This story has seen several formats: a short story (Animal Rescue in the anthology, Boston Noir), a screenplay for the movie with the same title (Tom Hardy!! Noomi Rapace! James Gandolfini!! His last movie, actually), and now a novelization. I haven't read the short nor have I seen the movie (my sister had though, and she was praising Tom Hardy) so I couldn't make a comparison. However, I wonder if somehow this novel suffered in transference from the different formats. One thing for sure, it lacks the deep connection to the characters that I usually experience in any Dennis Lehane's stories so far -- and he is one of my favorite authors!
Yep -- I just couldn't feel any sympathy/empathy towards them. It had some moments where I thought it had potentials -- namely the parts where Bob discovered and made connection to the dog. Bob was a young Boston bartender who feels lonely in his day-to-day life. And him finding the dog slowly changes that. THOSE moments, I loved. Unfortunately, I couldn't care less about the rest of the plot, which I thought involved some Chechen gangsters, money missing, a horrible man who demanded the dog back, and a kind of mysterious self-abused woman.
The ending had that surprising momentum that I could easily thought as Dennis Lehane's signature. But it was too late for me to highly enjoy this one. I guess I could write it down as my least favorite story from Dennis Lehane. Oh, well, there's still the movie -- which I plan to see in a few days -- maybe it's a better format for me to enjoy