‘You’ll be lucky if you read a more engaging novel this year’ The Times Thriller of the Month April 2023
‘At the heart of the book is a masterly psychological study of racism. Lehane (who was a writer on The Wire) provides top-notch dialogue, an absorbing mystery and an evocation of a historical moment foreshadowing America’s 21st-century ethnic divide’ Sunday Times, Thriller of the Month
‘Small Mercies is thought-provoking, engaging, enraging, and can’t-put-it-down entertainment’ Stephen King
‘A jaw-dropping thriller… a resonant, unflinching story written by a novelist who is simply one of the best around’ Gillian Flynn
New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane returns with a masterpiece to rival Mystic River – an all-consuming tale of revenge, family love, festering hate, and insidious power, set against one of the most tumultuous episodes in Boston’s history.
‘Mrs. Fennessy, please go home.’
‘And do what?’
‘Whatever you do when you’re home.’
‘And then what?’
‘Get up the next day and do it again.’
She shakes her head. ‘That’s not living.’
‘It is if you can find the small blessings.’
She smiles, but her eyes shine with agony. ‘All my small blessings are gone.’
In the summer of 1974 a heatwave blankets Boston and Mary Pat Fennessey is trying to stay one step ahead of the bill collectors. Mary Pat has lived her entire life in the housing projects of ‘Southie’, the Irish American enclave that stubbornly adheres to old tradition and stands proudly apart.
One night Mary Pat’s teenage daughter Jules stays out late and doesn’t come home. That same evening, a young Black man is found dead, struck by a subway train under mysterious circumstances.
The two events seem unconnected. But Mary Pat, propelled by a desperate search for her missing daughter, begins turning over stones best left untouched – asking questions that bother Marty Butler, chieftain of the Irish mob, and the men who work for him, men who don’t take kindly to any threat to their business.
Set against the hot, tumultuous months when the city’s desegregation of its public schools exploded in violence, Small Mercies is a superb thriller, a brutal depiction of criminality and power, and an unflinching portrait of the dark heart of American racism.
'Small Mercies is thought provoking, engaging, enraging, and can't-put-it-down entertainment' * Stephen King * Small Mercies is a jaw-dropping thriller, set in the fury of Boston's 1974 school-desegregation crisis, and propelled by a hell-bent woman who's impossible to ignore. Thought-provoking and heart-thumping, it's a resonant, unflinching story written by a novelist who is simply one of the best around * Gillian Flynn * Dennis Lehane peels back the layers of his characters like a sculptor finding the face of an angel in a block of stone. By a true master at the top of his game, Small Mercies is vintage Lehane. Beautiful, brutal, lyrical and blisteringly honest. Not to be missed * S.A. Cosby, author of Blacktop Wasteland and Razorblade Tears * One of the great diabolical thriller kings * New York Times * His ability to create crystal clear portraits of humanity and then place them in the darker side of life is a writer's true gift * USA Today * I would follow Dennis Lehane anywhere * Lee Child * Lehane writes expert, compelling thrillers that dive into mysteries much more universal and more urgent than just a whodunit; he's one of the game changers who smashed the imagined boundary between genre and literature, proving that we can have the best of both at once * Tana French *
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