The Drop

by Dennis Lehane

Paperback, 2014

Call number





William Morrow Paperbacks (2014), Edition: 1st, 224 pages


"Based on the screenplay he developed for Twentieth Century Fox from his short story "Animal Rescue," New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane's The Drop follows a former criminal whose efforts to build a new life with his girlfriend and pit bull rescue puppy fall apart when he becomes mixed up in a robbery gone wrong; scheduled for release in Fall 2014, Fox's film of the same title stars James Gandolfini (in his final on-screen performance), Tom Hardy, and Noomi Rapace"--

User reviews

LibraryThing member nivramkoorb
I am a big Dennis Lehane fan. He writes great detective books about Boston but also has done a great period piece" The Given Day". You may be familiar with Mystic River and Shutter Island. The Drop is currently a movie with James Galdofino(his last movie) and Lehane wrote the script. This is a
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short novel but the characters and language are terrific. If you like the crime genre and have never read Lehane than this is a perfect introduction to a great author.
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LibraryThing member grumpydan
A short story expanded to use it as a tie-in with the recently released movie of the same name. The short story was titled “Animal Rescue” which I was unaware of when I received this book. I just like Dennis Lehane.

Bob Saginowski is a lonely bartender with a secret when he finds a puppy in a
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trash can. His boss is Cousin Marv but not really the owner of ‘Cousin Marv’s since it is now run by the Chechan mob. Then there is the police detective at his church who wants to know his secret. Toss in a recently released convict, the upcoming closing of Bob’s church, the new woman in Bob’s life and you have a pretty good story in a little of 200 pages. I really liked the development of Bob’s character but at times the story was slow and my mind drifted.
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LibraryThing member mikedraper
The story opens with a group of friends gathering at a pub, Cousin Marv's, to celebrate the life of a friend who went missing from this bar ten years ago. The reader is left with the opinion that there will be more to this as the story continues.

Bob is the bartender. He's a loner who attends daily
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Mass but never receives communion. The reader wonders what he may have done that makes him feel that he can't receive. Later when he learns that his church is going to be sold for commercial purposes it brings a message about the Catholic Churches with dwindling parishioners and aging priests. Churches must close and parishes are combined.

Cousin Marv tells Bob to take down the Christmas decorations on Dec 27th and even objects to Bob's kindness in running a tab for a senior citizen who spends much of her time at the bar.

On his way home one night, Bob hears a whimpering sound from a dumpster and finds an abandoned puppy. As he's getting the puppy out of the dumpster, a woman raises her window and yells at him to get out of her garbage. When the woman, Nadia, learns what Bob was doing, she becomes friendly.

I enjoyed Bob as a character. He reminded me of Marty, in the 1950s movie of that name. The warmhearted butcher in that film seemed like Bob who didn't have any friends before Nadia. Bob was also proud of being the owner of an animal that depended on him. When the original owner of the dog appeared and wanted the dog back, it created a dramatic sequence.

There is also a memorable scene when a character gets out of prison and travels south to see the man who was his protector in jail. What happens in this man's house was also well written.

I didn't think we had enough background on Nacia or Marv to understand why they acted the way they did.

"The Drop" was not up to the excellence of "Mystic River," but still a good read.
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LibraryThing member Beamis12
3.5 Such an amazing collection of characters and all set in very familiar ground for LeHane, the cruel underside of Boston. A bar robbed, the wrong bar, one that is actually owned by a Chechen mob.
A pathetic and abused pug proves to be the initialing factor that a lonely man named Bob needs to add
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a little something to his naturally boring life. But is Bob who he pretends to be? Are any of the people, these characters on the up and up? Do they all have hidden agendas and lives filled with secrecy and pain? Well this is a Lehane story and these are the tough gritty streets of Boston, so of course anything goes and often does.

This author is a magician, even things and circumstances that appear normal and make sense, often are twisted around, leaving this reader with a 'where did this come from?" Amazing.

ARC from NetGalley..
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LibraryThing member techeditor
THE DROP isn't new. It was originally a short story in BOSTON NOIR. It's title was different then: "Animal Rescue." Now it's a movie, and, apparently, someone knew it would sell as a standalone novel movie tie-in. That person is surely correct, but this is one rare novel whose movie is likely
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better than the book.

"THE DROP" is a more accurate title than is "'Animal Rescue.'" The story has more to do with drops at a bar than it does with the rescue of a puppy from a garbage can. Still, the dog rescue and subsequent care do occur. And any animal lover will like the story for that, alone.

