The Drop by Dennis Lehane
The Drop follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski through a cover scheme of funelling cash to local gangsters — ‘money drops’ — in the underworld of Boston bars. Under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv, Bob finds himself at the centre of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighbourhood’s past where friends, families and foes all work together to make a living — no matter the cost.
Bob and cousin Marv work behind the bar that used to belong to cousin Marv but now belongs to the Chechens because they took it. Twenty years ago. Bob and cousin Marv are likable enough characters. Bob keeps to himself and stays out of everyone’s way, until one day he walks home and fishes a half dead dog out of someone’s bin. This starts a friendship with Nadia but puts him in the sights of Eric Deeds, a not very nice or stable individual.
And here you have all the major players of the novel.
Other than the book blurb above, this really is the basis for the book and I can’t say much more without giving plot spoilers away, but Lehane has crafted yet another brilliant story with characters you can sympathise with, yet who surprise you. You can feel the dirt and grime and run down feeling of, the area, and the minds of the people living there. And you understand. The writing is smooth, and instead of being shocking, it feels right and a part of the fabric of the piece. The simplicity of a small group of characters is used to great effect and as the novel progresses you learn a little bit more about them and to what extremes they are willing to go to in the circumstances they find themselves in. I loved this. It will appeal to those who like American crime fiction, character driven stories with an honest but smooth telling.
With thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for my copy.