Monday, 17 June 2013

And the Edgar Goes To...

You've probably read by now that Dennis Lehane is the winner of the 2013 Edgar Award for his novel Live by Night. It is the second of Lehane's historical crime novels (the first being The Given Day, which has a few of the same characters) and is set in the Prohibition era. The novel chronicles the (mis)adventures of Joe Coughlin, the outlaw son of a police officer. Lehane moves from his traditional Boston setting to Tampa, Florida, for most of the novel's exploits.

Lehane's novels have consistently been favored by Hollywood film-makers: Mystic River, Gone, Baby, Gone, and Shutter Island have all been made into movies. So it's not surprising that when Live by Night was released, it precipitated a bidding war for film rights. (Lehane sardonically commented that Hollywood started the bidding before it even read the book.) The film is currently in pre-production and is being directed by Ben Affleck, who also directed the film version of Gone, Baby, Gone starring his brother Casey. Both Ben Affleck and Leonardo DiCaprio, who was the lead actor in Shutter Island, are producers of the current project. Incidentally, Lehane is also writing the screenplay for a movie based on John D. MacDonald's novel The Deep Blue Goodbye, and starring DiCaprio as Travis McGee.

For a novel that earned its author his first Edgar Award in 18 years of writing, Live by Night has received mixed reviews. If you're interested, see the NPR review at and the New York Times review at

But if you're a fan of Lehane's clipped dialogue and noir themes, you can judge for yourself.

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