Thursday, March 19

World Gone By by Dennis Lehane

Its late spring in Florida and the United States is in the middle of a second world war. Meanwhile, former crime boss Joe Coughlin is working for the Bartolo family in Florida and Cuba. After his wife died a decade earlier, Joe works to raise his son to re-establish himself. So far it’s working as he’s gained wealth and power. But then everything is on the verge of collapse as Joe learns that someone wants him dead, and he doesn’t have long to figure out who it is.

Now, before I go any further, I have a confession to make. I ordered this novel because the description intrigued me. What I did not realize was that this book is the third in a series. Whoops!

Despite this little oversight, I found myself quickly engrossed in the story. I was extremely grateful to find the story stands fairly well on its own. There may have been some characterization I missed, and maybe a reference here or there, but I was well over halfway through the book before I ever realized that I may have been missing something.

Rather than depict boring, generic gangsters, Dennis Lehane breathes life into all of his characters. This is especially true of Joe who becomes a very sympathetic character despite his affinity for crime (much of which is violent). One of my favorite parts of the storyline was having Joe learn early on about the threat on his life, including specifics on when it would occur. Not only does it set up the intrigue of who is behind the threat, but it also sets a huge sense of urgency which kept me flipping pages. Second to this I loved Joe’s interactions with his son, who doesn’t realize everything his father is involved with.

The one element that I struggled with was Joe’s visions of a ghost haunting him. Perhaps it was something carried over from the previous novels, but I never quite understood the point of it. In the end though, it was just a blip in an otherwise engaging read.

After finishing this story I think I might just have to find myself a copy of the first two books in this series to see if I enjoy them as much as I did this one, and too see if they add further insight into the story.

4/5 Stars

I received this book free from TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

About World Gone By

Hardcover: 320 pages Publisher: William Morrow (March 10, 2015) Late spring, 1943. The world is at war but the American mob is in its heyday. Former crime boss Joe Coughlin now works as a consigliere to the infamous Bartolo Crime Family, effortlessly handling its interests in Tampa, Boston, and Cuba. In the decade since he lost his wife in a cascade of bullets, Joe has made a home for himself and his son, and once again forged everything out of nothing: money, power, a relationship with a beautiful woman, and a privileged place in Tampa's shadowy underworld. But a rumor surfaces that someone wants Joe dead. And he has only days to figure out who, or he will die. And then there's the ghost?a young boy who appears on the fringes of Joe's vision and seems to be trying to tell him something. Racing against time and fate, Joe hurtles through a violent yet intoxicating world on the brink of total collapse or epic triumph, a world on the cusp of reinvention and rebirth?where the old codes, the old sins, and the old dreams may soon be swept away once and for all.
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17394About Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane is the author of ten previous novels?including the New York Times bestsellers Live by Night; 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, currently live in California with their children. Find out more about Dennis at hiswebsite, and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I'm reading it right now, too, and I agree that Lehane does a really great job with Joe Coughlin, making you feel sympathy for a gangster!

    Thanks for being on the tour!