Live by Night (Coughlin, #2)
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Live by Night (Coughlin #2)

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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  8,773 ratings  ·  1,323 reviews
Boston, 1926. The '20s are roaring. Liquor is flowing, bullets are flying, and one man sets out to make his mark on the world.

Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent Boston police captain, has long since turned his back on his strict and proper upbr...more
Hardcover, 402 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by William Morrow (first published 2012)
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The Memory Thief by Emily ColinPortrait of Our Marriage by Martha EmmsAfter Forever Ends by Melodie RamoneGone Girl by Gillian FlynnLive by Night by Dennis Lehane
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Kemper
I think Dennis Lehane may be a big fan of Boardwalk Empire based on this book.

In the mid-1920s, Joe Coughlin is a young man who has turned against his upbringing as the son of a legendary Boston police captain. Joe works for a local gangster and does the occasional robbery on the side. When he falls for the mistress of a rival to his boss, trouble follows, and Joe’s criminal career takes a turn that eventually finds him setting up a huge bootlegging operation in Tampa.

This is an indirect sequel...more
Will Byrnes
Updated - May 16, 2013 - see link at bottom

The opening scene of Dennis Lehane’s Prohibition gangster tale, Live by Night has our hero, Joe Coughlin, on a tugboat, in the Gulf of Mexico, fitted for a nice set of cement footwear, while a dozen or so of his least favorite people prepare to help him into a final swim. It is from this moment that we look back over the years to 1926 to find out how Joe came to be in such peril. The first thing we see is Joe and two other petty crooks robbing a speakea...more
Jeanette
Little Joe Coughlin was only a bit player in The Given Day, but here he gets an entire novel all to himself. It's not necessary to have read The Given Day first. Live By Night makes a fine stand-alone novel.

If you have read The Given Day, it will give you some understanding as to why Joe has chosen a career as a criminal. He was the neglected, often invisible youngest son. He observed how his father and brothers worked hard and lived within the law, and they were not rewarded for their pains. S...more
Lou
-May 2013 Awarded Edgar Award for Best Novel-
This tale chronologically tells of the rise of a main protagonist Joe, a cops son, to a position of command of many men who partake in things of an illegal criterion.

Badabing badaboom with nostalgia, a different time in history more godfather like in its climb and battle to keep power but Joe started up with no Kin in-crime, his father was a cop so he had maybe you could say a slight disadvantage to make his name in fireworks but this fact could hold...more
James Thane
Live By Night tells a broad, sweeping tale that stretches from 1926 to 1935, and from Boston to Tampa, Florida and on to Cuba. It includes a number of historical figures as well as fictional characters and follows the story that Lehane began several years ago in The Given Day.

At the center of the story is Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of Boston police captain, Thomas Coughlin. The Coughlin home was not a happy one, at least not for young Joe, who early on amused himself by doping out the combi...more
Julie
There’s an element that bugged the heck out of me all the way through this novel, so let me just get it out of the way and move on, since this was a read I really enjoyed.

Despite the abundance of ideas in Live By Night, ideas which relate to the story’s era and setting: the futility of Prohibition, Jazz Age excess, bootlegging and gangland violence, racism, the Cuban émigré community in Florida - the main character, Joe Coughlin, isn’t given any real purpose or object to pursue. What are the mo...more
Joe
Naturally all the reviews I read on this site praised the author and the novel. This is standard for every review. Reader tells what the story is about and then say what a great book it was and what a great writer the author is. I have no idea what they got out of the book. There is nothing specific except what the book is about. It's unfortunate that readers are not educated enough to explain what it is about a book that they like or maybe dislike.

I've read all of Lehane and find him to be a be...more
Michael
This is my first foray into reading Dennis Lehane. I'm not a mystery reader, generally, nor am I a fan of crime novels OR historical novels. However, with Mr. Lehane on the Board of Trustees where I work, I thought I'd give this a try. Add to that the consistent praise his work gets, I figured I would overcome my usual disinterest for the genre and give it a try.

I was suitably impressed. Dennis is a great writer, and his marvelously detailed and nuanced story of the life of an gangster... oops,...more
Karolyn Sherwood
I am a big fan of Dennis Lehane's, but I'm not the target audience for this book. I agree with most of the big reviews of Live By Night: it's a high-level gangster novel, and it is very well-written. But in my opinion the plot is not necessarily fresh, and it never reaches the brilliance of Shutter Island.

Live (rhymes with give) By Night chronicles a good-hearted though misguided young man named Joe Coughlin. Lehane elevates him by making him a non-racist in a time when almost everyone else is d...more
Bob Mayer
This is a Right Now book. Meaning my wife read it and I had to read it right now so we could discuss it. Not tomorrow or when I was less busy but drop everything because it's so good that it needs to be shared like a movie. Thankfully she doesn't read many right now books. Most are when you have time or on the plane or if it's sort of interesting--when you miss your flight. This was a are-you-done-yet, right now book. And I see why.
Once we finished the rehash over dinner, at the dog park and du...more
Carol
My sincere thanks to William Morrow who provided an advanced reading copy of Live by Night which will be published October 2012.

