He’s Always Been At The Top Of Our List!

The London Times recently gave a rundown of the fifty greatest crime writers of all time, placing Dennis Lehane high on the list at number 11.

Here’s the lovely profile of Dennis by British crime writer Simon Kernick:

There are, in my opinion, few successful writers of literary crime thrillers. Trying to create something beautiful and profound while, at the same time, keeping the reader glued to the pages and guessing to the end is an almost impossible task to achieve. Which is why I rate Dennis Lehane so highly. He has always been one of those few.

The Massachusetts-based author of eight novels, including the award-winning Mystic River, Lehane’s prose may be lyrical and flowing, but there’s also a real hard-edged authenticity to his stories of the Boston underworld. He has that all-too-rare capability of drawing you in from the very first page, and once you’re in, he’s not letting go. The characterisation is incisive; the dialogue crackles with dark humour; and the locations immediately become alive so that you feel you’re walking the streets with him.

If I was to recommend a single Lehane book, it would be Gone, Baby, Gone, one of a series of five novels featuring the private detective team Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro. The two detectives are hired to find a young girl who has been abducted from her home while her mother was out drinking. It’s a controversial subject, but from the beginning Lehane handles it with real sensitivity and, as we follow the two on their investigation, it soon becomes clear that there’s far more to this abduction than meets the eye. The pace is fast, the atmosphere intense and it contains one of the finest action scenes I have yet read, a brilliant example of tension-building that should be required reading for any would-be thriller writer.

And the ending… Well, it’ll leave you thinking for a very long time. And that, for a crime novel, is no bad thing.

Click here for the full list.


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