But the story is really about a lonely bartender (who rescues the abused puppy), his boss, a police detective, and the Chechen mafia. Of course, one of the bad guys is the dog's original owner. And no reader can be blamed if she cares more about what will happen to that puppy and the lonely bartender than about what will happen with the rest of the characters.

Dennis Lehane has always been so consistently good that it was safe to preorder his books; no review of the ARC was necessary because you knew you were going to love it. That's not true anymore. Even so, this book did make me anxious to see the movie.

I won this book through
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LibraryThing member LisaLynne
dropI am fast becoming a big Dennis Lehane fan. I read Shutter Island and loved it. I recently reviewed Live By Night and loved it. Even more recently, I devoured The Drop in one bite (on a flight between Cleveland and New York/JFK) and loved it. That's a pretty good track record!

Bob is a loner, a
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bit of a social misfit, a man with secrets that come between him and the world -- and Bob is desperately lonely. When he finds a battered puppy stuffed in a garbage can, he seems to have finally found a friend - not only the puppy, but a woman he meets nearby who encourages him to take in the dog. It would not be wise to step between the man and his new friends.

That's only part of the story. Bob works for his Cousin Marv at the bar everyone thinks Marv owns, but is really a front for the Chechen mob. Cousin Marv used to be somebody, be a tough guy, but in the end, he wasn't tough enough. The Chechens treat him like an errand boy and it galls him, maybe enough to do something stupid.

I think everyone reading The Drop sees the end coming. Cousin Marv's bar is going to be "the drop" on one of the biggest nights of the year and that makes them a target. We all know that something bad is going to happen - the question is who will it happen to and how will they react. You can't help but root for Bob, I think, and his poor puppy and his friend, Nadia. You want things to work out for them and there are so many ways this could all go wrong. I kept expecting one more twist, one more complication, and that's the tension that kept me turning pages, rushing towards the end.

I am looking forward to seeing the movie, although I had a hard time imagining Tom Hardy as a misfit loner...until I saw the stills from the movie. You can see it in the hunch of his shoulders and the set of his mouth. It's going to be interesting to watch. In the meantime, I strongly recommend the book. It's a quick read and very enjoyable. It looks like I'll be working my way through Lehane's back catalog, while I wait for the next novel.
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LibraryThing member EdGoldberg
Two days after Christmas, as Bob Saginowski is walking home from his late night shift at TheDropCousin Marv’s Bar, he hears whimpering emanating from a garbage can. Investigating, he finds under the debris, a bleeding, obviously beaten puppy. Nadia, the occupant of a nearby house offers to help
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clean up the puppy, ultimately named Rocco after the Patron Saint of dogs. Both lonely, Nadia and Bob soon form a relationship. When the bar, previously owned by Bob’s cousin Marv but now owned by brutal Chechen mobsters and used as a drop for mob cash, is robbed the following night, the Chechens strongly advise Marv and Bob to recover the money or suffer serious consequences. To make matters worse for Bob, the dog’s psychotic previous owner, Eric, wants it back and threatens Bob, Nadia and Rocco. It is the relationship among all these characters that drives the plot.

Let me start by saying I’m a big Dennis Lehane fan. I love his mysteries and the characters. His historical fiction is good. The Given Day is a phenomenal book. So I was excited to get an advance copy of The Drop.

The Drop is an expansion of the Lehane story, Animal Rescue, included in the book boston noir. It was a disjointed story to begin with, however, and all he did was transform it into a disjointed novel. Bob, Nadia, Marv and Eric all harbor deep, dark secrets and desires. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make them overly interesting. The predictable plot and ending contain little ‘noir’ and less suspense.

There are changes that Lehane made from the short story that don’t seem significant. For instance, The Drop takes place after Christmas; Animal Rescue after Thanksgiving. Why change it?

There are oblique references to the short story, as well. In Animal Rescue the dog is named Cassius, after Cassius Clay. In The Drop, Bob mentions that he almost named the dog Cassius instead of Rocco. I’m sure that was for his own amusement, but I didn’t find it funny.

I seem to be the only one who was dissatisfied with this book. All the reviews are glowing and I didn’t realize that they made a movie out of it.

