World Gone By

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This is book three in Dennis Lehane's gripping saga of the Coughlin family. Previous two books looked at here and here. While the first book was deeply grounded in historical settings, especially in Boston, the second book was less so, and the third book just about not at all. There are some real-life folks showing up, notably Meyer Lansky and other gangsters. But this is basically a Godfather-like tale of organized crime and its rotting effect on one of its participants.

Specifically, that participant is Joe Coughlin. The time is 1943, years after the bloody finale of the second book, Joe has settled into a semi-respectable life in Ybor City, Florida. He's a good dad to his beloved and precocious son, Tomas. (Mom is, well, out of the picture — did I mention the bloody finale of the previous book?) He spends his days doing civic and charitable work. Never mind that a good part of his wealth and income relies on illicit activity and corruption.

But Joe gets credible word that there has been a hit taken out on him. Justifiably concerned, his detective work takes him through the decadent highs and very sordid lows of Florida Gulf Coast culture.

And, oh yeah: he starts seeing a ghost. Eek!

Will he come out of this OK? Will there be a fourth book in the series someday? No spoilers here.

Lehane is a gifted writer, and I had a fine time.