Into the Mystic

I had watched Clint Eastwood' s Mystic River only two weeks before reading Dennis Lehane's novel, book number 48 as I endeavor 52 novels this year. While that may have taken the suspense out of this detective story, it wasn't what ruined the book for me. This is not a typical murder mystery. Mystic River isn't just about catching a killer; it's about what happens when the ripples caused by a child abduction of twenty years ago collide with those created by a current day murder.

I decided to read the novel even though I saw the movie because I wasn't that impressed by the movie. It was a well-acted film, but I thought that the writing had some weak points. I know that turning a 400-page novel into a 2-hour screenplay means weeding out some story so I was interested in what was left out. Unfortunately, very little was cut. The weak points of the movie were the weak points of the book. It tried to be about the struggles each of the three lead characters had with their wives, their families, their jobs, their neighborhoods, their pasts, and themselves. That sounds too ambitious, and it was. The book ended up too wordy in some places and too shallow in others.

The only other detective novel I've read this year was Jonathan Letham's Motherless Brooklyn. I would highly recommend that book.

Next up for me is Anne Tyler’s The Accidental Blogist Tourist.


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