The only disappointing thing I have to write about this novel is that I left it sit on my shelf for far too long before I picked it up. I picked it up approximately 24 hours ago and quickly read 300 pages, and then decided to head to bed last night. But I was not fooling anyone, after Dave had fallen asleep, and Ruby began to snore softly at my feet. I grabbed my slippers and threw on my robe (no, this is not The Night Before Christmas) and headed downstairs to find out what happen to Joe Coughlin.
The book is called Live By Night, and it is by bestselling author Dennis Lehane. I have not read anything about him before, so this was my first intro to his writing talent. He hypnotized my into the world of organized crime from page one. The story starts in Boston in 1926 where we meet Joe Coughlin, a 19 year-old who has lead a life of crime since he was 13. He is the son of a policeman and has turned from his family for a different career choice. Joe is a wonderfully developed character that I could not help rooting for and falling for….not so much in love with, but something else. He is flawed and one cannot help but love his flaws. We follow Joe throughout his career….he falls in love, he robs banks, he goes to prison, and he plays the game of organized crime very well…maybe too well.
The book is filled with many dicey scenes…. multiple murders, sexual encounters, and much violence. Normally, I am not an explosion, car chase, shoot-em up kind of gal, but I ate this book up right until the last page. At the end, I held the book and did not want to retire it to my shelves just yet, and I thought who might like this book. I first thought of my old friend Pete (not that Pete is old….just that I have known him for a long time). Pete, if you are reading this….this is one for you (I think). I also thought of my parents who have long been fans of The Godfather, so I believe this afternoon, I will be driving this book over to them. Enjoy!