Celebrity Picks: Dennis Lehane - May 2017

Seira Wilson on May 10, 2017

Dennis_Lehane200H_credit_Gaby_Gerster_Diogenes_ZurichDennis Lehane's new novel, Since We Fell, is a sharp, multilayered thriller that we picked as a Best Mystery/Thriller of May.  After a very public mental breakdown, Rachel Childs is living a secluded but content life with her husband until an unexpected meeting leads to an unraveling of not only her marriage but herself.  There is more to Lehane's latest than you realize until you start reading and find deep emotion and heartbreak, dark psychological underpinnings, and of course, high suspense.

Besides his career as an author, Lehane is in high demand as a screenwriter and is currently working on, among other things, the television series adaptation of Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes trilogy, premiering this fall.  You'd think someone that busy might not have time to read, but in the case of Dennis Lehane, you would be wrong.  Below are three of his recent favorites and why he chose them.

*author photo credit: Gaby Gerster / Diogenes, Zurich


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The Rage by Gene Kerrigan
Kerrigan’s novel, set in Dublin after the collapse of the Irish Tiger, is ostensibly about a recently-released convict executing a series of heists, the cop on his trail, and an ex-nun whose life may be in peril because of something she witnessed. But within this simple framework, Kerrigan captures a host of modern-day troubles that feel both local and global. He paints a riveting portrait of an angry, battered people left holding the bag for the sins of their institutions—the banks, the church, and a government only too happy to turn a blind eye to it all.

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Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Nadia and Saeed fall in love in an unnamed Middle Eastern country beset by war. Soon they’ll be refugees, unmoored not just from their homeland but their own sense of identity. In a time when empathy is becoming an ever-scarcer commodity, Hamid shows us, delicately and poetically, how deep a wound is cut into the skin of the world when we shun love in the name of ideology.

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Heat and Light by Jennifer Haigh
In the castoff Pennsylvania town of Bakerton, where once there was mining, now comes fracking. A collection of townspeople—a prison guard and his unstable wife, a pair of dairy farmers, an environmentalist, a pastor’s widow, among others—try to abide and adapt. Their dilemmas, hopes and fears are those of all of us in this increasingly fractious world we all call home. Haigh handles a huge subject on a large canvas with admirable clarity and great compassion.
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