Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Authors to Note: Dennis Lehane

Welcome to a new series where I will introduce one of my favourite authors every month and talk about my favourite picks of their books to check out. Whenever I read a great book I always like to see what other offerings that author has written as well and because of this habit I have so many great authors to mention that hopefully will inspire you the next time you need some reading inspiration.

Many people are probably familiar with the movies Dennis Lehane's novels have been made into, including Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River and Shutter Island (and if you haven't definitely watch them as they are all brilliant in their own right) but may not known that all of those titles were actually novels before they were adapted to the big screen.

Lehane's take on crime/thriller fiction is dark and gritty with utterly realistic characters and unpredictable plots that will have you guessing and reguessing all the way along. From psychological thrillers to detective stories his novels often head into dark and uncomfortable territories that will have you on the edge of your seat and firmly chewing your fingernails. I'm not a big fan of scary horror-like crime/thriller novels but Lehane's novels have just the right amount of creep to them without making you want to sleep all night with the light on. For every crime book that has finished with a let-down, a predictable plot or a nicely stitched up story line, Lehane's novels are much more sophisticated than that, but it's the so-real it's depressing characters and neighbourhoods they inhabit that really bring his stories to life.

It was actually Lehane's foray into a different genre that had me hooked on his books to begin with (and also suprised that he was the same author behind Shutter Island). The Given Day has firmly earned its place as one of my favourite historical novels. The novel set amongst the unionising working classes of Boston in 1919 is a far-cry from his previous books subject matter but one that still had me glued to its pages.

If you are a fan of the movie versions or just looking for a gripping novel Lehane's books will not leave you disappointed. Have you read anything by Dennis Lehane?

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