Reviews > Published on September 3rd, 2014

Bookshots: 'The Drop' by Dennis Lehane

Bookshots: Pumping new life into the corpse of the book review


The Drop

Who wrote it?

This is the new novel by Dennis Lehane, the author behind books like Mystic River, Gone, Baby, Gone and A Drink Before the War

Plot in a Box:

A barman finds a puppy in a trash can, takes it home and starts a new life. Oh, and a bar owned by the Chechen Mafia, used as a “drop” for illegal betting money, is targeted for a heist.

Invent a new title for this book:

I would call it: Bob Finds a Puppy — And His Bar Gets Ripped Off

A barman finds a puppy in a trash can, takes it home and starts a new life.

Read this if you liked:

Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books or Robert B. Parker’s Spenser novels.

Meet the book’s lead:

Bob Saginowski is a large, middle-aged barman with no life. A devout Catholic who’s lived all his life in the same declining parish in Boston, whose days mostly consist of going to work and going home to the house he grew up in. But he’s got a secret.

Said lead would be portrayed in a movie by:

Someone like Gary Sinese, who can portray the nice guy. Tom Hardy’s been cast for the movie, though, so go figure.

Setting: would you want to live here?

Set in a suburb of Boston called Buckingham, it’s a pretty dismal place in a lot of ways, with more than its fair share of dysfunctional people. The kind of place you wouldn’t go unless you already lived there.

What was your favorite sentence?

Who puts a dog in a barrel?

The Verdict:

This is a cracking read — well-paced and with plenty of good story bits. I’m not being funny about the puppy, Rocco, that Bob rescues from a trash can: I think it’s a really good hook and makes the main character more human as the story progresses. Lehane has captured the essence of that story to the point that I totally sympathized with Bob’s desire to protect the dog. A useful mechanism to ramp up the tension between Bob and the psycho Eddy Deeds, it also provides a useful counterpoint to the darker themes of the plot.

I liked this book — the characters had depth, flaws, foibles and most of all, lives. Along the way, Lehane talks about faith, the decline of organized religion, insanity and the basic needs that govern most people. Definitely worth a look.

About the author

Dean Fetzer is originally from a small town in eastern Colorado, but has lived in London, England, for 21 years now. On reaching London, he worked as a graphic designer and web consultant before starting a pub review website in the late 90’s.

His current book series, The Jaared Sen Quartet is set in near-future London, but also encompasses historical elements, reflecting his fascination with missing artifacts and conspiracy theories.

Dean left pub reviews behind in 2011 to concentrate on his writing and to set up a new company offering publishing services to authors, poets and artists as well as blogging and writing book reviews on his website at He lives in east London with his wife and two cats and dreams (often) of a house in France.

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