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World Gone by by Dennis Lehane

World Gone by

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Maxim Jakubowski's May 2015 Book of the Month.

Set during WW2 in Florida, this is a an epic recreation of Mafia life witnessed through the eyes of an Irish mob 'consigliere' whose loyalties are caught up in the territorial wars of the Italian gangs he once presided over. Although the main character is as much a ruthless killer as the thugs he now advises, Lehane wonderfully manages to draw the reader into evoking sympathy for Joe Coughlin's meticulous planning and strategy and his protective feelings for his own partly orphaned son as a ferocious net closes around him that leads to a bloody conclusion. A gallery of vividly-etched characters embraces kingpins and henchmen alike and strikingly brings the protagonists and the period to life, together with the vivid southern landscape that extends to Cuba and beyond. Not just another version of The Godfather from a different point of view but an acute vision of the mechanisms of evil and Lehane's best and most exciting novel since Mystic River and his Kenzie and Gennaro series. ~ Maxim Jakubowski

If you like Dennis Lehane you might also like to read books by Harlan Coben, Mark Billingham and William Landay.

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Dennis Lehane’s ambitious Mystic River – made into a highly successful film by Clint Eastwood – confirmed the author as one of the most skilful of American writers, but that book has proved a tough act to follow. Having said that, Lehane’s work – as admirers will attest – is never less than excellent, and the author is clearly on non-pareil form with World Gone By. The protagonist here is charismatic but tough mobster Joe Coughlin, who has thrived in a town built on corruption and venality. But Lehane’s speciality is the appearance of cracks in apparently solid lives, and a violent reckoning is approaching for Coughlin. There are many American crime writers, but the holy trinity of James Lee Burke, James Ellroy and George Pelecanos clearly has to now be a quartet.
~ Barry Forshaw

Win Books from the Manon Bradshaw Thriller Series!

Persons Unknown, the second book in Susie Steiner's crime thriller series, is now out in paperback and to mark the publication we are giving away paperback copies of both Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown to THREE lucky winners!

To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 30 April 2018. The winners will be notified by 14 May 2018,

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Enter prize draw Draw closes: 30/04/2018


World Gone by by Dennis Lehane

Joe Coughlin is untouchable. Once one of America's most feared and prominent gangsters, he now moves effortlessly between the social elite, politicians, police and the mob. He has everything he could possibly want; money, power, a beautiful mistress, and anonymity. But in a town that runs on corruption, vengeance and greed, success can't protect Joe from the dark truth of his past -- and ultimately, the wages of a lifetime of sin will finally be paid in full ...Chilling, heart-breaking and gripping, this is the most complex and powerful novel to date from Dennis Lehane, writer on The Wire and author of modern classics such as Shutter Island, Gone, Baby, Gone and The Given Day.


'Dennis Lehane's speciality is the fast-paced gangster thriller that's also a deeply felt novel. His latest, about a Boston criminal, doesn't disappoint on either count... I guarantee that all you'll be able to do is keep on turning the pages. The prose crackles with Chandleresque jokes, the narrative never flags and there's even a genuinely heart-stopping love story. In addition to all that, the book beautifully evokes the entire era of early Thirties Prohibition' America Reader's Digest

'This is a book that should put [Lehane's] name right up there where it belongs, right up there alongside Doctorow and Dreiser' Scotland on Sunday

'This is noir with added value: Lehane is terrific on family ties and at conveying the buzz of a city powered by immigrant labour of often dubious legality' Guardian

'History is merely a backdrop in a story that seeks just to be exciting, sexy and atmospheric. The author's trademark combination of dark deeds, graceful pose and sassy dialogue ensures it succeeds' Sunday Times

'Lehane's tough, muscular prose captures the era well; and his dialogue brings to life the inhabitants of its underworld' Spectator

'This is not just brilliant period crime writing but brilliant writing full stop' Independent

'The crime writer's crime writer; with a spare, stark edge to his work that lifts it into the truly great class... The gangster world is superbly evoked and the story is as tight and powerful as the trigger on a Thompson sub-machine' Daily Mail

About the Author

Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane was born and raised in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He has written eight novels, A Drink Before the War, Darkness, Take My Hand, Sacred, Gone Baby Gone, Prayers For Rain, Mystic River, Sutter Island, The Given Day and a short story collection, Coronado. Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone have both been made into oscar nominated films.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Mr Lehane worked as a counsellor with mentally handicapped and abused children, waited tables, parked cars, drove limos, worked in bookstores, and loaded tractor-trailers. His one regret is that no one ever gave him a chance to tend bar. He lives in the Boston area.

Author photo © Gaby Gerster

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Book Info

Publication date

7th May 2015


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Little, Brown an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group




Thriller / Suspense
Crime / Mystery
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