The Drop by Dennis Lehane
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A great crime-noir drama that mirrors the likes of "Mystic River" and dare I say the epic "Heat" saga with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.
Bob is a bartender at his Cousin Marv's bar which acts as a "drop" for money being transferred between crime syndicates...Everything is hunky dory until the bar gets robbed and Bob and Marv have to come up with the money so that their lives aren't at stake. But there's more to the story that makes the reader interested.
Bob is a lonely man, but not in a creepy way. He attends regular mass and works frequently at the bar, yet he feels like his life isn't fulfilled. Others even question why he is so quiet and distant from everyone else...That changes when he finds a stray pit bull puppy in the trash, and his neighbor Nadia helps him nurse the puppy back to health. Believe it or not (and pet owners will understand completely where I'm coming from), Bob finds a sliver of happiness when he finds Rocco (christened after the patron saint of dogs and bachelors---clever touch I might add!), and even begins to bond more with Nadia. Both of these relationships save Bob and his "home life", especially when the going gets tough at work.
Theres great character development, multi-faceted story lines that intersect, and surprises that you may not see coming, especially one that explains why Bob seems to be so lonely. Did I mention that this is also the source material for Fox Searchlight's film version starring Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini? If it helps, imagine them as the characters and I guarantee you won't want to put it down.
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