The Drop

Author: Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane returns to the streets of Mystic River with this love story wrapped in a crime story wrapped in a journey of faith—the basis for the major motion picture The Drop, from Fox Searchlight Pictures directed by Michaël Roskam, screenplay by Dennis Lehane, and starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and James Gandolfini.

Three days after Christmas, a lonely bartender looking for a reason to live rescues an abused puppy from a trash can and meets a damaged woman looking for something to believe in. As their relationship grows, they cross paths with the Chechen mafia; a man grown dangerous with age and thwarted hopes; two hapless stick-up artists; a very curious cop; and the original owner of the puppy, who wants his dog back...

The Drop

Booklist (starred review):

Yes, this short novel is technically a novelization—it's adapted from Lehane's screenplay for a movie of the same name, which itself was adapted from Lehane’s short story "Animal Rescue"—but don’t let the book's mixed parentage get in the way. This is a tight, gritty little tale of working-class crime in Boston, reminiscent not only of Lehane's earlier crime fiction, but also of the work of the great George V. Higgins. Like both Higgins and Leonard, Lehane breathes pulsing life into his story through the small details of his stoop-shouldered characters' lives, investing their every mannerism with unspoken emotion and the weight of too many bad decisions, all of which makes Bob's transformation from quiet desperation to quiet determination a powerful kind of existential drama. And there's a dog, too! HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Expect the movie version to draw readers to this streetwise story, which marks Lehane's return from broad-canvas historical fiction to the close quarters of Boston's mean streets.


Publishers Weekly:

This gritty gem from Lehane has a curious origin. The short story "Animal Rescue," which appeared in 2009's Boston Noir, was the basis for the screenplay of the soon-to-be-released film The Drop, to which this is the tie-in. Boston bartender Bob Saginowski pulls a beaten pup from a winter trash can, a small good deed with large consequences. The rescue leads Bob to Nadia Dunn, who helps him take care of the dog, and also to crazy Eric Deeds, who claims the dog is his. While Bob tries to fend off Deeds, his cousin Marv, onetime owner of Cousin Marv's bar, contends with money issues and pride and the Chechens, who now own his bar and use it as a money drop. A parade of weary, quirky characters—thieves, thugs, and hard guys—will resonate with Lehane fans. Amid his struggles, Bob establishes a tenuous relationship with Nadia, and finally takes a stand in this stark and moving short novel.