My reading activities have been slowed down the past week by a little trip into the wild North Queensland (not that wild and not that North but let’s pretend because it sounds more adventurous that way)…anyway, I finished Live by Night by Dennis Lehane.
Like I told you, I had huge expectations about that book and I’m happy to report that I wasn’t disappointed ! It’s not the best Lehane I’ve read but it is definitely a great book !
The story takes place in Boston, in 1926. Joe Coughlin is a young small thief. His father is a cop, a Deputy Superintendent of the BPD. The all family is linked to the BPD, both Joe’s brothers were cops who lost their jobs during the 1919 Boston Police strike (which links this novel with the other historical novel Lehane wrote, The Given Day).
The book opens with Joe robbing a speakeasy belonging to Albert White. During the robbing, he meets Emma Gould and falls in love with her. She will betray him and he’ll end up in prison thinking she died the night he was arrested. He gets out of jail and joins an Italian gangster family…( to know more, grab the book, a cup of tea and READ!)
The plot seems a little cliché with the gangster falling in love madly with the “femme fatale” and, in my opinion, it is. But this lack of originality is forgotten by the talent of Dennis Lehane’s writing. He takes the reader back in time, at a time where gangsters had a romantic aura and the deep sense of honor.
I can’t believe I’ll have to wait another two years, at least, to have a new Lehane!
All in all, I’d give this one a nice 7/10.