Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

Mystic River - Dennis Lehane

Writing this review as I sit here watching Sean Penn discover the brutal death of his daughter, kicking myself once again because this is another book I should of read a long time ago. Just glad in a way that I also hadn't seen the film and blown a powerfully compelling ending that managed to stay just out of my grasp until two pages before the big reveal.


Mystic River is a riveting character driven crime thriller about three boys, one abducted and forever scarred with what he endured, all grown up but with distinctly different futures. Shaped by circumstance, three very different characters, surviving life with wildly opposing ideals but nonetheless each one totally gripping.


Jimmy Marcus's daughter goes out one night and never makes it home, tragically killed, devastation closely follows and the hunt for a killer that cleverly shifts focus leaving deep consequences in its wake.

"I know in my soul I contributed to my child’s death. I can feel it. But I don’t know how."


Sean Devine, now a detective and hauled back to his old neighbourhood to investigate the murder, old friends, old memories and lies occupy his thoughts, the truth just out of reach.

'Sean felt a sudden lurch in the morning, a shifting in the softness of it.'


And Dave Boyle, abducted as a child, both an intense sadness and madness, never far away, following him round hand in hand with a wretched betrayal.

'And he’d grown up into this tall, smart, handsome guy with a voice you could listen to all night and eyes that seemed to peel you away in layers.'


Top marks for an absolutely gripping plot, powerful and compelling characters, and delightful prose. One of the best, simple as.


I don’t normally swear in my reviews but this deserves a fucking big round of applause and I’ll be visiting Mr Lehane’s back catalogue very soon and the film is nowhere near as good as the read IMHO.