If you look back at my book shelf you'll see I really loved Dennis Lehane's The Given Day. What I can't quite figure out is why I didn't write anything about it at the time. I thought I had. Regardless, when given the opportunity by William Morrow Publishing to read Live by Night, I was thrilled.

Live by Night is being called The Given Day #2 and does continue the story...more
Michael
I’m addicted to Lehane’s storytelling skills, and this book supplied me with a good fix. As with Stephen King, people can debate all they want about where Lehane fits in the scheme of lasting literature, but I don’t care for that subject. I get pleasure from his ability to draw me in with complex characters I care about and to engage me in their development as they walk the line between the darkness and the light. I also appreciate his non-flashy prose, which works effectively and almost invisib...more
Caitlin
This book started with good promise. Joe was an interesting character operating in a vividly described 1920s Boston. His father was chief of police. As you might expect in Lehane novels, Joe was a criminal protagonist.

Lehane does a good job of exploring father/son conflicts, and extends the family theme into Joe's criminal decision making. Unfortunately, the latter two thirds of the book in Tampa read like Hollywood cliche.
Kurt
Sometime during the second or third chapter of this book, I closed the book and texted my brother, "Lehane writes an amazing femme fatale." He immediately texted back, "Lehane writes an amazing lots of things." Yes he does, and almost all of those things are proudly on display in this epic historical novel.

The novel continues the story of one of the minor characters from The Given Day, with appearances by some of the wounded survivors of that amazing novel, but a new reader will never be lost fo...more
Michael
Review originally found on my blog; http://literary-exploration.com/2012/...

While Joe Coughlin is the son of a Boston Police Captain, he has long turned his back of being a moral citizen. Joe has graduated into petty crimes to high paying robberies. But when he robs a speakeasy of a Boston mobster things change for him. When the mobster kills Joe’s love, Emma, he becomes obsessed with seeking revenge. Joe works up the ladder of organised crime till he is in the right position to take his revenge...more
Angela Savage
I suspected I'd like Dennis Lehane's Live by Night by when I read the title of the Chapter One, 'A Twelve O'Clock Fella in a Nine O'Clock Town'. With the opening line, 'Some years later, on a tugboat in the Gulf of Mexico, Joe Coughlin's feet were placed in a tub of cement', I was hooked.

Lehane combines an engrossing plot and seamless historical setting with complex, credible characters, expressing it all in hard-boiled poetry.

Live By Night is drama in three acts. Part 1 takes place in Boston be...more
Tony
LIVE BY NIGHT. (2012). Dennis Lehane. ****.
This is Lehane’s latest crime novel – the saga of Joe Coughlin. Joe is a young Irishman from the Boston area who wants to get ahead. The quickest way he can find is by becoming ‘somebody’ in the world of crime. He makes the distinction between being a gangster – which he says he is not – to being an outlaw. Early on, he believes that the difference lies in not killing anyone. We first meet Joe when he and his two best friends, Paolo and Dion, decide to...more
Krycek
When we were kids and we used to play cops and robbers it was pretty clear who was supposed to be the good guy and who the bad guy. Of course, real life is seldom that clear and in the Depression-era America of Dennis Lehane's Live By Night the distinction is nearly irrelevant. Cops were cops, but cops could often be crooks themselves. Others, like Joe Coughlin, who himself is the son of a cop, live outside the imposed the laws of the state while subscribing to their own brand of uncommon honor....more
Michael
"Live by Night" is an incendiary story, spanning the rise in power of Joe Coughlin, who is about to turn age twenty at the start of the story.

Before the action begins, there is a scene where Joe is in the hands of his enemies. It appears as if these might be his last moments and we wonder how he came to this situation and if there was any way for him to extricate himself and survive. The rest of the story looks into the events leading up to this scene.

Those who have read Dennis Lehane know how m...more
Carl Brush
I’ve long considered Dennis Lehane to be one of the premiere commercial novelists of his generation. Recently, his The Given Day, concerning the Boston police strike of 1919, gave him top creds as a historical novelist as well. Live By Night is right up there with his best.

Joe Coughlin is the son of one of the principals in The Given Day. A higher up in the police department, and the book takes up not long after the strike. The title of Live By Night connects with Joe’s choice of lifestyle. The...more
Ami
Let's see ... two facts: 1) Dennis Lehane is one of my favorite authors, and 2) I pretty much stop reading literature-fiction these days. Unfortunately for me, I think that Mr. Lehane moved into lit-fic (a historical no less!) with his novel, The Given Day, four years ago (and yes, I did read that one, all 700 pages of it in hardcover). So what a fan girl to do? Grab the book and read it, slowly, VERY slowly, like few chapters at a time.

