I was solidly hooked once Sarah introduced me to his first book, A Drink Before the War, so by the time I held his fourth novel Gone, Baby, Gone (which is also an excellent movie), the hook was set. When I saw he had a new book, Live By Night, coming out, I preordered it with great expectations.
I have no concerns about disappointment when a Lehane book is in my grip.
Live By Night features minor characters created in The Given Day, his lengthy previous novel, though it is not necessary to read that novel prior to reading this one. Lehane’s writing treats his readers with exact historical background. While reading The Given Day, I would pause in my reading to Google details from the book. They were always meticulously researched.
Yes, there was really a Molasses Flood in 1919 Boston. That’s right. Two-and-a-half million gallons of crude molasses heated up to the point where an eruption from the tower holding it resulted in a thick, hot flood of the sticky stuff traveling at 35 miles per hour with waves of eight to fifteen feet. Twenty-one people died in the scalding river of molasses.