0230 hrs Monday 12 Feb 2001
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane is not due out in the UK until March 7th, but on Thursday I was at Manchester Airport collecting some guy's for a Conference. I was early so I went for a browse around WH Smiths, and shrieked when I saw the trade paperback of it inside.
After a difficult week, I read the book in two sittings, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday night.
I am sitting writing this review at 0230 hrs, knowing that I have to work tomorrow, but still needing to put some words down, about the searing reading experience that is `Mystic River'.
It is one the finest pieces of fiction I have read in absolutely years, a dark tale of crime, family, love, loss and revenge in the Irish Blue Collar Boston. Complex and densely plotted, this is no ordinary crime thriller, but far more, and Lehane's insights into the human condition and characterization truly remarkable.
I can not reveal the plot, as it was such a joy to watch it unravel like a Venomous Cobra, hypnotizing, whispering, and finally resolving the tale, as only Lehane can.
It is one of the most moving books I have read, and despite it's darkness, it has a warmth and appreciation about the flaws in the human condition, and how we live with our demons and our pasts, and how everything we do is somehow connected, and yet detached from a distance, but up close and personal, these strands are as cold and strong as steel, but from the hill, they are invisible to an outsider.
It is February, and I have a bittersweet feeling. Joy at having been deeply involved in the thoughts and workings of Dennis Lehane's world, but sad it has finished, and that in the start of a year, I have read one of the most remarkable books, and one that is still bouncing in my mind, and will for a long time to come.
I urge you to seek this book out, and learn the thoughts and demons that plague us all.
A wonderful book, and my highlight of this year, and a stark and welcome departure that shows that Lehane's literary talent is something for me to watch, as I grow old, like the river that this tale is about.