Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 11 Critic Reviews



"There are threads in our lives. You pull one, and everything else gets affected."

When they were children, Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus, and Dave Boyle were friends. But then a strange car pulled tip to their street. One boy got into the car, two did not, and something terrible happened — something that ended their friendship and changed all three boys forever.

Twenty-five years later, Sean Devine is a homicide detective. Jimmy Marcus is an ex-con who owns a corner store. And Dave Boyle is trying to hold his marriage together and keep his demons at bay — demons that urge him to do terrible things.

When Jimmy Marcus's daughter is found murdered, Sean Devine is assigned to the case. His personal life unraveling, he must go back into a world he thought he'd left behind to confront not only the violence, of the present but the nightmares of his past. His investigation brings him into conflict with Jimmy Marcus, who finds that his old criminal impulses tempt him to solve the crime with brutal justice. And then there is Dave Boyle, who came home the night Jimmy's daughter died covered with someone else's blood.

While Sean Devine attempts to use the law to return peace and order to the neighborhood, Jimmy Marcus finds his need for vengeance pushing him ever closer to a moral abyss from which lie wont be able to return, and Dave's wife, Celeste, sleeps at night with a man she fears may very well be a monster. a monster who fathered her child and hides his true nature from everyone, possibly even himself.

A tense and unnerving psychological thriller, Mystic River is also an epic novel of love and loyalty, faith and family, in which people irrevocably marked by the past find themselves on a collision course with the darkest truths of their own hidden selves.


About Dennis Lehane

See more books from this Author
Dennis Lehane is the author of nine novels—including the New York Times bestsellers Moonlight Mile; Gone, Baby, Gone; Mystic River; Shutter Island; and The Given Day—as well as Coronado, a collection of short stories and a play. He and his wife, Angie, divide their time between Boston and the Gulf Coast of Florida.
Published August 1, 2003 by Harper Paperbacks. 416 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Horror. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mystic River

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

But Sean would be a lot more worried if he knew what Dave’s wife Celeste knows: that hours after catching sight of Katie in the last bar she visited on the night of her death, Dave staggered home covered with somebody else’s blood.

| Read Full Review of Mystic River

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Lehane ventures beyond his acclaimed private eye series with this emotionally wrenching crime drama about the effects of a savage killing on a tightly knit, blue-collar Boston neighborhood. Written wi

Feb 01 2001 | Read Full Review of Mystic River

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

Mystic River Dennis Lehane Bantam £9.99, pp401 Buy it at a discount at BOL Right as Rain George P Pelecanos Orion £9.99, pp298 Buy it at a discount at BOL The Company of Strangers Robert Wilson HarperCollins £12.99, pp464 Buy it at a discount at BOL Flint Paul Eddy Headline £10, pp374 Buy it a...

Apr 01 2001 | Read Full Review of Mystic River

BC Books

See more reviews from this publication

Although Mystic River didn't win either of those awards – it did capture an acting award for Sean Penn and a supporting actor award for Tim Robbins – some would argue it may be Eastwood's finest work.

Feb 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Mystic River


Jimmy and Sean watch the car drive away with Dave in it, and though Dave escapes his imprisonment four days later, it’s an event that darkens each of their lives in the days to come.

Nov 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Mystic River

Book Reporter

We first meet the three principals --- Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus, and Dave Boyle --- in 1975.

Apr 02 2002 | Read Full Review of Mystic River

AV Club

See more reviews from this publication

Early in Mystic River, police detective Kevin Bacon pauses while working on a traffic incident on a Boston bridge, and takes a moment to look across the way to his childhood neighborhood.

Oct 07 2003 | Read Full Review of Mystic River

Entertainment Weekly

Having written five novels about a pair of Boston private investigators, Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, Dennis Lehane has acquired a solid rep among mystery fans as a hard boiled heavyweight, pounding out work as emotionally complex and genre bending as that of James Lee Burke or James Crumley.

Feb 14 2001 | Read Full Review of Mystic River

The Atlantic

Immediately following the opening scene in which young Dave is abducted, we cut to Robbins, as the grown-up Dave, walking down the same city block with his own son.

Jun 15 2004 | Read Full Review of Mystic River

The Trades

Murder, revenge, grief, anguish, and torment- these are the main threads around which the Clint Eastwood directed “Mystic River” revolve.

Jun 12 2004 | Read Full Review of Mystic River

– Politics & ProseMay 22 – Houston, TX – Murder By the BookMay 23 – Los Angeles, CA — Los Angeles Public Library ALOUD series held at the Writers Guild TheatreJune 4 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Kings English BookshopJune 5 – Seattle WA – Elliott Bay Book CompanyJune 6 – Beaverton, OR – Powell’s ...

Apr 18 2017 | Read Full Review of Mystic River

Reader Rating for Mystic River

An aggregated and normalized score based on 1153 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review