World Gone By
Little, Brown Book Group UK
Joe Coughlin is untouchable. Once one of America’s most feared and prominent gangsters, he now moves effortlessly between the social elite, politicians, police and the mob. He has everything he could possibly want; money, power, a beautiful mistress, and anonymity.
But in a town that runs on corruption, vengeance and greed, success can’t protect Joe from the dark truth of his past — and ultimately, the wages of a lifetime of sin will finally be paid in full . . .
Chilling, heart-breaking and gripping, this is the most complex and powerful novel to date from Dennis Lehane, writer on The Wire and author of modern classics such as Shutter Island, Gone, Baby, Gone and The Given Day.
When I selected this book to read I knew nothing about the book or the author aside from the authors incredible reputation as a prolific and fantastic writer of crime fiction. I knew I had to check this author out. And I was not disappointed in this read at all.
This book was everything that the book bloggers grapevine purported it to be – well paced, exciting and it had an interesting well executed plot and characters that were fully drawn – and should I use the expression it also had a touch of the romantic? Not in the plunging necklines and bare chested stereotypical book cover romance story line but romance as in the reader is drawn to the character of Joe Coughlin, gangster, murderer and villain and yet we end up with a rose coloured glasses notion of this criminal; as the good guy who is a bad guy. We are empathetic to his cause (but maybe not his method of dealing with his problems). We admire his warm and loving relationship with his son and his best friend (and mafia boss) and despite the fact that Joe is a criminal through and through and would terminate in the most deadly manner anyone he perceives as trouble we like him. Is it how he dresses, his manners that he can display in elite company he chooses to sometime keep or that he can mediate and calm down the most difficult situation? Yet despite his positive qualities, Joe Coughlin is still a gangster and it is a brutal world he lives in, and yet we still think of him fondly. I think it is admirable that Dennis Lehane is able to sway our opinion with a few strokes of a key board 🙂
This is the 3rd book in the Joe Coughlin series yet not reading the earlier book did not detract from my enjoyment of this book.