits were so darn sad. All in all, I’d say this was a good read. If you liked the film, read it. If you like mysteries, read it. I think the only people I’d warn not to read this are those who only like ‘happy, happy, rainbows’ books. This is not one of those.

For more reviews on this book see:



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