Book # 48: Dennis Lehane, Mystic River
Purchased along with a copy of Pride & Prejudice in the Salt Lake airport Simply Books (please note, my only association with Utah today was meant to be flying over it) because I figure I will give Jane Austen one more chance not to send me to sleep every three pages before I give up on her entirely. They also had three copies of Worldwired and neither of the other two books. There are going to be some confused passengers out there. I had been through all the manuscripts I brought with me by then, you see.
This was such a surprisingly good book that I kept glancing at the cover to make sure it actually did say #1 New York Times Bestseller on it. (It does.) The characterizations are deft and nuanced, the murder plot is nice and twisty, and people do not (mostly) get What They Deserve, though there's enough sympathy for the unfairness of the universe not to seem entirely arbitrary. Also, the writing is quirky and vivacious and Lehane has a kind of uncompromising sympathy for all of his characters, the innocent and the corrupt, and the innocents who are in the process of becoming corrupted.
The ending might be a bit facile--I think Lehane's meditative take on character suffers when confronted with narrative exigencies such as closure. But that was basically my only complaint.
Also, I got all the way through my read and revise of the first 3/4th of Undertow, which means that tomorrow, we start writing the climax. Of which I currently have about six mutually exclusive versions in my head.
I guess we write it and see what happens.
(One of them I can discard because it echoes the ending of Carnival a little too closely.)
and so to bed