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Friday, August 14, 2015

The Drop: A Novel

Honestly, I picked this one up because it was at the library on the "new" shelf and I know that I enjoy Dennis Lehane. Simple as that. I have yet to read a good chunk of his work, but he is a superb storyteller and I had a feeling The Drop would be no different. 

It's three days after Christmas and Bob has yet to take down the decorations at Cousin Marv's, the bar he works at. On his way home from work, he hears whimpering coming from a trash can in an alley. It's a baby pit bull that has been beaten to within an inch of its life. Living in the apartment above the cans is a broken woman. Bob rescues the puppy and befriends the woman, but things start to come to a head. Marv's is robbed by two men in ski masks, but the problem with this is that the bar is really run by the Chechen mob. The owner of the dog hunts Bob down and wants his dog back...things are busy in Bob's life.

I am a fan of Lehane's even though I have only read a couple of his novels. This one was short and sweet and packed quite a punch, so overall I was happy with my selection. I found myself very drawn to Bob, even with all of the secrets and slow reveals. I found myself wanting to know him, and it was no surprise that the woman in the alley also wants to know him. He was one of my favorite types of characters -- broken and in need, but not needy. It's difficult to find these kinds of characters in a novel without them coming across as whiny, and I found Bob to be honest and stoic while still needing to find his own brand of healing. The pit bull was a parallel metaphor for who Bob was and who is healing into, and it was an interesting and nice juxtaposition.

The robbery conspiracy may have been my favorite part of this story. I love a good mob story, and this one brought out the best in the completely f&%$ed up world of what it means to be a small-time made (or wannabe-made) man. People are complicated even though we want to be seen as simple, and this story exemplified that not just with Bob, but with all of the players, not the least of which include Marv. The best laid plans of mice and men.

For purchase below. 

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