But, sadly, The Drop fell far short of my expectations. I will not follow the crowd on this one.
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LibraryThing member BillPilgrim
This is a novelization of a movie that was just released, with a screenplay by Lehane. It is a good story, but it is a very quick read – an undersized book with large font, so much fewer words per page than the usual and only about 200 pages anyway. So it lacks musch of the depth and breath that
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you come to expect and enjoy from a typical Lehane book. Still, it is very well done. I'll have to go see the movie now.
What I've read about the the movie says it is set in Brooklyn, which makes no sense.
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LibraryThing member everfresh1
It's not about a mystery or a big revelation in the end of the novel,. There is no much of a suspense here. It's about an atmosphere that author creates - similar to some other his novels. It's that gritty and depressing side of Boston we are not familiar with. I love it. I love the characters,
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love the story, the pace of this short novel - but most importantly, the atmosphere.
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LibraryThing member ecataldi
I made the mistake of watching the movie trailer first so I can only picture Tom Hardy as Bob and James Gandolfini as Cousin Marv. Honestly though, I don't think that's a bad thing. I mean, have you seen Tom Hardy? Yowza! That was one of our main reasons for picking this for book club, because we
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knew we'd have a great movie to look forward to as well!

This book is quite short for Dennis Lehane novel, in fact, this was originally a short story entitled "The Animal Rescue" that Lehane expanded, and then wrote a screenplay for (his first), at the request of a producer. The resulting story was released at the same time as the movie.

If the movie is half as good as the book, I am going to love it. "The Drop" is phenomenal, it's easily one of my favorite crime/thriller reads of the year. It's gritty, engrossing and totally packs a punch at the end. For being so short, there is some amazing character building. Bob, the bartender and animal rescuer is awesome. Why don't I have a Bob in my life? Tom Hardy seems like an ideal fit to play him. I don't want to summarize the book too much and give it away. Just trust me on this, read it!
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LibraryThing member labdaddy4
The author always does an excellent job. His books are tight, detailed, and with strong character development. Even though this seemed like an expanded short story I felt the characters were very strong and deep. Lehane writes rather dark stories but they are easy to read. Not too much suspense. I
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will look forward to the movie.
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LibraryThing member agarcia85257
The road to novelization was a long one for Dennis Lehane's The Drop. It began as a short story titled Animal Rescue in a collection known as Boston Noir. Then it was turned into a screenplay for a Thomas Hardy movie titled The Drop before morphing into the novelization that it is now. A gritty,
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stylized crime drama with the characters that Lehane has become famous for.

Much like Lehane's early novels, Prayers For Rain, Shutter Island and the brilliant Mystic River, The Drop is driven with characters whose deeds and thoughts are the blood of the novel as they survive the mean streets of Boston.

"...It finally got to Marv and he scowled. "I don't like what you're, you know, insinuating. We got robbed."
"I know you got robbed."
"But you're treating us like suspects."
"Not for robbing your own bar, though." Torres gave Marv a soft roll of the eyes and a sigh. "Marv-it's Marv, right?"
Marv nodded. "That's what the sign above the building says, yeah."
"Okay Marv." Torres patted Marv's elbow and Bob got the feeling he was trying not to smirk. "Everyone knows you're a drop."
"A what?" Marv put his hand behind his ear, leaned in.
"A drop," Torres said. "A drop bar..."

Bob worked the bar at Cousin Marv's, a quiet shift nowadays, since the Chechens had taken over the neighborhood. Back in the day, Bob was part of a crew that Marv ran but those days had long gone. Now he just tended bar and kept quiet and to his self. But change was coming for Bob and it all began on his stroll home and the soft cries coming out of the trash barrel. Buried under the trash was a beaten and starved puppy and for once Bob could not turn away. He could not pretend that all the troubles happening around him weren't.

Marv's bar was going to be the site of the big drop. When all the gambling money was collected and delivered to one central location for the Chechens to claim. No one knew in advance where the drop was going to happen. The bar, and the Chechens had many such bars across the city, didn't even learn that it was to be the drop until that day. But this time even Marv himself had different ideas. In one night, Bob will remember who he is. In one night, it won't be enough just to take whatever the world is throwing at him.

"...I'm sorry, but you kids," Bob said. "You know? You don't have any manners. You go out of the house dressed like you're still in your living room. You say terrible things about women. You hurt harmless dogs. I'm tired of you, man..."

The Drop is coming and all that stands between the money and those who want to take it, is a very tired man. A man the neighborhood has forgotten, but a man who is beginning to remember just who he is.

"...For a time, neither of them said anything. Then Torres leaned in. "No one ever sees you coming, do they?"
Bob kept his face as clear and open as Walden Pond. He held out his hand and Torres shook it. "You take care, Detective..."

