Good Reading : March 2015
GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOOD READING MARCH 2015 72 READERS’ LIFE What You’re Reading The Drop Dennis Lehane Abacus $19.99 The Drop takes its title from the occasional obligation required of bars and clubs to hold illicitly obtained cash that is picked up later by local mobsters who control an area of a city. Cousin Marv’s, located in a grotty corner of Boston, is where money is dropped into a safe by the lifting of a flap on the bar counter. Marvin Stipler used to own the bar but now manages it on behalf of the Umanovs, a Chechen mobster family. Bob Saginowski, a barman at Cousin Marv’s, is walking home after his shift when he finds an injured puppy that has been dumped into a rubbish bin. Nadia Dunn, who lives nearby, agrees to look after the puppy for a few days while Bob considers whether to keep it or give the puppy to an animal rescue organisation. Cousin Marv’s is robbed by two masked men. Bob, however, notices that one of the robbers wears a broken wristwatch; the hands are stopped at six-fifteen. The Chechen mob puts the word out – and the result is somewhat bloody. Meanwhile, the owner of the puppy turns up and demands it back. Bob refuses. Things gets interesting. This well-crafted love story, crime novel and thriller is concise, gritty, direct and believable. A film based on the story, starring James Gandolfini in his last role, was released late in 2014. Rufus Greene, Brisbane Qld Fallout Sadie Jones Chatto & Windus $24.99 In a chance meeting in his Lincolnshire village in 1968, Luke Kanowski meets aspiring producers Leigh Radley and Paul Driscoll, who are on their way to see a playwright. It’s the impetus Luke needs to escape his dull office job and run away to London, where he immerses himself in fringe theatre. He’s leaving behind a mother who has been in an asylum nearly all his life, and a father slowly drinking himself to death. Leigh and Paul set up a theatre company, while Luke secretly writes plays at night. Running parallel is the story of Nina Jacobs, a budding actress whose life will intersect with the other three in a dramatic way. She’s grown up with a mother who is a monster – a fading, narcissistic actress now pinning her hopes on her daughter. A critical step is marrying Nina off to the influential Tony Moore, a successful producer. When Luke’s first play is critically acclaimed, it’s given that Paul’s new theatre company will produce his second offering. But Luke has become entangled with Nina, and the liaison will have huge ramifications for all of them. Sadie Jones writes with fresh precision, evoking histor ical details without straining – the beer-soaked pubs, power blackouts and fear of the bomb. But it’s her sensitive and intelligent portrayal – through these finely drawn and believable characters – of the damage wrought by painful pasts that I enjoyed most. Catherine Hanrahan, Petersham NSW Tw o gr readers tell us about the books that have gripped them lately. local mobsters who control an area of a city.