Paperback writers

Paperback writers
Bob Saginowski is a barman working in a trash-hole district of Boston. His employer may be a bagman for Chechen mobsters, but Bob makes a point of minding his own business (“All he wanted was not to be alone, but he knew there was no getting rescued from that”). But when he finds an abandoned pitbull puppy in a dumpster one night, Bob finds himself sucked into the usual vortex of criminal mischief. From the start, the prose is almost unbelievably mawkish and clichéd: “You have so much love in your heart,” Father Regan said to Bob the time Bob broke down crying in confession [. . .] He was used to it. He was used to it. It was okay.” Lehane has written some good books in the past, but The Drop reads like a thinly novelised screenplay – which is, in fact, precisely what it is. Skip the book; see the movie. KP

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