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More of somethings...

When I started getting into Crime Fiction in a serious way, what that meant was, I started going to bookstores that exclusively sold the stuff. For me that is, and now sadly was, the Milwaukee store Mystery One run by the great Richard Katz. I can't be sure what I bought that first visit.... I think it might have been CROSSROAD BLUES by Ace Atkins.  Richard quizzed me on my likes and I am pretty certain [Editor's Note: Or at least as certain as one can be in a blog post.] that he recommended Dennis Lehane's first book, A DRINK BEFORE THE WAR.

I promptly went home and ordered the book from Amazon. Sorry, Richard. As a way of an apology, for as long as I lived in Milwaukee I purchased every subsequent book Mr. Lehane released at Mystery One. It was the best place to turn a pastime into a passion. Places like Mystery One and writers like Dennis Lehane are a perfect combination to draw you in.

Driving to work recently, I was trying to figure out what I like about Mr. Lehane's writing and by extension SINCE WE FELL...which is upper echelon Lehane. You'll enjoy it. Read it. I settled on the fact that Mr. Lehane is a talented chronicler of the interior lives of his characters and the stories they live. He writes a thousand small stories that in the end make up a life which in turn make up a compelling novel.

Now he is not infallible. To my eyes, his last two Kenzie-Gennaro books can only be charitably rated as disappointments. I could not help wonder if Mr. Lehane was stung by the middling response to THE GIVEN DAY and retreated to give us MOONLIGHT MILE. However, every inch of that book screams a near-complete disinterest in the endeavor. And that is a shame. The epitaph to two of the most original characters in Crime Fiction of the last two twenty years will be that book. [Editor's Note: I wrote this post a while ago, and have been sitting on it. I think because of this paragraph where for some reason or another I go out of my way to criticize a writer I hold in the highest regard. Particularly as I pick out two books published almost a decade ago. Of course, it is easy to say he screwed with his legacy, he 100% does not see it that way. And let's face it if Dennis Lehane will be remembered it will be for everything he did after the K+G books.]

Somewhere up there I said SINCE WE FELL is top rate Dennis Lehane. As a writer of Crime Fiction, he is almost without peer...James Lee Burke for life y'all. However, it is more accurate at this point to remove the 'Crime Fiction' part of the above statement and say Dennis Lehane is a writer almost without peer.


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