Mystic River was another selection of mine for the (already completed) Read to Reel challenge at my local library. Although I’ve owned this book for years, for whatever reason it remained on the “hysterectomy shelves” untouched until the librarian forced my hand. Amazingly, I have also been able to avoid ever seeing the movie that was released 10+ years ago due to my dislike for Clint Eastwood’s directing . . . . .
Ahhhhh save it, Clint!
The story here is about Sean, Jimmy and Dave. Twenty-five years ago they were rough-housing in the street when two men claiming to be cops pulled up in an unmarked police cruiser. Sean and Jimmy went home, Dave got in the car with the men and managed to find his way back four days later . . . .
Fast-forward to the present where Sean is a detective with a wife (and possible daughter) who have split on him, Jimmy is an ex-con turned family man who owns and operates the corner store and Dave is someone who presents a good front, but whose past torments him more than anyone could ever imagine. When Jimmy’s daughter is brutally murdered in a local park the three former friends find their lives intertwined once again and all the demons buried so long ago come boiling to the surface.
Like all of the other Dennis Lehane’s I’ve read, this one was a real wicked pissa. If you ever need an excuse for putting your head in the oven, Lehane is an author who will deliver them in spades. Mystic River is categorized as a “Mystery/Thriller” like all of the author’s other works, but that sells this novel so short. While there is most assuredly a mystery to solve, I believe most readers will find that aspect of the book takes second fiddle to the character study of these three families. It’s quite easy to see the red herring and, for people who gravitate toward the thriller or crime genres, it’s pretty simple to see the end well before you ever reach it. And if your brain works like mine and 100% refuses to acknowledge the casting decisions made by the pros, but instead replaces them with . . . .
A story like Mystic River can only end one way.
If you like ‘em dark, look no further. Lehane is a master of this art and proves once again that . . . .
“I think anyone’s capable of anything.”
All the stars.
(And if you want to continue on a downward spiral of superbads happening that eff up kids’ lives forever, look no further than sleepers.)
Book # I lost count in the Library Winter Reading Challenge