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 Fennessey 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.
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.
Gillian Flynn is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Gone Girl, for which she wrote the Golden Globe-nominated screenplay, and the New York Times bestsellers Dark Places and Sharp Objects. She was the showrunner for Amazon's Utopia, and co-wrote Widows with director Steve McQueen. Her latest project is Gillian Flynn Books in partnership with Zando, which is committed to publishing books across genres that are propulsive, culturally incisive, and unexpected. A former critic for Entertainment Weekly, she lives in Chicago with her husband and children.
Dennis Lehane photo courtesy of the publisher; Gillian Flynn photo courtesy of Heidi Jo Brady