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Mystic River

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  146,059 ratings  ·  4,022 reviews
When they were children, Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus, and Dave Boyle were friends. But then a strange car pulled up to their street. One boy got into the car, two did not, and something terrible happened -- something that ended their friendship and changed all three boys forever.

Twenty-five years later, Sean is a homicide detective. Jimmy is an ex-con who owns a corner store
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 1st 2001 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 2001)
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Izzy I guess so. I live in Boston, particularly in East Boston which has kind of a large Hispanic community, but there are still some Italians here and the…moreI guess so. I live in Boston, particularly in East Boston which has kind of a large Hispanic community, but there are still some Italians here and there. Boston is a farcry from Lehane's novel which is based on a Boston Lehane grew up in the 70's and 80's. Gentrification has been going on probably since like the late 80's I want to say? And it's still going on today.

In short, yes. There probably are still some communities like these out there, but I'm sure Lehane kinda exaggerates just a little bit.(less)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Wrongleveeeeeeer There is almost no detail of the child abuse. The violent nature of the murder is described in police detail, but is only as disturbing as that kind o…moreThere is almost no detail of the child abuse. The violent nature of the murder is described in police detail, but is only as disturbing as that kind of thing is, by necessity. It is mostly a book about characters--their motivations, their loves, their losses...I say take your chances and get them the book. It's a great read.(less)

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Dan Schwent
Once upon a time, three boys were fighting in the street when two men claiming to be plainclothes cops show up. One kid gets in the car, the others stay put, and their lives will never be the same. Decades later, Dave Boyle, the kid who got into the car, is accused of killing the daughter of Jimmy Marcus, one of the other boys, and the third boy has grown up to be Sean Devine, the cop in charge of the case. Did Boyle do it? And if he didn't, can Sean find the real killer?

Yeah, 2013 was supposed
Em Lost In Books
Intense, stunning, and shocking.

And I always wanted to know what was going on in Jimmy's head after the last stunt that he pulled. Movies would never tell us that, and that's why books are always better...
Ahmad Sharabiani
Mystic River, Dennis Lehane

Mystic River is a novel by Dennis Lehane that was published in 2001. The Mystic River is not only a psychological, terrifying, and stressful novel, but also an epic one, describing love, loyalty, camaraderie, faith, and family. The story of this book is about people whose past has invariably affected their future, and who find themselves in dark situations, which exposes them to their inner and hidden selves.

The novel revolves around three boys who grow up as friends i
Sep 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I bought a hardback copy of Mystic River when it first came out, and I’ve been recommending it to everyone I know who has the slightest interest in crime fiction ever since. Oddly enough, it’s been almost 20 years since I first read the book, and I’d never revisited it until now. I love it, but there’s just so much Lehane-style depression that a fella can take.

In a working class Boston neighborhood during the mid-‘70s,three young boys encounter a couple of child molesters pretending to be cops.

Just before picking this book up - my first Lehane (it won't be my last) - I came across a quote by him illuminating the working-class, blue-collar nature of noir:
In Greek tragedy, they fall from great heights. In noir, they fall from the curb.
I love this quote. It slices right to the heart of who we are reading about, and even why we are reading about them.

In Mystic River, Lehane is shooting from both barrels; he intuitively knows who he is writing about and where -- the gritty, depressed, w
Fabian {Councillor}
Every adult human being has the chance to choose a personally favored path of life (considering it isn't predeterminated by illnesses, accidents etc.), but the general direction this path heads towards will usually already be marked during childhood: This might be the idea which provoked Dennis Lehane to write about the abysms of humanity and the fateful consequences one single deed might release to weigh heavily upon your conscience for the rest of your life - even if it is something as simple ...more
“Four in the morning, and she was more awake than she’d been in years. She was Christmas-morning-when-you’re-eight kind of awake. Her blood was caffeine. Your whole life, you wished for something like this. You told yourself you didn’t, but you did. To be involved in a drama.”

The story isn’t about her, though, it’s about them, and she knows them. Jimmy, Sean, and Davey. The boys. They grew up together, from different parts of town. But at eleven, boys are rough and tumble, and who cares where
Dave Schaafsma
“Jimmy knelt down by the river and plunged his hands in it, oily and polluted. . . We bury our sins here. We wash them clean.”

