Mystic River: Dennis Lehane

Grown weary of those endless “reality” shows lately? Before your eyes glaze over, I’ve a suggestion for you. How ’bout curling up on a cold winter’s night with a really good book? There’s nothing quite like the reality of an imaginative writer, and I’ve found one. He’s Dennis Lehane and the book is called “Mystic River”, and though it’s a mystery novel, it’s far and above a typical “Who done it”.

The author writes in a direct style, yet draws rich portraits of three young friends from a blue-collar community, East Buckingham, just outside of Boston, who experience a frightening and life changing event. There is straight arrow Sean, reckless, pugnacious Jimmy and irritating, clinging Dave. The three friends are up to no good one afternoon when Dave is abducted. The community is shocked and frightened. Dave survives, but the boys are haunted by the occurrence into manhood.

The novel moves quickly forward and though East Buckingham isn’t large, each has gone his own way, seeking jobs, marrying, struggling to live quiet lives, when a shocking murder crashes into their mundane existences, forcing them together again, altering each life forever. A talented storyteller, Lehane weaves with ease the lives of the three men, their wives and their children. Throughout this fascinating book, the reader is drawn in as the author peels away layer upon layer of motives, frustrations and fears.

Mystic River, the polluted, industrial river bordering this small Massachusetts community holds more than one secret in it’s oily waters. “Mystic River”, the book, divulges its secrets through chillingly icy logic and reveals how sudden, life changing events in one community can ring so true as to astound. It’s a great read.

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