Dennis Lehane, ‘Live By Night,’ Wins Best Novel At Edgar Awards

Shutter Island Scribe Dennis Lehane Wins Best Mystery With Live By Night

Dennis Lehane’s Live By Night was the big winner at the Mystery Writers of America’s annual presentation, more commonly known in the publishing community as the Edgar Awards.

The 67th Gala Banquet took place on Thursday night at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. An official announcement featuring all winners was released to the public on Friday.

Lehane, who also wrote Shutter Island, Mystic River, and Gone, Baby, Gone, took the top prize in the Best Novel category.

HarperCollins Publishers launched the hardcover edition in October 2012 and has a paperback slated for May 14.

The plot centers on Joe Coughlin, a Prohibition-era gangster, the son of a police officer, and a morally conflicted man, who gradually slides into the dark and ruthless realms of gangland drama.

Prior to its win at the Edgar Awards, the book was included in the Amazon editorial selection of Best Books of the Month for October 2012.

Janet Maslin of The New York Times called the mystery a “sentence-by-sentence pleasure.”

“You are in the hands of an expert. And you’ll know it,” she added.

Washington Post Book World called it a “meticulously crafted portrait of our violent national past.”

And Booklist said, “Lehane’s novel carves its own unique place in the Prohibition landscape … This is an utterly magnetic novel on every level, a re-imagining of the great themes of popular fiction — crime, family, passion, betrayal — set against an exquisitely rendered historical backdrop.”

Six months before the book’s hardcover release, Warner Brothers scooped up the film rights from Dennis Lehane (and publisher) as a potential trilogy vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio, according to Deadline.

In addition to Live By Night, the film studio also purchased this book’s predecessor (The Given Day) and an as-yet-to-be-written third part to complete the trilogy.

Definitely good news for the author, who could use it after his beloved doggie Tessa went missing at the end of 2012, causing Lehane to issue a reward. No word on whether the dog was ever recovered.

However, Lehane does have Animal Rescue, coming later this year or early next, starring Tom Hardy, so maybe Tessa will be back by then.

Until then the Edgar Award for Live By Night is a nice consolation prize. Which Dennis Lehane book is your favorite?