The result?

Man, Dennis Lehane can still blow my socks!

This...more
Kealan Burke
After the disappointing MOONLIGHT MILE, I approached LIVE BY NIGHT with managed expectations(still need to read THE GIVEN DAY), but was delighted to find it a return to form for Lehane, who has, over the past few years, become one of my favorite writers. Reading NIGHT, it's easy to see why Lehane served as a consultant on HBO's BOARDWALK EMPIRE; the book fairly drips with history and attention to detail, the meat of the story occurring during the Prohibition years. It's well-written, well-paced,...more
Nette
This is disturbing. Somebody has kidnapped terse, cynical, grimly funny Dennis Lehane, the guy who wrote a series of excellent Boston detective novels, and replaced him with a sentimental hack who writes sentences like this:

"He was starting to suspect he was in love with her. In those rare moments when the cage opened and he was invited in, he found a person desperate to trust, desperate to love, hell, desperate to live She just needed to see he was worthy of risking that trust, that love, that...more
Darcia Helle
I have long been a fan of Dennis Lehane, and Live by Night reminds me of all the reasons why. The characters here are unforgettable. The plot unfolds in the chaotic times of prohibition, pervasive prejudice, and mafia ruling the cities. In the midst of this madness, Joe Coughlin is trying to find his way. His character touched me deeply, a rare accomplishment in fiction. Live by Night is Dennis Lehane at his best, and I loved everything about this book.
Donna Lanheady
Loved the characters and the writing, but the story didn't enthrall me the way his books usually do (maybe because I found some of it predictable). Nonetheless, a good read!
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Prohibition, speakeasies, bank robberies, gangsters, mobsters, jail time, murders....LIVE BY NIGHT has it all. You will follow Joe Coughlin through his life as a privileged child, a gangster, and a mob boss.

Joe Coughlin is the son of Thomas Coughlin....the only problem is that Thomas is the Chief Deputy Superintendent of the Boston Police Department and his son is a criminal. Joe feels he and his buddies are invincible, but he finds out they are not. Joe has committed many robberies in his short...more
Jay Connor
An amazing noir work with a pitch perfect eye and ear for Jazz Age and Depression ambience, yet somehow frustratingly inert at its very core, perhaps because at times Lehane uses a ladle to dispense these details rather than a narrative-advancing baster.

A fellow reviewer likened Lehane to a car collector polishing a vintage Pierce Arrow every weekend but never taking it out on the road. Lehane has assembled all of the exquisite aspects of life of a bygone era without fully bringing it to life....more
Mal Warwick
A thoughtful, action-packed crime story that explores the boundaries of morality

“Some years later, on a tugboat in the Gulf of Mexico, Joe Coughlin’s feet were placed in a tub of cement. Twelve gunmen stood waiting until they got far enough out to sea to throw him overboard.”

Thus opens Live by Night. It is 1926, years before this flash-forward. Joe is 20. Though his father, Thomas, is a senior police commander, Joe has been a practicing criminal since the age of 13, and he’s very good at it. He’...more
Matt Brady
Joe Coughlin is the youngest son of Boston Police royalty. His father practically helped to found the modern force and is on track for the Commissioner's office, his oldest brother Danny was a hero cop until he lost his job for being one of the organisers of the infamous 1919 police strike, and his other brother Connor was the youngest DA in state history until losing his eyesight in a tragic accident. Joe, however, is the family black sheep. Drawn to the other side of the thin blue line since c...more
Sandra
First published on Clear Eyes Full Shelves
http://cleareyesfullshelves.com/blog/...

I’ve long been a fan of Dennis Lehane’s novels.
I was solidly hooked once Sarah, my daughter, introduced me to his first book,A Drink Before the War, so by the time I held his fourth novelGone, Baby, Gone(which is also anexcellent movie), the hook was set. When I saw he had a new book, Live By Night, coming out, I preordered it with great expectations.
I have no concerns about disappointment when a Lehane book is in...more
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Dennis Lehane (born Aug 4th, 1966) is an American author. He has written several novels, including the New York Times bestseller Mystic River, which was later made into an Academy Award winning film, also called Mystic River, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon (Lehane can be briefly seen waving from a car in the parade scene at the end of the film). The...more
More about Dennis Lehane...
Shutter Island Mystic River A Drink Before the War (Kenzie & Gennaro, #1) Gone, Baby, Gone (Kenzie & Gennaro, #4) Darkness, Take My Hand (Kenzie & Gennaro, #2)

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“The foundation of your life is luck. Hard work and talent make up the difference.” 9 likes
“What's your name?"
"Emma Gould," she said. "What's yours?"
"Wanted."
"By all the girls or just the law?”
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