**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.