The Drop is vintage Lehane. The characters rich and vibrant and the neighborhood that live in breathes with a life of its own. Like most of Lehane's earlier work, no character is really a good person. They all carry their baggage, all have done misdeeds. But they live with their acts and carry on with their lives the best they can. They live and for them it is enough to live. But there comes a moment when each much decide what their lives and the way they live them are worth. A moment that comes altogether for them on the night of the Drop.

The Drop does lose a little in all its separate incarnations and in the sense that it was never written as a true novel, but a short story that was the basis of a film. It is the film, that this novelization is based upon and so in that it does lose some of its strength. But Lehane novels are powerful enough to begin with and The Drop is a story that fits completely in the mold.

A very good read.
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LibraryThing member konastories
Joy's review: This is a short, light read from a guy that really knows how to write. Bartender finds a beat-up dog; the dog gives him some backbone and personality; bad guys turn up; interesting stuff happens. My main complaint is that I dreaded turning pages because I was expecting something bad
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to happen to the dog. I'm happy to report that nothing did.
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LibraryThing member joeydag
Once I started reading this gritty novel I did not want to stop. To me the prose style at times sounds something like Hemingway and at others like Hammett. There are quite a few odd characters on display - Cousin Marv, Rardy, Deeds - and the protagonist, Bob, is a box of surprises. He slowly grows
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to full redemptive glory through the care of an abandoned puppy - the sweetest aspect of the story and Bob's life. There's a subplot about the closing of a neighborhood catholic church; Bob is a regular attendee of the 7am mass but never takes communion.

One side of Boston I never knew and I can quite imagine it is there. I might read another novel by Lehane but I did leave this one a bit blue. It is quite a brutish world he paints.
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LibraryThing member froxgirl
Ah, Dennis Lehane is back in Dorchester at last! Though it's called "East Birmingham" here (why?), this gritty short novel takes us back to the streets and the era of his first novels. The center that doesn't hold here is Cousin Marv's bar, where Marv's cousin Bob bartends and where the Chechen mob
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has taken over, using it as a money drop for all their illegal activities. Bob is a strange character for Lehane, quiet, isolated, devoid of human contact - until, walking home from work, he finds a nearly dead dog in a trash can.

It's not a soppy (or shaggy) dog story, but a twisty turn-y one, full of the neighborhood jamokes so beloved by Lehane fans.

The movie, directed by Lehane, James Gandolfini's last, out on DVD, "dropped" right in and out of theatres, so you can read this first. The book came right from the movie script, but the setting was moved from Boston to Brooklyn. Probably not a great decision, but the book stands on its own.
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LibraryThing member VashonJim
Entertaining yarn -- easy to read -- about a going-nowhere bartender, the dog he saves, and the life-altering choices he makes. Not a biggie, though, and certainly not one of Lehane's best.
LibraryThing member SheTreadsSoftly
The Drop by Dennis Lehane is a very highly recommended, gritty, bleak crime novel set in Boston.

Bob Saginowski works as a bartender for his cousin Marv in a bar Marv used to own. Now the bar is owned by the Chechen mafia. Bob, an introspective loner who regularly attends mass but never takes
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communion, finds a puppy beaten near death in a garbage can on his way home from work one night. As he rescues the puppy, he meets the woman whose garbage can the puppy was dumped in, Nadia Dunn. After Nadia determines why he is going through her garbage, she helps him by cleaning up the puppy's injuries and cares for the puppy until he is able to come back for it. Then she helps Bob buy supplies and gives him advice about training his puppy. Bob is hopeful that the puppy and Nadia will both be a good edition to his otherwise solitary life.

When the bar is robbed one night, it is clear that whoever did it doesn't fully understand who really owns the bar and why members of the Chechen mafia are owners no one should want to cross. Bob notices a detail about one of the robbers when giving a description to the police that could be a clue to the identity of the robbers.

In a further complication, a psychotic man claims he is the owner of Bob's dog, now named Rocco after a Saint, and is threatening Bob. Cousin Marv is also up to something.

The Drop is definitely noir fiction and not for the faint-hearted. It is a dark, tension filled novel where cruel men demonstrate just how loathsome they can be to each other, as well as a puppy.
There is language. The atmosphere is one of hopelessness and resignation to the cruelties of life, with perhaps, the smallest distant glimmer of some hope. I galloped through this short novel, wanting to know what happened next.