I have now within a month listened to what I have heard from Goodreads friends are the three best novels from Dennis Lehane, Since We Fell, Shutter Island, and Mystic River. At this point, I have seen two film adaptations of his books that I liked very much, Mystic River and Gone, Baby, Gone. I haven’t read any of his other books (yet), but this one, based on a quick lo
Dec 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I read this masterpiece a while ago before I joined Goodreads and I've been contemplating posting a review because it's on the top of my favorites list. But for a while I wasn't sure I could say anything that could do justice to this remarkable book. Not only is it Dennis Lehane's greatest book (and that's saying a lot), this modern tragedy sets the standard for all contemporary crime dramas and thrillers. It's one of the only books that I would consider near perfect and I would recommend it to ...more
I’m picky with thrillers: I like them ambiguous, complicated and thought-provoking. It’s not enough to keep me on the edge of my couch cushion, turning the pages frantically; I want to feel the world and the characters’ reality as I work towards the dénouement. Everyone seems to love “Mystic River”, and I avoided it for a while because it is labeled as a thriller, and I was afraid it would be too ham-fisted for me. But I found a used copy at a thrift store and figured I didn’t have much to lose ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“We bury our sins here. We wash them clean.”

Mystic River was another selection of mine for the (already completed) Read to Reel challenge at my local library. Although I’ve owned this book for years, for whatever reason it remained on the “hysterectomy shelves” untouched until the librarian forced my hand. Amazingly, I have also been able to avoid ever seeing the movie that was released 10+ years ago due to my dislike for Clint Eas
Three young boys. Three young lives. A car with two scoundrels in the road. Silence.

Many years later, a murder of someone's daughter. Life had a story to tell. Friendship broke out in different voices.

I'm not going to say much about this book. An excellent, gritty, somber, literary, psycho-thriller. The murder mystery denied me more sleep! I wanted to cry for all of them. Still do.

To Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus, and Dave Boyle: - I can never forget, or give up on you. Friendship does not work th

Rating: 5.0/5.0

Mystery + Thriller

Three boys who are friends having a fight. A strange car pulls right there. One of the boys gets into the car, the two others don’t. Something bad happens that changes the three boys forever. After 25 years from this incident, a murder happens that connects all the three now men together. What happens next does not bring anything other than misery and sorrow.

Book Structure:
The book consists of four parts and 26 chapters over 401 pages. The story is
Paul Nelson
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Writing this review as I sit here watching Sean Penn discover the brutal death of his daughter, kicking myself once again because this is another book I should of read a long time ago. Just glad in a way that I also hadn't seen the film and blown a powerfully compelling ending that managed to stay just out of my grasp until two pages before the big reveal.
Mystic River is a riveting character driven crime thriller about three boys, one abducted and forever scarred with what he endured, all grown
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes mysteries
Shelves: favorites
Extremely well written. This author can do more for character development in one or two pages than others try in 30. There was not one moment of let down or disbelief. This is a very good, gritty, tough and tragic mystery. Has to be on a top 10 (of all time) list somewhere. ;-)
Nandakishore Mridula
If one approaches “Mystic River” with the same mindset that one would approach a conventional “thriller”, one is apt to be a tad disappointed. Because what Dennis Lehane does here is to masterfully use the structure of the genre to explore deep psychological and moral issues.

Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus and Dave Boyle are kids playing and growing up together in the small town of East Buckingham in the US. Sean, being from the blue collar neighbourhood of the Point, is socially a cut above Jimmy and
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure why it took me so long to read this book, but now that I have, I want to see the film adaptation, too! It's an intense story from start to finish, told from different POVs, which worked really well to create suspense. This method also allowed Lehane to make each of the characters seem very fleshed out and real. You could feel Jimmy's anguish and Dave's confusion, and this made an almost exhausting read, because I got so sucked into the emotions of the characters. The story itself is ...more
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Three friends and the doomed power of injuries..

A battered child choosing the lie in the face of death, because the truth is so enorm and monstrous he cannot uttered it..

The evil commited to the soul of a child reverberates and mould the lives of other people..
Three friends..

One of then, Dave is kinapped by two child molester for four days..
After this, nothing is the same again!!!

Decades latter:

Dave has a young beatiful wife and a son..

His wife loves him but know nothing what happened to his ma
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015

I'm just saying there are threads, okay? Threads in our lives. You pull one, and everything else gets affected. Say it rained in Dallas and so Kennedy didn't ride in a convertible. Stalin stayed in the seminary. Say you and me, Sean, say we got in that car with Dave Boyle.

A horrible murder is commited in a blue-collar neighborhood of Boston. Dennis Lehane goes far deeper than your regular crime writer into the motives and the conditions that led to the crime. He concentrates on the personaliti
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mara by: Kemper
You didn’t belong. Don’t you get it? That’s all a neighborhood is: a place where people who belong together live. All others need not fuckin’ apply.
Clocking in five of his books over the past few weeks, I've begun to feel like I'm living in a sort of Dennis Lehane-land — an ineluctably dark place that is made all the more so by its striking resemblance to our own.

