Friday, November 26, 2010

The Town (previously published as Prince of Thieves) by Chuck Hogan

I picked up this book because I want to see the movie eventually and because Boston is one of my most favorite, if not my absolute favorite, American city. Four life long friends - Doug McRay, James "Jem" Coughlin, Albery "Gloansy" McGloan and Dez Eldon grew up on the streets of Charlestown in Boston, MA, in the shadows of the Bunker Hill Monument. Doug is the de facto leader of the group and sets up a hit on a local bank.  The robbery is successful but something unexpected happens - Doug falls hard for the manager, Claire, that he robbed during the course of the crime. He is pursued by an FBI agent that is dead set upon catching them.  The group is  made aware of an opportunity to rob Fenway Parkat some point.  This novel is about the crimes themselves and about the relationships between Doug, his friends, Clair and himself - his identity.

I had never read anything by Chuck Hogan, even though he is apparently a very talented mystery/criminal thriller writer. I, in a few words, loved this book in part because I knew exactly where everything took place. I have been to Charlestown and I have been to Fenway and to Kenmore Square, where the bank was robbed.  It was also, in tremendous part, based upon the writing, the characters and the story itself.  The characters fascinated me. I was intrigued and curious about what drove them and that kept me reading and the pages turning. They are so richly drawn that it is impossible to remove them, the acts they perpetrate and the neighborhoods that they come from from your imagination. I loved this book and I hope that the movie is as good as the book.

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