Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Drop; Dennis Lehane

The Drop; Dennis Lehane
2014 - William Morrow

The Drop has been on my radar since last fall. I'm a big fan of author, Dennis Lehane and, the film version was the last film that James Gandolfini starred in before his untimely death. It's a very short crime thriller that takes place in Boston (movie version Brooklyn).
Bob Saginowski, a quiet, lonely guy who works as a bartender at his cousin Marv's bar. Cousin Marv no longer owns the place, but still runs it. The place is also a "drop" site for illegally obtained money collected by the Chechen mob.
But in this story, it's Bob, not Marv, who is by far the most interesting character of the story. He is guilt-ridden, spends time at church, and tends bar. A few days after Christmas, he is walking home from work and hears whimpering coming out of a trash can on the sidewalk. He finds a beaten, pit bull puppy. The woman who lives in the house helps Bob, clean and nurse the puppy, and Bob soon becomes the dog's savior.  The puppy who he names Rocco, and the woman play an integral role in the complications which arise as the story progresses.

The Drop, is a story about desperate people and the desperate situations that occur when people make bad decisions in life.  The author paints a very vivid description of the characters, the neighborhood and how the mob operates.  A very short story with an ending that packs a punch.

4/5 stars
(review copy)

11 comments:

  1. I've read a couple of his books and really enjoyed him, but then he kind of fell off my radar. Thanks for reminding me how good he is. I'll have to check this one out.

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  2. I'm a fan of Lehane's and can't wait to read this.

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  3. Rocco is enough of a reason for me to want to read this.

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  4. I read this, too. I won it through goodreads.com.

    THE DROP was originally a short story in BOSTON NOIR. It's title was different then: "Animal Rescue." Now it's a movie, and, apparently, someone knew it would sell as a standalone novel movie tie-in. That person is surely correct, but this is one rare novel whose movie is likely better than the book.

    "THE DROP" is a more accurate title than is "'Animal Rescue.'" The story has more to do with drops at a bar than it does with the rescue of a puppy from a garbage can. Still, the dog rescue and subsequent care do occur. And any animal lover will like the story for that, alone.

    But the story is really about a lonely bartender (who rescues the abused puppy), his boss, a police detective, and the Chechen mafia. Of course, one of the bad guys is the dog's original owner. And no reader can be blamed if she cares more about what will happen to that puppy and the lonely bartender than about what will happen with the rest of the characters.

    Dennis Lehane used to be so consistently good that it was safe to preorder his book because you knew you were going to love it. That's not true anymore. Even so, this book did make me anxious to see the movie.

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  5. This sounds like a good choice for animal lovers, Diane. It sounds like one I'd enjoy. Very nice, concise review!

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  6. I'm in the Boston area and a big Dennis Lehane fan for awhile, but then I got a questionable one, so now I really check out the reviews. Thanks!

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  7. I think Lehane is one of the best mystery writers out there. His Kenzie/Gennaro series is so lyrical and I keep meaning to read the entire series all over again. Adding this one to my list!

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  8. I usually like Lehane... this one sounds good.

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  9. I loved the movie so I should give the book a try,

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