Let me start by saying; Dennis Lehane is a master at crafting great stories and even better characters.
Now that I have that out of the way, let me admit how confused I was about this project! I know that so much has been written and said about the Movie version of The Drop being the last movie featuring actor James Gandolfini and that it was based on a Lehane story; I didn’t know that Lehane actually wrote the movie script based on a short story (Animal Rescue) that he later fleshed out to become this movie companion book.
Having jumped into the book without reading the hype about Gandolfini’s final role, I was convinced that Lehane must have had Gandolfini in mind when he developed what I thought was the rumpled, lumpy, bartending, character Bob Saginowski. In my mind’s eye I could see him in the role. Turns out, Galdolfini is actually cast as the down on his luck, “made” guy Cousin Marv.
Be that has it may, The Drop has everything that you’ve come to expect from Dennis Lehane; great characters, dropped headlong into an intriguing story, all set in a slice of the low life setting. Lehane can take you to the underbelly of society better than just about anyone.
It is the guides to that underbelly, the troubled and troubling characters that really make The Drop standout; they breather real life into the “is this all there is” story back drop. Not sure if the movie will stand up, but the book makes for a nice bridge until Lehane drops his next masterpiece.