Three young boys from the mean streets of Boston lives are forever altered when one of them is abducted. Jimmy Marcus and Sean Devine did not get in the car with the two men who turned onto their street one day, but Dave Boyle did. Although Dave manages to escape from the pedophiles the friendship is never the same and all three men move on with their lives. Sean is now a police officer, Jimmy a reformed mobster who spends a few years in jail and changes when his wife dies while he is away, leaving him to raise their daughter Katie. Dave is married but hasn't done much with his life, still harboring the pain of his past. All three of these men's lives come together again when a teenaged Katie is murdered; Sean is the lead investigator, Jimmy is wracked by grief and guilt, and Dave becomes increasingly unraveled as many of his secrets become exposed. Powerfully written with unforgettable and complex characters, this is one of the best suspense books I have read in a very long time. Each character seems so real they almost come off the page. You empathize with them; shake your head at their weaknesses but care about each one. The language is real, the situations are real and the question of morals and ethics is explored time and again. Good people do bad things; sometimes bad people can do good things, and there is a strong sense of karma throughout the book. The âwhat if' questions of making a different turn on a given day and the consequences are explored and the scars that are left on three boys as they mature into men is examined in their day by day reactions to Katie's death. I have never read Lehane before, but I plan to remedy that situation. I have A Drink Before the War on my TBR and I will definitely read that one very soon.
Incredible book, I can't recommend this one enough. I, too, saw the movie first and loved it. The movie followed the book very closely and the book does the characters justice, that much more. The wives all have an integral part and the book is able to go into those depths that the movie would not have been able to. Nothing was left out of the movie, it's just more insight. Being in Dave's head in the book can't be duplicated and there was one scene in the movie that I found very powerful and was looking forward to reading it in the book: the scene toward the end between Sean Penn and Laura Linney-- a very chilling scene in the movie and very high impact in the book as well. I would re-read again in a few years.
"Mystic River" is a thoroughly intriguing book with characters that were three dimensional. Unfortunately I saw the movie prior to reading the book, which is not what I prefer to do since nearly every movie fails miserably in it representation of the book. However, I realized two things: the movie did a very good job of representing the book and the book was still fresh and new to me. Anyone who is looking for a great read to introduce them to a potentially new author, this is it.
The story of three boys, once the best of friends, separated by a terrible event that changed their lives forever. Years later murder thrusts them together once more.
Very, very good read with a lot of surprising twists, and deep character development. Great story and he spends a lot of time leading you through it. I highly recommend it.
My only "problem" (and it's not really a problem, more of a "quality"), it's hard to read again. I read books several times for different reasons, and this one is a little hard to wade through emotionally when you don't have the mystery pushing you along (since you already know what's coming).