It’s tough to critique Dennis Lehane. He’s a master of the craft and particularly his style of writing, a streamlined prose that reminds me more of reading a script than a novel, though not in a bad way. (Though I am one of those weirdos who loves readings scripts, often before seeing the movie. It always shocks me how different the end product ends up from what was on the page, typically for the worse.)
The highlights here, at least for me, were the inner workings and understanding of how these mobsters moved from illegal operations to legitimate business (for the most part), and seeing how our economy was built through illegal activity. I love the idea that they miss the thrill of breaking the law after legitimizing their operations.
After so recently reading The Godfather, however, I have to say that one trumps this novel by a long shot. That could be my fault for starting with the third book in a series, but the overall conflict was relatively small scale and from beginning to end, never built any bigger. Still, it was a pleasant and easy read with some great characters, just not something that’s going to revolutionize this particular genre.