Apparently The Drop was based on a short story, “Animal Rescue,” and is the novelization of the screenplay for the soon-to-be-released movie of the same name. I have a feeling it will make an excellent movie.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of HarperCollins for review purposes.
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LibraryThing member Bridgey
The Drop - Dennis Leharne *****

This is only the second book I have read by Leharne, the other being Shutter Island a few years back. Shutter Island was a good read but also a kind of forgettable book and I never really bothered actively seeking out the author. I came across the Drop in a second
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hand book store and liked the sound of the blurb and thought it was worth a read. It seemed fairly short at just over 200 pages so I decided to give it a punt.

The story is set in a downtown Boston bar where Bob Saginowski is tending, working for his employer and cousin Marv. Things seem to go well, and Bob lives day to day without too much hassle. One day however when he is walking home, he finds an abandoned puppy and persuades a friend to look after it. Soon after a robbery takes place at the bar that causes the police to look into not just the current situation, but also deeds buried in the past. Throw in the local gangsters and you have an intricate tale of violence and deception, when the puppies original psychopathic owner also comes looking, Bob’s world is turned upside down.

A really worthwhile read, at times dark but always gripping.
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LibraryThing member darylanderson
We've all known people who were stuck in the past—the high school jock who didn’t make the pros or the prodigy who flunked out of college. They spend their days looking backward and lose the way forward. They stop changing, stop growing. And if enough time passes, they’re frozen forever in a
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single moment—like the dinosaurs in the La Brea Tar Pit.

Which brings me to Dennis Lahane’s novel The Drop

The novel takes place in the underworld of Boston bars. Bob the bartender is a haunted, lonely man whose life has been stuck in neutral for years. Then he finds a puppy in a garbage can and this small accident changes everything—and not just for Bob.

As in real life, Bob sometimes wishes he hadn’t saved the puppy and there are no assurances that his life will turn out for the better—after all, this is Lehane’s Boston. But at the end of the novel, the reader believes that whatever life brings Bob, he’ll meet it on his own terms.

It’s redemption, Lehane style--plenty of blood and guts, but with a glimmer of hope in all the gore.
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LibraryThing member abycats
Read this short story after seeing the movie so my reaction to it is no doubt colored by Tom Hardy's amazing performance.
LibraryThing member villemezbrown
I saw this movie a few years ago, and I found it disappointing, due to the direction and the acting by Tom Hardy, and that really bugged me, because I felt that I should like the story. And so when I came across this book at a used book sale, I picked it up to see if my notion was right, and indeed
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I much prefer the story in written form thanks to the additional insight into the character's thoughts and the lack of Hardy.

I still envisioned James Gandolfini as Cousin Marvin though. He was spot on.
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LibraryThing member ChristopherSwann
I'll read just about anything Lehane writes.
LibraryThing member Picathartes
This was the 3rd or 4th Lehane book that I have read, and I can’t say that I liked this one all that much. All the characters are hard cases, and I didn’t care for any of them. As a Pit Bull owner and advocate I like that Bob saved the dog, but even that stressed me out since the poor dog was
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in the very center of the ongoing drama and its safety never guaranteed.

Lehane is a really good writer so it is not disappointing in that respect, but it was too sad and depressing for me.
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LibraryThing member TobinElliott
This was a great, quick read, full of all the good stuff Lehane excels at so well. A nice, tight crime novel, something I wish we could get more of from Lehane, though I do enjoy his forays outside of the genre. I haven't seen the movie, but now I want to.

I think there's really only one thing that
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I wasn't crazy about in this novel, and that was the overuse of everyone's names. It almost seemed conspicuous, as though the author had a specific reason for it, though if he did, I couldn't figure out what the purpose was.

Other than that, another great Lehane read.
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LibraryThing member Daftboy1
Nice and easy short novel set in Boston. I watched film years ago so I thought I would give the book a go.

Main character is Bob he works as a Barman for Cousin Marv who used to own the Bar but is now owned by the Chechen mob. The Bar is used to drop off and pick up the money from various illegal
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Bob gets himself a Dog he calls him Rocco and he meets a lady called Nadia. Bob is a very quiet man but he doesnt actually take any nonsense.
The Bar gets robbed Marv set it up but the Gangsters are convinced he knows more than he is letting on. A dodgy bloke called Eric comes along he says Rocco is his Dog and that Nadia is his also his Girlfriend.
Eric tries to rob the Bar with Marvs help after the Superbowl night when the Bar is flush.
It all goes wrong Eric and Marv end up dead.
Bob and Nadia get closer and closer together. Good ok book.
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