Title: Live By Night
Author: Dennis Lehane
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Harper Audio / William Morrow
Edition: audio and eGalley
Reader: Jim Frangione (very good)
Date Completed: November/2012
Rating: 4.5/5Recommend: yes
When I began this book I wasn't aware that is was a sequel to the author's earlier book, The Given Day, which I own, but hadn't read. Despite that, I found this story extremely easy to get hooked on, and I can honestly say this one would be fine to read or listen to as a stand-alone novel.
In this story Joe Coughlin is the youngest son of a corrupt, Irish police captain. The story begins in 1926, it's the Prohibition era, and the Coughlin family is well off compared others in his neighborhood. Joe's a smart kid, but that doesn't stop him from getting himself involved in risky business as a teen. He thinks getting away with things is fun, and enjoys the opportunity for some easy money even if the money comes dishonestly from the pockets of Boston mobsters.
Live By Night is a sprawling saga with so much going for it that it's sure to have plenty to please most readers. There is corruption, murder, moral issues, issues of faith and there is even romance -- a woman named Emma, that Joe becomes obsessed with, who happens to be the girlfriend of a big time mobster. The characters are well developed, and I loved that the story took place during the time of Prohibition. The author did a great job enlightening the reader to all the corrupt financial opportunities that existed at that time, all of which made for some exciting listening and reading. I am now looking forward to reading the prequel, The Given Day. A long time Lehane fan, I've read at least 5 of his previous books and enjoyed them all.