Saturday, June 8, 2013

Review: LIVE BY NIGHT by Dennis Lehane

I love prohibition era gangster stories – LIVE BY NIGHT is perhaps one of the best there is. The main character Joe Coughlin, a self proclaimed outlaw brings a refined sense of thugernomics to Tampa’s Latin Quarter. As much as Joe’s prerogative is to make cash in the rum trade, it’s his drive at the hands of a broken heart that gives him is fire and determination on the path to damnation.

Live by NightLIVE BY NIGHT is a deeply character driven story. Joe, a son of a prominent Boston police officer turns his back on the lawful life and teams with a couple of young thugs for petty stick-ups and minor offenses. The path towards being one of the most feared and respected gangsters forms when three police officers are gunned down following a robbery. Joe does hard time where he meets an old gangster who changes his life for ever.

Upon release Joe is given a head post in the organisation where he quickly assumes the mantle of top Don by show of force and smarts. However, the semi peaceful existence soon comes crashing down in a hail of bullets splattering the pavements a sticky red and causing Joe to own his reputation and embrace the violent lifestyle of a gangster.

There are so many positives to this book. As a fan of the period and genre, it ticks all the boxes.

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