Mystic River


If this title sounds familiar, you might have seen the movie.  It was adapted for the screen in 2003.  The book by Dennis Lehane is suspenseful and exciting, and keeps you guessing (especially if you don’t already know whodunit from the film).

Jimmy, Sean, Dave are childhood friends.  One day, when they were outside playing and fighting, a car drove up.  The boys thought the men inside were cops.  Dave got in the car, and went missing for four days.  He managed to escape, but nothing was the same after that.

Twenty-five years later, the men come together again.  Jimmy’s daughter Katie has been murdered, and Sean, a cop, is the investigator.  Dave is related to Jimmy by marriage, but he’s not above suspicion– he came home the night of Katie’s death covered in blood.

Each of the men have their demons.  Jimmy is an ex-con trying to make a new name for himself;  Sean’s wife left him, and he was suspended from duty for a petty mistake; Dave is haunted by what happened to him when he was a child.  They’re thrown back together when tragedy strikes their community, and they try to find comfort in their shared past.

There’s a lot going on in this book, but by the end it all comes together.  Questions are answered and truths revealed.  What seemed random at first was actually a lot more connected than I thought.

I finally guessed who the killer was with about 70 pages left in the book, but holy mackerel– it was not the person I was expecting.  Even if you’ve seen the movie, it’s so worth the read.

The movie is directed by Clint Eastwood.  It stars Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon as Jimmy, Dave, and Sean, respectively.  I haven’t seen it yet, but I plan to watch it soon.  I hope it stayed true to the book, because if so, it’ll be super intense.

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