"Dennis was a great speaker - engaging, dynamic and funny... he thoughtfully and thoroughly fielded all of the audiences' queries."
-- Friends of the Topsfield Library
Dennis Lehane is the acclaimed master of the new noir. His novels include the New York Times best-sellers Moonlight Mile, The Given Day, Gone, Baby, Gone, Mystic River, and Shutter Island, as well as Sacred, Prayers for Rain, Darkness, Take My Hand, A Drink Before the War and Coronado, a collection of short stories and a play. His latest book, Live By Night (William Morrow), is an epic, unflinching tale of the making and unmaking of a gangster in the Prohibition Era of the Roaring Twenties.
Mystic River was a finalist for the 2001 PEN/Winship Award and won both the Anthony Award and the Barry Award for Best Novel, the Dilys Award from the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association and the Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction from the Massachusetts Center for the Book. A Drink Before the War won the Shamus Award for Best First Novel.
Three of Lehane's books have been made into hit movies: Shutter Island (directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, 2010); the big screen debut of Gone, Baby, Gone (directed by Ben Affleck, 2006); and the award-winning film adaptation of Mystic River (directed by Clint Eastwood, 2003).
Lehane was born and raised in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Before becoming a full-time writer, he worked as a counselor with mentally handicapped and abused children, waited tables, parked cars, drove limos, worked in bookstores, and loaded tractor-trailers. His one regret is that no one ever gave him a chance to tend bar. Lehane and his wife, Angie, divide their time between Boston and the Gulf Coast of Florida.
Praise for Dennis Lehane:
"Dennis was fantastic and held the crowd for every minute of his presentation. I had never met him before, but I can say that he is incredibly cool, down to earth and great to work with."
-- Matt Fitzpatrick, Pollard Memorial Library Foundation
Praise for Moonlight Mile:
"Lehane's new novel Moonlight Mile is yet more proof that the author is as much social historian as mystery writer, and that his true literary forefathers include John Steinbeck as well as Raymond Chandler. . . He has precisely defined the gradations of class in American life -- and illustrated the distorting downward push of economic pressures -- through a fast-paced, heartbreaking story. Nobody pokes his nose into the crummy apartments and seedy bars and trash-packed alleys and emotional messes of lower-class life with more observational rigor than Lehane. . . The plot of Moonlight Mile flies at you fast and sinks its hooks into you for keeps. . . Lehane's writing, as always, is tight, vivid and brilliantly assured. . . But the heart of Moonlight Mile, and the aspect of Lehane's work that lifts it cleanly above other crime fiction the way a grappling hook can raise a body from a quarry pond, is his deep, visceral understanding of poverty's effect on the human psyche, of how the constant throb of hunger can disfigure anybody's good nature and grand ambitions. . . Just as Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath told the story of one Depression, Lehane's Moonlight Mile begins to tell the story of another one. The latter is a nifty detective story, yes, but it's also more than that: It's an indictment of the times themselves, and a passionate hunt for the real criminals."
-- Chicago Tribune
"Unlike the usual sequel writer who simply puts old creations through new paces, Mr. Lehane registers a deep affection for the Kenzie-Gennaro team and a passionate involvement in their problems. And he treats each book in this series as an occasion for wondering what kind of world can produce the depravity that each new plotline describes. . . So Patrick and Angie follow the bread-crumb trail of clues and suspects, giving Mr. Lehane many occasions to write acid-etched dialogue and show off his fine powers of description."
-- New York Times
"In many ways, the novel is an homage to happy family life. It's a deft delivery system for a story that mixes guts, betrayal and the importance of good values. It's also a sublime love story about what really matters in the grand scheme of things. Lehane says this may be the last novel he writes about Kenzie and Gennaro. It seems to wrap up the loose ends and set them on a more domestic path. If that's the case, it's a heck of a way to go out."
-- USA Today
It's impossible to say whether Moonlight Mile was fun to write, but its central characters keep it fun to read, even when ratcheting the tension tight. . . Moonlight Mile barrels apace, buoyed by the Kenzie and Gennaro dialogue as much as by the twists of the hunt. Moonlight Mile is everything that Lehane readers have come to expect: a tight story filliped with unexpected turns, delivered in prose that goes down easily. Compulsively readable, the duo at its heart is well worth spending time with. The story ends too soon -- not because the ending is abrupt or unsatisfying; the conclusion absolutely works. But it's too soon to leave Kenzie and Gennaro behind. They are addicting characters with a world of adventure, and developing lives, in front of them."
-- Denver Post
"A modern master of suspense revives the series that initially earned him a hard-core following. . . [Its] wise-cracking dialogue, page-turning plot and protagonists who are all the more likable for their flaws extend the addictive spirit of the series. . . Welcome back."
-- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Moonlight Mile is the kind of detective novel that brings out the reviewer's clichés - mesmerizing, page-turning, pulsating - but they're all true. I regretted putting it down at night and had to stop myself from dismissing my own work to read it the very next morning. . . But I can honestly say you'll love this novel - if you like smart dialogue, compelling characters and plot, and thought-provoking ideas."
-- Virginian Pilot
"In the absorbing Moonlight Mile, [Lehane] returns to his roots in the series featuring Boston private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro. . . But the novel also reveals what happens when a master stretches the limits of a conventional mystery series. Streamlined and fast-paced, the novel cruises through a well-designed and executed plot. But at the same time, Lehane uses the form to give a twist of his own to hard-boiled detective fiction, employing it as a lens to magnify the moral consequences of choices that his characters make. He knows how to get equally valid chills and laughs out of the same situation, throwing the reader for a welcome loop. . . The dialogue pops with energy. . ."
-- Columbus Dispatch
"It will send Lehane first-timers to the stacks searching for earlier titles."
-- Florida Times-Union
"In the decade between the last Kenzie-Gennaro book and this one, Lehane has made quantum leaps as a craftsman ... Lehane is a writer bringing new confidence and an easy prowess to a new chapter in an epic story - the Kenzie-Gennaro saga."
-- The Washington Post
Moonlight Mile boasts not only such enigmatic clues but many of the other hallmarks of great hard-boiled fiction. Lehane is a master of the genre's lean, propulsive style and its sharply observed descriptions."
-- St. Petersburg Times
"Big-hearted, sometimes heartbreaking and always compelling, Moonlight Mile is the very welcome return of blue-collar Boston private eyes Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro."
-- The Seattle Times
Praise for Darkness, Take My Hand:
"Haunting. . . . Heart-pounding suspenseful."
"Masterfully plotted and beautifully written. . . A fierce and frightening story of crimes of the flesh and the heart."
-- Cincinnati Enquirer
"Taut writing. . . Lehane is one of those brave new detective stylists who is not afraid of fooling around with the genre's traditions."
-- Washington Post Book World
Praise for Sacred:
"Lehane's voice is an original. He turns the hard-boiled detective novel into an elegiac treatise on the corruption of the soul."
-- Michael Connelly
Praise for Gone, Baby, Gone:
"Lehane tackles corruption in many forms as he brings his complicated plot to its satisfying resolution, at the same time leaving readers to ponder moral questions about social and individual responsibility long after the last page is turned."
-- Publishers Weekly
"Gone, Baby, Gone is a tough, true, powerful story written by a stunningly good novelist, one of our very best."
-- James Patterson
Praise for Prayers for Rain:
"The superb detective novels of Dennis Lehane . . . became a kind of lifeline for me."
-- Stephen King, New York Times Book Review
"The well-oiled plot mechanics, edge-of-the-knife dialogue, and explosive bursts of violence are polished and primed in this hard-boiled shocker."
-- New York Times Book Review
Praise for The Given Day:
"[A] work of admirable ambition and scope. . . Lehane is as much like contemporaries George Pelecanos and Richard Price as he is like the bygone Boston-based John P. Marquand, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist."
-- Los Angeles Times Book Review
"[Lehane] deserves to be included among the most interesting and accomplished American novelists of any genre or category. . . A powerful moment in history, and Lehane makes the most of it. . . Heartfelt and moving."
-- Washington Post Book World
"Stands in the great tradition of the American novel, setting an enthralling personal story against a great sweep of history. The result is epic, romantic, and intelligent."
-- Kate Atkinson
"Superbly written, meticulously researched. . . Places [Lehane] in the first rank of modern American novelists."
-- Associated Press
"Steeped in history but wearing its research lightly, The Given Day is a meaty, rich, old-fashioned and satisfying tale. . . Lehane's masterpiece."
-- Seattle Times
"Passionate and powerful. . . [Lehane] is becoming, book by book, the foremost chronicler of social class in America. . . Lehane is trying to get his arms around the origins of modern America, the divide between red states and blue states, the great cultural cleaver that splits the country right down the middle . . . [in this] massive, ambitious novel."
-- Chicago Tribune
Praise for Mystic River:
"A spellbinding tale. . . A powerfully lacerating story, by an author who knows every block of the neighborhood and every hair on his character's heads."
-- Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Shutter Island:
"Startlingly original. . . Instantly cinematic. . . This is a deft, suspenseful thriller that unfolds with increasing urgency until it delivers a visceral shock in its final moments. When it comes to keeping readers exactly where he wants them, Mr. Lehane offers a bravura demonstration of how it's done."
-- New York Times