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The given day / Dennis Lehane.

By: Lehane, Dennis [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Doubleday, 2008Description: 704 pages ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780385615334 (pbk.).Subject(s): Boston (Mass.). Police Department -- Fiction | Police Strike, Boston, Mass., 1919 -- Fiction | Police -- Massachusetts -- Boston -- Fiction | Fathers and sons -- Fiction | Irish Americans -- Fiction | African Americans -- Fiction | Police -- Massachusetts -- Fiction | Family relations -- Fiction | United States -- History -- 20th century -- Fiction | Boston (Mass.) -- FictionGenre/Form: Detective and mystery fiction. | Thrillers (Fiction) | Historical fiction. | Psychological fiction.DDC classification: 813/.6 Subject: Danny Coughlin is Boston Police Department royalty and the son of one of the city's most beloved and powerful police captains. His beat is the predominately Italian neighbourhoods of the North End where political dissent is in the air - fresh and intoxicating. On the hunt for hard-line radicals as a favour to his father, Danny is drawn into the ideological fray and finds his loyalties compromised as the police department itself becomes swept up in potentially violent labour strife. Luther Lawrence is on the run. A suspect in a nightclub shooting in Oklahoma, he flees to Boston, leaving his wife behind.He lands a job in the Coughlin household and meets Danny and the family's Irish maid, Nora, who once had a powerful bond. As the mystery of their relationship unravels, Luther finds himself befriending them both even as the turmoil in his own life threatens to overwhelm him. Desperate to return to his wife and child, he must confront the past that has followed him and settle scores with enemies old and new.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Danny Coughlin is Boston Police Department royalty and the son of one of the city's most beloved and powerful police captains. His beat is the predominately Italian neighbourhoods of the North End where political dissent is in the air - fresh and intoxicating.

Danny Coughlin is Boston Police Department royalty and the son of one of the city's most beloved and powerful police captains. His beat is the predominately Italian neighbourhoods of the North End where political dissent is in the air - fresh and intoxicating. On the hunt for hard-line radicals as a favour to his father, Danny is drawn into the ideological fray and finds his loyalties compromised as the police department itself becomes swept up in potentially violent labour strife. Luther Lawrence is on the run. A suspect in a nightclub shooting in Oklahoma, he flees to Boston, leaving his wife behind.He lands a job in the Coughlin household and meets Danny and the family's Irish maid, Nora, who once had a powerful bond. As the mystery of their relationship unravels, Luther finds himself befriending them both even as the turmoil in his own life threatens to overwhelm him. Desperate to return to his wife and child, he must confront the past that has followed him and settle scores with enemies old and new.

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Excerpt provided by Syndetics

