Monday, August 6, 2012

Book Review: Live by Night

**I received a free advance copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads for the purpose of reviewing it.**

DETAILS: Live by Night by Dennis Lehane.  EXPECTED PUBLICATION: October 2, 2012.  Historical crime fiction.

SUMMARY: In this sequel to The Given Day, Thomas Coughlin's youngest son Joe strays from the family path of law enforcement and becomes an outlaw and gangster in Prohibition-era Boston and Tampa.

PROS: This is a very good gangster book that could rival any others.  Mr. Lehane once again proves to be a master storyteller.  I enjoyed this one more than it's prequel, The Given Day, both because I liked the character of Joe better than the characters in the other book, and because I felt the book had a bit more polish.  In The Given Day, I felt like it could have used a bit of trimming but this book was better paced.  The setting and characters satisfied any craving I would have for a good 1920's gangster book without resorting to the millions of cliches that setting has created over the years.

CONS: Without giving anything away, let me just say I didn't particularly like the ending, but it wasn't bad enough to detract from the rest of the book and also could probably be justified.  Also, and this is only sort of a con, Mr. Lehane once again demonstrates his almost-endearing habit of finding ever-more-creative ways to describe colors.  Although, to be honest, I rather like this vice of his.

BOTTOM LINE: Top-notch gangster book with almost a literary bent to it.  Five stars out of five.

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