While Sophocles and Aeschylus rarely used blue-collar neighborhoods of Boston as the backdrop of their works,* in Mys
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I need to read more Lehane. This was a great blend of plot-driven and character-driven; a sort of literary mystery akin to Stephen King (without the paranormal/supernatural elements). I was hooked from page 1 and never bored while reading this. Characters you can imagine coming off the page are the most compelling to read about, ones that you can almost picture living out in the real world. And Jimmy, Sean & Dave—plus quite a few of the side characters—sprung to life with each chapter. A g
JaHy☝Hold the Fairy Dust
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to JaHy☝Hold the Fairy Dust by: Lucy
Just finished watching the movie and while it was remarkable , I felt the book was better.

Passenger on the USS Dave for life.
Mar 31, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
If you've seen Martin Scorsese's THE DEPARTED, then you are familiar with the setting of this book. A poor, predominately white neighborhood (in Boston) where (male) children grow up to be either criminals or cops. Violence is a part of life, and the vicious cycles of abuse and crime are never ending.

Jimmy, Sean, and Dave grew up together. When they are 11-years-old, a "cop" car pulls up and busts them for fighting in the street. Sean and Jimmy, the tougher ones, lie and avoid getting in the car
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, 2021-read
I'm usually not a thriller person and this is no Shutter Island, but Dennis Lehane is still just great when it comes to intelligent supsense literature: He ventures into the tormented, twisted minds of his protagonists and lets their turmoil and trauma run free, and it's scary and impressive. The movie is also great, if not even better than the novel. ...more
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction, thriller
If you are someone who stays up past midnight reading very suspenseful mystery novels then this the book for YOU. Mystic River is the name and brilliant writing is the game. Mystery is one of my favorite genres, if it’s yours as well then this is the book for you. This book is the average mystery book on steroids.

Mystic River is a suspenseful tale, that will have you addicted and wanting to read all of Dennis Lehane’s books. Mystic River starts out with three boys (Jimmy, Dave, and Sean) growing
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ebook, z2017
Honestly, I found this sort of hard to read. It's one of those books that is is so saturated with descriptions of absolutely everything that it's hard for me to take it all in. I can't picture images in my head and I guess that's why I usually prefer books that follow a stream of consciousness. It wasn't easy for me to read the descriptions but the book was also hard to read because Lehane writes really long sentences. They seemed to go on and on forever and he lost me more than a few times. I a ...more
Michael Sorbello
Dave Boyle, Sean Devine and Jimmy Marcus are three young boys growing up in Boston and living normal lives. Everything changes when the boys are approached by two child molesters posing as police officers and they end up taking Dave into the vehicle with the false promise of driving him home safely to his mother. Dave returns four days later, mentally and emotionally shattered by his traumatic experiences. Twenty-five years later, Sean has become a homicide detective, Jimmy an ex-convict who cur ...more
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Although Mystic River features some lovely descriptive writing, solid characters and well written dialogue between those characters, the book has many weak spots. The novel's few moments of suspense sizzle out very quickly and the story, in essence, is just long winded, formulated, and unoriginal. ...more
After reading Mystic River, I think Dennis Lehane might've become my new favorite mystery writer since Harlan Coben and David Baldacci! A very powerful tale of murder, friendship, murder, suspense, and betrayal, everything you want from a Mystery, and it leaves you wanting more!

One afternoon in the streets of Boston, 3 longtime friends, Jimmy Marcus, Sean Devine, and Dave Boyle are roughhousing, when a mysterious car with 2 men pulls up, one of the men posing as a cop gets out and starts beratin
Wayne Barrett
A powerhouse!
I can't very well say I have become a fan of Dennis Lehane because, after all, this is the first of his work that I have read, but I will certainly be reading more of his work ( I already have purchased 'Shutter Island')and if it is anything like Mystic River, then yeah, count me in as a huge Lehane fan.
This book was about as close to perfect as you can get. The story drew me in; I felt like I was there, mingling with the locals, I could feel the atmosphere of the city and I could
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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

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With clever detectives, missing jewels, murderous women, daring spies, and more, mysteries and thrillers deliver page-turning delight with...
317 likes · 351 comments
“She blew a stream of smoke up at the empty clotheslines. 'These silly dreams you have when you're young. I mean, what, Katie and Brendan Harris were going ot make a life in Las Vegas? How long would that little Eden have lasted? Maybe they'd be on their second trailer park, second kid, but it would have hit them sooner or later - life isn't happily ever after and golden sunsets and shit like that. It's work. The person you love is rarely worthy of how big your love is. Because no one is worthy of that and maybe no one deserves the burden of it, either. You'll be let down. You'll be disappointed and have your trust broken and have a lot of real sucky days. You lose more than you win. You hate the person you love as much as you love him. But, shit, you roll up your sleeves and work - at everything -because that's what growing older is.” 101 likes
“There are threads in our lives. You pull one, and everything else gets affected.” 92 likes
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