The Given Day A Novel Chapter One On a wet summer night, Danny Coughlin, a Boston police officer, fought a four-round bout against another cop, Johnny Green, at Mechanics Hall just outside Copley Square. Coughlin-Green was the final fight on a fifteen-bout, all-police card that included flyweights, welterweights, cruiserweights, and heavyweights. Danny Coughlin, at six two, 220, was a heavyweight. A suspect left hook and foot speed that was a few steps shy of blazing kept him from fighting professionally, but his butcher-knife left jab combined with the airmail-your-jaw-to-Georgia explosion of his right cross dwarfed the abilities of just about any other semipro on the East Coast. The all-day pugilism display was titled Boxing & Badges: Haymakers for Hope. Proceeds were split fifty-fifty between the St. Thomas Asylum for Crippled Orphans and the policemen's own fraternal organization, the Boston Social Club, which used the donations to bolster a health fund for injured coppers and to defray costs for uniforms and equipment, costs the department refused to pay. While flyers advertising the event were pasted to poles and hung from storefronts in good neighborhoods and thereby elicited donations from people who never intended to actually attend the event, the flyers also saturated the worst of the Boston slums, where one was most likely to find the core of the criminal element--the plug-uglies, the bullyboys, the knuckle-dusters, and, of course, the Gusties, the city's most powerful and fuck-out-of-their-minds street gang, who headquartered in South Boston but spread their tentacles throughout the city at large. The logic was simple: The only thing criminals loved almost as much as beating the shit out of coppers was watching coppers beat the shit out of each other. Coppers beat the shit out of each other at Mechanics Hall during Boxing & Badges: Haymakers for Hope. Ergo: criminals would gather at Mechanics Hall to watch them do so. Danny Coughlin's godfather, Lieutenant Eddie McKenna, had decided to exploit this theory to the fullest for benefit of the BPD in general and the Special Squads Division he lorded over in particular. The men in Eddie McKenna's squad had spent the day mingling with the crowd, closing outstanding warrant after outstanding warrant with a surprisingly bloodless efficiency. They waited for a target to leave the main hall, usually to relieve himself, before they hit him over the head with a pocket billy and hauled him off to one of the paddy wagons that waited in the alley. By the time Danny stepped into the ring, most of the mugs with outstanding warrants had been scooped up or had slipped out the back, but a few--hopeless and dumb to the last--still milled about in the smoke-laden room on a floor sticky with spilt beer. Danny's corner man was Steve Coyle. Steve was also his patrol partner at the Oh-One Station House in the North End. They walked a beat from one end of Hanover Street to the other, from Constitution Wharf to the Crawford House Hotel, and as long as they'd been doing it, Danny had boxed and Steve had been his corner and his cut man. Danny, a survivor of the 1916 bombing of the Salutation Street Station House, had been held in high regard since his rookie year on the job. He was broad-shouldered, dark-haired and dark-eyed; more than once, women had been noted openly regarding him, and not just immigrant women or those who smoked in public. Steve, on the other hand, was squat and rotund like a church bell, with a great pink bulb of a face and a bow to his walk. Early in the year he'd joined a barbershop quartet in order to attract the fancy of the fairer sex, a decision that had served him in good stead this past spring, though prospects appeared to be dwindling as autumn neared. Steve, it was said, talked so much he gave aspirin powder a headache. He'd lost his parents at a young age and joined the department without any connections or juice. After nine years on the job, he was still a flatfoot. Danny, on the other hand, was BPD royalty, the son of Captain Thomas Coughlin of Precinct 12 in South Boston and the godson of Special Squads Lieutenant Eddie McKenna. Danny had been on the job less than five years, but every cop in the city knew he wasn't long for uniform. "Fuckin' taking this guy so long?" Steve scanned the back of the hall, hard to ignore in his attire of choice. He claimed he'd read somewhere that Scots were the most feared of all corner men in the fight game. And so, on fight nights, Steve came to the ring in a kilt. An authentic, red tartan kilt, red and black argyle socks, charcoal tweed jacket and matching five-button waistcoat, silver wedding tie, authentic gillie brogues on his feet, and a loose-crowned Balmoral on his head. The real surprise wasn't how at home he looked in the getup, it was that he wasn't even Scottish. The audience, red-faced and drunk, had grown increasingly agitated the last hour or so, more and more actual fights breaking out between the scheduled ones. Danny leaned against the ropes and yawned. Mechanics Hall stank of sweat and booze. Smoke, thick and wet, curled around his arms. By all rights he should have been back in his dressing room, but he didn't really have a dressing room, just a bench in the maintenance hallway, where they'd sent Woods from the Oh-Nine looking for him five minutes ago, told him it was time to head to the ring. So he stood there in an empty ring waiting for Johnny Green, the buzz of the crowd growing louder, buzzier. Eight rows back, one guy hit another guy with a folding chair. The hitter was so drunk he fell on top of his victim. A cop waded in, clearing a path with his domed helmet in one hand and his pocket billy in the other. The Given Day A Novel . Copyright © by Dennis Lehane. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Given Day by Dennis Lehane All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Shamus Award winner Lehane's first historical novel is a clear winner, displaying all the virtues the author (Mystic River) has shown in his exceptional series of crime novels: narrative verve, sensitivity to setting, the interweaving of complicated story lines, an apt and emotionally satisfying denouement--and, above all, the author's abiding love for his characters and the human condition. In 1917, the Great War in Europe is still being waged, but with America's entry into the conflict, people expect it to end soon. Boston's policemen have a grievance. With their wages scaled to the cost of living in 1905, earnings lie well below the poverty level, and working conditions are appalling. The city government has reneged on its promise to readjust wages after the war. With anarchists planting bombs and social unrest in the air, there is little sympathy in Boston for the policemen's threat to strike. When the strike finally breaks in 1919, the strikers receive an object lesson in the bitter truth that "different sets of rules [apply] for different classes of people." Against this background of turmoil, an unexpected friendship develops between Irish American policeman Danny Coughlin and African American Luther Laurence, on the run from gangsters and police. Lehane's long-awaited eighth novel is as good as it gets. Enthusiastically recommended for all fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/08.]--David Keymer, Modesto, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Starred Review. In a splendid flowering of the talent previously demonstrated in his crime fiction (Gone, Baby, Gone; Mystic River), Lehane combines 20th-century American history, a gripping story of a family torn by pride and the strictures of the Catholic Church, and the plot of a multifaceted thriller. Set in Boston during and after WWI, this engrossing epic brings alive a pivotal period in our cultural maturation through a pulsing narrative that exposes social turmoil, political chicanery and racial prejudice, and encompasses the Spanish flu pandemic, the Boston police strike of 1919 and red-baiting and anti-union violence.Danny Coughlin, son of police captain Thomas Coughlin, is a devoted young beat cop in Boston's teeming North End. Anxious to prove himself worthy of his legendary father, he agrees to go undercover to infiltrate the Bolsheviks and anarchists who are recruiting the city's poverty-stricken immigrants. He gradually finds himself sympathetic to those living in similar conditions to his fellow policemen, who earn wages well below the poverty line, work in filthy, rat-infested headquarters, are made to pay for their own uniforms and are not compensated for overtime. Danny also rebels by falling in love with the family's spunky Irish immigrant maid, a woman with a past. Danny's counterpart in alienation is Luther Laurence, a spirited black man first encountered in the prologue when Babe Ruth sees him playing softball in Ohio. After Luther kills a man in Tulsa, he flees to Boston, where he becomes intertwined with Danny's family. This story of fathers and sons, love and betrayal, idealism and injustice, prejudice and brotherly feeling is a dark vision of the brutality inherent in human nature and the dire fate of some who try to live by ethical standards. It's also a vision of redemption and a triumph of the human spirit. In short, this nail-biter carries serious moral gravity. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Lehane's last novel (Shutter Island, 2004) was a historical thriller, but it only reached back to the 1950s. This time he has produced his first full-scale historical epic, a detail-rich exploration of America at the end of World War I, a country on the verge of being torn apart by civil and political unrest. Focusing on the Boston Police Strike of 1919, the novel follows multiple characters through the years before the strike, setting the stage by portraying a country in the grip of panic over all forms of labor strife from anarchist bomb-throwers to union agitators and then bringing the disparate cast together for the crippling strike itself. At the center of the story is Danny Coughlin, an Irish beat cop from a family of cops who becomes involved in the police union movement, but the strands of Lehane's brilliantly constructed and many-tentacled plot extend to all levels of society. Sharing center stage with Danny is Luther Lawrence, a young black man from Oklahoma who lands work in Boston as a servant in the Coughlin house, but swirling around Danny and Luther are other members of their families as well as such historical figures as Babe Ruth, about to be traded from Boston to New York, and Calvin Coolidge, out to prove his mettle by dealing forcefully with both anarchists and strikers. It is a robust plot, but it never becomes ungainly. Lehane masterfully blends his stories of human tragedy and hope with the larger cultural and political conflict in which the action unfolds, and while the comparisons to contemporary life are unavoidable, they arise on their own, without authorial intervention. Like E. L. Doctorow in Ragtime, Lehane captures the sense of a country coming of age, vividly dramatizing how the conflicting emotions and tortured dreams that drive individual human lives also send a nation roiling forward.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2008 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

