Thursday, March 12, 2015

World Gone By by Dennis Lehane

Ten years ago, Joe Coughlin ran the Mob in Tampa and Cuba.  He gave up that position after his wife was murdered, and these days, serves as an advisor or consigliore, to the Bartolo crime family.  Joe grew up with these guys and counts the current boss, Dion, as his brother.  Joe spends his days taking care of his businesses which have been impacted as the rest of the country has during World War II.  Many of the men he worked with have gone to war, and the crime world is as impacted as the rest of American society.

Still, Joe is content for the most part.  He raises his son, Tomas, who he loves more than anything in the world.  He has a woman in his life, even though he must keep her a secret.  Then, in the space of a few weeks everything changes.  Joe starts to see a vision, a boy who bears a family resemblance to his own family.  What is this vision, and what does it mean?  There are rumors that someone is thinking about trying to take over from Dion, that Dion is slipping.  Then there is the rumor that a contract has been placed on Joe's own life.  Everyone loves Joe.  Who could be doing such a thing?

Have you ever seen someone peel an apple who starts at one end and effortlessly cuts the skin off in one long, graceful peel?  That vision came to me repeatedly as I read Lehane's latest book.  He effortlessly spins a tale that unfolds with inevitability and that skewers the world of the gangster.  It is a world full of loyalties and betrayals, a world where family is respected above all yet men do not hesitate to make women and children widows and orphans, where a man is on top of the world one day and staring up at the sky with lifeless eyes the next.  It is a brutal world whose appeal the reader can catch a glimpse of through Lehane's masterful portrayal.  This book is recommended for mystery readers. 

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!