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Live by Night
by Dennis Lehane

Overview -

Boston, 1926. The '20s are roaring. Liquor is flowing, bullets are flying, and one man sets out to make his mark on the world.

Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops.  Read more...


 
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More About Live by Night by Dennis Lehane
 
 
 
Overview

Boston, 1926. The '20s are roaring. Liquor is flowing, bullets are flying, and one man sets out to make his mark on the world.

Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent Boston police captain, has long since turned his back on his strict and proper upbringing. Now having graduated from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city's most fearsome mobsters, Joe enjoys the spoils, thrills, and notoriety of being an outlaw.

But life on the dark side carries a heavy price. In a time when ruthless men of ambition, armed with cash, illegal booze, and guns, battle for control, no one--neither family nor friend, enemy nor lover--can be trusted. Beyond money and power, even the threat of prison, one fate seems most likely for men like Joe: an early death. But until that day, he and his friends are determined to live life to the hilt.

Joe embarks on a dizzying journey up the ladder of organized crime that takes him from the flash of Jazz Age Boston to the sensual shimmer of Tampa's Latin Quarter to the sizzling streets of Cuba. Live by Night is a riveting epic layered with a diverse cast of loyal friends and callous enemies, tough rumrunners and sultry femmes fatales, Bible-quoting evangelists and cruel Klansmen, all battling for survival and their piece of the American dream. At once a sweeping love story and a compelling saga of revenge, it is a spellbinding tour de force of betrayal and redemption, music and murder, that brings fully to life a bygone era when sin was cause for celebration and vice was a national virtue.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780060004873
  • ISBN-10: 0060004878
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Company
  • Publish Date: October 2012
  • Page Count: 401


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Thrillers - Historical
Books > Fiction > Thrillers - Crime
Books > Fiction > Thrillers - Suspense

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-08-06
  • Reviewer: Staff

Bestseller Lehane (The Given Day) chronicles the Prohibition-era rise of Joe Coughlin, an Irish-American gangster, in this masterful crime epic. While most hard-working stiffs are earning their wages by day in 1926 Boston, 19-year-old Joe and his friends live by night, catering to the demand for prostitution, narcotics, and bootleg alcohol. When Joe falls for a competing mobster’s gun moll, he sets in motion a chain of events that land him in prison, with the girl missing and presumed dead. In the joint, Joe meets aging Mafia don Thomaso “Maso” Pescatore, who becomes his mentor. On Joe’s release, Maso sets Joe up in Tampa, Fla., as his point man. Years pass, and Joe creates a huge empire in the illegal rum trade. He marries Graciela Corrales, a fiery Cuban revolutionary, and eventually builds a life for himself in Batista’s Cuba, soothing his conscience by doing good works with his dirty money. This idyllic existence can’t last forever, though, especially in the night, with its shifting alliances and fated clashes. Lehane has created a mature, quintessentially American story that will appeal to readers of literary and crime fiction alike. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary. (Oct.)

 
BookPage Reviews

The bad boys of the Roaring '20s

"Some years later, in a tugboat in the Gulf of Mexico, Joe Coughlin’s feet were placed in a tub of cement.” As an opening line guaranteed to pick you up by the scruff of the neck and not let go, it doesn’t get much better than that. Live by Night is told in flashbacks, coming around full circle to that gripping beginning, which is, in its way, the end.

Ardent Dennis Lehane-ophiles will recognize the Coughlin family name from 2008’s The Given Day, the sweeping early 20th-century novel in which Aiden (Danny) Coughlin, Joe’s Boston cop father, played a pivotal role. Fast-forward 10 years or so to the heady time of Prohibition, and the younger Coughlin offers up a fine example of the apple having fallen far from the tree. While Coughlin père pursued his vision of law and order, Coughlin fils embarked early on a life of crime. He should have known better than to rob well-connected speakeasy owner Albert White, and he really should have known better than to make a play for White’s girl, but then there would have been no cement overshoes and probably no story as well. And make no mistake, there is a fine story here, more than the equal of its predecessor—one that begs for (and, according to reports, will receive) a third installment.

 
BAM Customer Reviews

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