Live by Night by Dennis Lehane

2013 Limelight Reviews
Mystery and Crime

Dennis Lehane is one of my favourite authors, having written Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River and Shutter Island amongst other books. I was delighted therefore to find Live by Night in the SMSA’s printed collection. Live by Night, a gangster novel, tells the story of the rise and fall of a gangster in the prohibition era of the roaring twenties and thirties. Live by Night is the story of one Joe Coughlin’s rise from Boston petty thief who finds himself in jail, and later rising to become the Gulf Coast’s most successful rum runner. Joe, the son of a policeman and the black sheep of the family decides that a life of crime (living by night) is more satisfying than working a real job. The novel follows Joe’s climb up through the crime world where there is a lot of violence (naturally) as Joe deals with rival gangs, betrayal, love, and friendship. And no one gets away with anything for free, there’s a price for every decision. It’s a great novel, well written in typical Lehane style. Since reading Live by Night I have learnt that it is the second book in a trilogy, the first being The Given Day, which is also in the SMSA collection. The third book is yet to be released.

Grahame MarksSecretary of the SMSA