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Small Mercies: A Novel
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HarperCollins 2023
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Instant New York Times Bestseller

"Small Mercies is thought provoking, engaging, enraging, and can't-put-it-down entertainment." — Stephen King

The acclaimed New York Times bestselling writer 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.

In the summer of 1974 a heatwave blankets Boston and Mary Pat Fennessy 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. It is a mesmerizing and wrenching work that only Dennis Lehane could write.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
04/25/2023
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062129505
ASIN:
B0B7NDZNDV

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APA Citation (style guide)

Dennis Lehane. (2023). Small Mercies: A Novel. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Dennis Lehane. 2023. Small Mercies: A Novel. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Dennis Lehane, Small Mercies: A Novel. HarperCollins, 2023.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Dennis Lehane. Small Mercies: A Novel. HarperCollins, 2023.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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        Dennis Lehane is the author of thirteen novels—including the New York Times bestsellers Live by Night; Moonlight Mile; Gone, Baby, Gone; Mystic River; Shutter Island; and The Given Day—as well as Coronado, a collection of short stories and a play. He grew up in Boston, MA and now lives in California with his family.

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Small Mercies
fullDescription

Instant New York Times Bestseller

"Small Mercies is thought provoking, engaging, enraging, and can't-put-it-down entertainment." — Stephen King

The acclaimed New York Times bestselling writer 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.

In the summer of 1974 a heatwave blankets Boston and Mary Pat Fennessy 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. It is a mesmerizing and wrenching work that only Dennis Lehane could write.

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 1, 2022

        Blockbuster Baldacci takes a break with Simply Lies, forsaking his various series for the moment to write a stand-alone (a million-copy first printing). In Where Are the Children Now? Burke springboards from the Higgins Clark classic Where Are the Children? as a grown-up Missy and Mike rely on what they learned during their own childhood abduction to rescue Missy's snatched stepdaughter. In Graham's Shadow of Death, Amy Larson of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and FBI special agent Hunter Forrest head to Denver to find the lethal doomsday cult they tracked through Danger in Numbers and Crimson Summer. In Robert Ludlum's The Treadstone Rendition, Hood brings back Adam Hayes, who rushes in to help former partner Abdul Nassir and his family, who are terrified of both the Taliban and the rogue CIA contractors gone violent as the United States withdraws from Afghanistan. Mary Pat Fennessey's teenage daughter goes missing and a young Black man is struck and killed by a subway train on the same steamy night in 1974 Boston, and there are no Small Mercies as Mary Pat's hunt for Jules riles the Irish mob; following Lehane's multi-best-booked Since We Fell (150,000-copy first printing). Two cold cases are Standing in the Shadows in this latest from Edgar and CWA Dagger in the Library honoree Robinson; in 1980, Nick Hartley is suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend and spends a lifetime seeking the killer, while in 2019 a modern-day skeleton found at an archaeological dig keeps Detective Superintendent Alan Banks and his Yorkshire team busy. In Sandford's Dark Angel, Lucas Davenport's adopted daughter Letty poses as a rogue programmer for hire to help the Department of Homeland Security forestall the takeover of Minneapolis's power grid by some ominous hackers. While facing down angry competitors when he moves to the West Coast and its City of Dreams, young, widowed mob underboss Danny Ryan visits the set of a movie depicting his crew's involvement in the New England crime war and encounters the actress playing his late wife; following Winslow's New York Times best-selling series launcher, City on Fire (250,000-copy first printing).

        Copyright 2022 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        February 13, 2023
        Set during the summer of 1974, this superior crime drama from bestseller Lehane (Since We Fell) explores deep-rooted racism in South Boston. While the community primes for a series of rallies organized by mob boss Marty Butler against school desegregation, 42-year-old single mother Mary Pat Fennessy is preoccupied with the disappearance of her rebellious, 17-year-old daughter, Jules. Though Jules’s friends claim she started walking home around midnight, mistrust and animosity toward Jules’s doltish boyfriend and a drug dealer Mary Pat holds responsible for her late son’s overdose bring out a mother’s frustration and rage. Her ensuing acts attract the interest of two detectives who are investigating the mysterious death of a Black man at a nearby subway station. The unwanted attention Mary Pat draws to the neighborhood threatens Butler’s business dealings, making him and his close-knit crew keen to put an end to her search. That Mary Pat is good with a pistol and capable of beating up young guys may stretch credulity, especially as there’s no mention of guns and fighting in her past, but the action builds to a gloriously tense and discomforting finale. Readers will be left feeling battered and scarred. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from January 1, 2023