No baseball player has ever enjoyed a paradigm-shifting career like Babe Ruth's. He began as a very good pitcher who could hit better than most. Then he recast himself, dominating the game as a slugger, hitting homers at a previously unimaginable clip, setting records that would stand for decades. Ruth opens, closes and makes occasional appearances throughout The Given Day, a historical epic that is easily the most ambitious work of Dennis Lehane's career. Though the Boston novelist isn't equating his achievement with Ruth's, there are some striking parallels between the two. Lehane launched his career with a series of detective novels that showed he could write better than most. Then he recast himself by leaving the detective format, making his popular breakthrough with the powerful Mystic River (2001). Now Lehane has made another leap. As big an advance beyond Mystic River as Mystic River was from his earlier books, The Given Day aspires to be nothing less than the Great American Novel, an ambition that critics began questioning just as baseball lost its position as America's National Pastime. The Given Day isn't a baseball novel. Its focus is the Boston police strike of 1919 and the bloody riots that resulted. But it's really about the American dream, the resistance to change, the subversion of a country's brightest ideals through its darkest impulses. It's a novel about, as Lehane writes, "the terrible smallness of men." It's a novel about "the fist beneath the velvet glove of democracy." The poor aren't necessarily noble; the rich aren't inherently evil. All are profoundly, humanly flawed. At the book's heart is the intertwining story of two men. Danny Coughlin, a police officer from a powerfully connected family, finds himself at various times a strike breaker, a strike leader and an undercover infiltrator. He's in love with an Irish immigrant whose past violates the morality he has inherited from his family, and he must decide if he's strong enough to follow his heart. Danny might be a tragic hero, but his heroism pales against the courage of Luther Laurence, a black man suspected of being a criminal on the run but one who forges a bond with the Boston cop. Though Luther has abandoned his family, fallen into illicit activity and killed to save his own life, he develops a moral code stronger than that of anyone else in the novel. The Given Day isn't flawless. Parts of the plot and some of the dialogue veer toward soap opera, and many of the characters aren't as fully fleshed as Danny and Luther-- or Babe Ruth. Yet the novel's larger-than-life ambitions make its missteps seem minor. It has often been said that fans found one of Ruth's prodigious strikeouts more thrilling than a slap single. If Lehane was ever a singles hitter, now he's swinging for the fences. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.