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Mystic River | [Dennis Lehane]

Mystic River

When they were children, Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus, and Dave Boyle were friends. But then a strange car drove up their street. One boy got in the car, two did not, and something terrible happened - something that ended their friendship and changed the boys forever. Twenty-five years later, Sean is a homicide detective. Jimmy is an ex-con. And Dave is trying to hold his marriage together and keep his demons at bay - demons that urge him to do horrific things. When Jimmy's daughter is murdered, Sean is assigned to the case.
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Publisher's Summary

When they were children, Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus, and Dave Boyle were friends. But then a strange car drove up their street. One boy got in the car, two did not, and something terrible happened - something that ended their friendship and changed the boys forever. Twenty-five years later, Sean is a homicide detective. Jimmy is an ex-con. And Dave is trying to hold his marriage together and keep his demons at bay - demons that urge him to do horrific things.

When Jimmy's daughter is murdered, Sean is assigned to the case. His investigation brings him into conflict with Jimmy, who finds his old criminal impulses tempt him to solve the crime with brutal justice. And then there is Dave, who came home the night Jimmy's daughter died covered in someone else's blood. While Sean attempts to use the law to return peace and order to the neighborhood, Jimmy finds his need for vengeance pushing him ever closer to a moral abyss from which he won't be able to return.

©2001 Dennis Lehane (P)2003 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (94 )
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4.2 (80 )
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4.3 (81 )
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  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 07-08-13
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 07-08-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful writing,"

    but it’s too depressing for me - during and at the end. I’m looking for entertainment.

    It’s a mystery with unexpected events and very full character development. I like the way the author writes about characters, their thoughts, decisions, dialogue. But I don’t like the downer element. I’ve read three books by Lehane. In all three books, horrible things happen to children. I grieve for that and other things. There is a lot of sadness here about life and society. I never smiled. I want more entertainment in my reading. I enjoy the Michael Connelly detective stories because I smile due to being surprised or impressed with what the guy does. But Lehane’s books don’t do that.

    Early in the book a ten-year-old boy is kidnaped by pedophiles for four days. I was disappointed that we are never told what happened during those days. And then not enough was told about what happened to the pedophiles later. I wanted more details. I also wanted more details about the boy prostitute (later in the story) - what he did after a major incident and why.

    Sadly I don’t like Scott Brick as a narrator. He comes across as cocky, arrogant, dismissive, and sarcastic. He brings those tones to his characters which makes me like the characters less. It’s hard to like a book when you don’t like the characters.

    Genre: crime mystery

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth St. Paul, MN United States 03-29-13
    Elizabeth St. Paul, MN United States 03-29-13 Member Since 2007

    Fast approaching retirement as a life long oncology nurse. I love family more than anything. I enjoy reading (audio only), movies, travels, paper crafting, photography, gardening and just being alive.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The movie was great; this is even better!"

    I love Dennis Lehane and have listed to several books narrated by Scott Brick. Neither let me down. Excellent narration. Excellent crime and psychological thriller. I thought the three main characters were well developed and I really got to know them. I had seen the movie and still I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend this audiobook. It will stick with you a long time.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leigh Mount Pleasant, SC United States 05-22-13
    Leigh Mount Pleasant, SC United States 05-22-13 Member Since 2013

    There is nothing better than a good book!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sucked me in from the beginning!"

    I was hooked! I love the twists and turns every Lehane novel has- and Scott Bricks narration was flawless! If you are looking for a thriller with non-stop action- this is it! Bravo!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tango Texas 03-22-13
    Tango Texas 03-22-13 Member Since 2012

    Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ending is more out of sync than mystic"

    Dennis Lehane's writing style isn't as lyrical as I prefer but he can paint a good picture with words and I was drawn in and engaged for most of the book. I particularly liked his very effective use of setting in this novel. The working class Boston neighborhood came alive in my mind and served to "flavor" the characters and move the plot. There was a fairly good and consistent use of foreshadowing which allows a reader to make some good guesses at the mysteries in advance without actually being certain. However, I was truly disappointed in the ending. After building a complex psychological study of 3 friends from childhood to mid-30's, the ending abruptly wraps up the story with a total warping of one of the characters - the actions were consistent but the internal perspective was not. I won't include any spoilers but the book took me on an interesting journey that ended suddenly at a completely unrelated destination. This is a good read that just doesn't quite work in the end.

    Scott Brick provides competent narration with a style very suitable to a murder mystery.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gayle Lodi, CA, United States 06-22-13
    Gayle Lodi, CA, United States 06-22-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What would I have done?"

    The writer caught my interest from the very beginning. I felt I got to know the characters well enough that I could empathize. Wondered what I would do if faced with their situations.

    I do agree with another reviewer that I would have liked a stronger ending. It was not exactly out of "left field" or implausible, just not that satisfying. And, yes, I did want to know how everyone fared, but I felt the use of the prologue was a bit of a cop out.

    All that said, I did enjoy the book and would recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MJ Uncasville, CT, United States 01-13-13
    MJ Uncasville, CT, United States 01-13-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Fantastic!"
    Would you listen to Mystic River again? Why?

    Absolutely. I think this book was THE best book I've ever listened to! I first heard Scott Brick read The Passage (by Justin Cronin) and really enjoyed that, so his voice was familiar to me. I'd never "read" anything by Dennis Lehane but I had seen the movie Mystic River, a few times (it's also one of my favorite movies!) I'd NEVER really cared for Sean Penn until I saw him in this - he was fantastic!


    What other book might you compare Mystic River to and why?

    So far I have no comparison. I love most of Stephen King's work as well as the Jack Reacher Series by Lee Child, but Mystic River just took that top slot for me. Now I'm looking into reading other books by Dennis - I want to know if he writes as well in his other books, and if he does, I'll be totally thrilled!


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. The Passage, by Justin Cronin. I think Scott is a fantastic reader. I think part of why I enjoyed listening to Mystic River was because I was already familiar with his voice and reading style.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    All I can say is I really "felt" it. If the story is good, the reader should "feel" it.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Reed 05-25-12
    John Reed 05-25-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pronunciation can kill an audio book"

    The story is a typical Lehane story and that is a very positive statement. BUT, when someone lives in the area where the story is supposed to be placed and the pronunciation is profoundly wrong, it's something of a turnoff. For example there is an amusement park in southern NH whose name is Canobie Lake Park. Scot Brick pronounces it with a hard c and it sounds like KA NO bee where anyone in New England knows it's CAN o bee. There are several instances of this issue. That said, I enjoy books that are located in cities in which I have either lived or spent time.

    Lehane is a master at weaving his stories through personalities and situations. This story is no exception. We get to learn about families, in-laws, childhood friends and sweethearts, ex-wives and ex-husbands, children of questionable parentage, short people and organized crime. We hear, as Lehane is an excellent voice, murder, liars, friends who are anything but, lifelong enemies and the police.

    I will listen to this book again at some time in the future, I enjoyed it that much.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Troy, MI, United States 08-23-13
    Michelle Troy, MI, United States 08-23-13 Member Since 2012
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    "I figured it out"
    Any additional comments?

    I was sad to figure out the killer pretty early in the book. But, the way the author twisted it all together was really amazing.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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