        In the hot summer of 1974, anti-busing violence and racism erupt in Boston. The same night a young Black man named Auggie Williamson dies in the subway, Mary Pat Fennessey's 17-year-old daughter, Jules, disappears. When she can't get information from the young people with Jules that night, Mary Pat turns to the men who offer protection in the neighborhood, Marty Butler's Irish crew. Mary Pat already lost one child to drugs and the streets, and she is scared she might have lost another one. When she can't get answers as a grieving mother, all of her fear turns to learning the truth. Why was Jules near the subway where Auggie Williamson died? Where is her daughter? Homicide officer Bobby Coyne sees violence and death in Boston every day, and he's investigating the Williamson case. But he can only watch in awe as Mary Pat, a tough Southie broad who was born to fight, turns all of her maternal rage and street instincts into her own investigation. Mary Pat might well burn down the neighborhood to discover what happened to her daughter. VERDICT After almost six years since his last novel, Since We Fell, Lehane's (Mystic River; Shutter Island) latest is inspired by a childhood experience when his family was caught up in the violence of the anti-busing riots. Pair this powerful, unforgettable story with S.A. Cosby's Razorblade Tears, another remarkable novel about racism, violence, and parental vengeance.--Lesa Holstine

        Copyright 2023 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from March 1, 2023
        Racial tensions provide the powder keg for this explosive mystery. A master of literary crime fiction, Lehane revisits the Boston of almost a half-century ago, when, in 1974, court-ordered school busing incites protest throughout the White neighborhoods of a very segregated city. As a working-class White woman trying to keep one step ahead of the bill collector, Mary Pat Fennessy has a close but tense relationship with her teenage daughter, Jules, who seems to be keeping secrets from her mother. One night Jules doesn't come home, and Mary Pat is frantic. The next day at Meadow Lane Manor, the old folks' home where she works as an aide, she learns that the son of Dreamy Williamson, one of her few Black co-workers, died in a mysterious subway incident that night. Mary Pat doesn't know Dreamy well but likes her well enough. It seems that both of them have lost children now, but they respond differently, experience different levels of support from their communities, and come to learn that these seemingly separate losses--a death and a disappearance--have a connection that neither could have anticipated. The novel focuses on Mary Pat, illuminates her from within as a loving mother and basically a decent person who nonetheless shares the tribal prejudices of her Irish neighborhood toward people whom they feel are encroaching on their turf. It's a hot summer, tensions are escalating, and threats of violence are at fever pitch. As Mary Pat keeps trying to find out what happened to Jules and why--wherever the truth may lead her--she discovers how much she has to learn about her daughter, the neighborhood, and the crime outfit whose power and authority have long gone unchallenged. She risks everything to discover the truth. This taut, gripping mystery is also a novel of soul-searching, for the author and reader alike.

        COPYRIGHT(2023) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from April 15, 2023
        One sweltering night in Boston's Southie neighborhood in 1974, Mary Pat Fennessy's daughter, Jules, disappears, and a young Black man, Auggie Williamson, is killed in the subway. So begins Lehane's masterful historical thriller, which vividly evokes the racism of the era, not only encompassing the busing controversy that was tearing apart Irish American Southie that summer, but also extending beyond the historical moment to the roots of racism. As Mary Pat begins to search the neighborhood, she finds herself forced to confront the fact that Jules may have been involved in the subway death, which forces her to reexamine her life and the fabric of her world. The trail leads inevitably to Marty Butler, the gangster who runs Southie and is thought of by the locals as a kind of protector. One world-shattering realization leads to another in a kind of chain reaction that takes Mary Pat from being an organizer in the anti-busing protests to a woman willing to defy all those around her in an effort to find the truth: ""I sold my daughter lies . . . you wear them down until you scoop all the good out of their lives and replace it with poison."" Lehane makes Mary Pat's transformation utterly convincing, thanks to his ability to invest his characters with a bedrock humanity that defies easy answers. A complex, multidimensional tragedy of epic proportions.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Lehane straddles the line between historical fiction and thriller as dexterously as anyone, and this is his best work so far.

        COPYRIGHT(2023) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Instant New York Times Bestseller

"Small Mercies is thought provoking, engaging, enraging, and can't-put-it-down entertainment." — Stephen King

The acclaimed New York Times bestselling writer 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.

In the summer of 1974 a heatwave blankets Boston and Mary Pat Fennessy 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...

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