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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mystic River: A Novel

I remember seeing this movie forever and a day ago, and I remember it being very affecting. I can't, though, remember any of the details of the story. So I picked up Dennis Lehane's Mystic River and won the lottery with its story. 

Just hours before she's supposed to run off and elope with her secret boyfriend, Katie goes missing. There's blood in her car, and soon she is found brutally murdered in the woods near where she few up. The man investigating her death, Sean, grew up with her father. They were young and naive, playing outside when the third of their trio, Dave, is kidnapped and sexually assaulted for four days before returning. Now Dave is a suspect in Katie's murder. We always think our pasts will never come back to haunt us -- until they do. 

I was completely blown away by how utterly outstanding this novel turned out to be. I was simply hoping for a good story and an indulgent read, and I got far more than that from this piece. I found the characters to be compelling and full-bodied, leading this story into nail biting territory without being a thriller. I was completely invested in these men and their families, and I found it hard to turn away from them and their story, which was also told so beautifully. When you have a set of characters in a well-developed story, it's almost impossible to say that you don't come to care about them as people. Who cares that they aren't real?

Katie's murder lent itself to the crime angle I love so much, and it was gruesome in description yet honest enough to elicit a sense of sadness from me. Combined with Dave's story, it made me mourn humanity, because while it may not be a terribly common occurrence, both of these stories were all too real. This story reminded me that I do indeed quite like Lehane, and I should seek out more of his cannon. 

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