I apparently have a certain affinity for books titled The Drop as this is the second book with that title that I’ve read in a little over a year. The other was Michael Connelly’s The Drop. While I enjoyed both books, I’d have to say that if you are going to read one crime novel called The Drop this year that you make it Dennis Lehane’s.
Dennis Lehane’s The Drop follows Bob, a bartender in a tough neighborhood in Boston. He works at a bar called Cousin Marv’s with, not surprisingly, his cousin Marv. Once the owner, now Marv merely runs the bar. He had to turn it over to Chechen mobsters who now use it as one of many drop bars: bars where they hide their money in order to keep from getting busted by the police. Things start to stray from the norm for Bob when on the way home from work he finds a puppy that’s been abused and left for dead in a garbage can. This leads to him meeting Nadia, a mysterious woman who seems to know a little too much about the abused dog.
Following this upset to Bob’s quiet, normal life, Cousin Marv’s bar gets robbed the next day and Marv and Bob are left wondering if the Chechens suspect them of having a hand in the heist. I won’t give too much more of the plot away. Lehane does a great job developing his characters. This doesn’t just apply to Bob, Marv, and Nadia but also applies to Torres, the detective investigating the bar robbery, the Chechens and pretty much every character in the book. But Lehane still has enough plot twists to keep you turning the pages. The Drop, while not a new title, is definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year.