I have always loved Dennis Lehane. He’s one of my absolute favorite writers, so when my library had a book of his on the “New” shelf, I grabbed it thinking it was odd that I hadn’t read it before. Immediately as I started reading, I realized that I saw a movie trailer for this but then never heard anything about it again…The book isn’t bad, you can tell it’s by Lehane, it has his tempo, his lingo and of course, Boston as the ever present character and backdrop. The difference between this book and his others is that this appears to be more of a novella or even a movie treatment fleshed out. I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t the book I’ve come to expect from him–even though it hit all the right notes (I realize that doesn’t make total sense, but trust me, this is Lehane Lite).
The Drop is about a seemingly shy, empty middle aged bartender named Bob. He works for his cousin Marv, at a bar that is now a drop bar for the Chechen mafia who has moved in with a vengeance in the mean streets of Boston. Marv misses the days when the bar was his and is scheming ways in which to get back to the days when he was “Big Man” in their neighborhood (those days are disputable and perhaps over-exaggerated by him). Bob feels empty and without direction, it appears kismet that on his way home he finds a puppy in a trashcan who has been beaten and is starving. This moment and feeling of purpose allows something else into Bob’s life, a woman named Nadia who’s trashcan the dog was found in–and here we get two deeply flawed, disconnected characters that are supposed to find redemption within each other’s company…but like with all Lehane novels, it’s not that simple. Enter psychopath Eric Deeds.
Eric Deeds is a criminal from the block who has been linked to an open murder case that took place fifteen years prior, he’s spent time in a mental hospital, once dated Nadia and apparently beat the puppy and put it in Nadia’s trashcan for her to find…because he’s sweet like that. When he learns that Bob has saved the dog and is also talking with Nadia, a new challenge arises. Add Marv’s desire to be a big man again and take a shot at stealing the drop on the biggest bar day (Superbowl Sunday) and you can feel that everything is going to come to a head and the results could quite possibly be very messy.
Three stars is too charitable for this but two seems too heartless, especially when I love Lehane so much. It’s a weird review because while I did get into the story, and it was Lehane-esque, it seemed like an abridged or a watered down version of the author. Our bad guy was just crazy. Nadia was just damaged. Bob was just damaged. Marv was just dumb The best character was Rocco, the dog and I still don’t even know much about him.
Did anyone see the movie? Any good?