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Joe Coughlin Books In Order

Publication Order of Coughlin Books

The Given Day (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Live By Night (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
World Gone By (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The Joe Coughlin series is a popular series of mystery, crime fiction, historical fiction, and thriller stories. It is comprised of 3 books in total released between the years 2008 and 2015. The series is written by a well known American writer named Dennis Lehane. Each of the books of this mystery series features the chief protagonist in the role of Joe Coughlin. He is depicted as a beat cop. The initial setting of the series is done in Boston during the 1920s, and then continues to through the 1930s and 1940s in Cuba and Ybor City, Florida. Each of the books is highly successful in all the places of its release. Numerous readers from across the world have liked and appreciated the stories and their intriguing characters. The books have also been praised by a large number of critics. Some fellow writers have also praised author Lehane for his dedicated efforts in coming up with this exciting series. Among the main characters depicted in the books by Dennis Lehane, there are the likes of Luther Laurence, Babe Ruth, Mitchell Palmer, Danny ‘Joe’ Coughlin, Calvin Coolidge, Eugene O’Neill, Jack Reed, etc. Because of the wide scale success of the books, author Lehane received a lot of fame and popularity.

Dennis Lehane is a noteworthy writer known for writing mystery stories. He has penned over a dozen novels in his career so far and is particularly known for using recurring characters in his books. Several of Lehane’s books have been adapted into movies, including Mystic River, Shutter Island, and Gone, Baby, Gone. Mystic River is the most popular one as the movie based on this with the same name has won several academy awards. Dennis was born and brought up in Dorchester, Boston. He has resides in Boston for a large part of his life. Dennis Lehane’s connection with Boston can be understood from the fact that he has set most of the plots of his stories there. As of today, author Lehane resides in southern California. He completed his schooling from the Boston High School, then went on to earn a degree in creative writing from the Florida University. Lehane entered into marriage two times in his life. His first marriage with Sheila Lawn ended in a divorce. Then Lehane married Dr. Angelo Bernardo. In addition to writing novels, Dennis Lehane has careers in the fields of teaching and film-making. He is pretty much satisfied with the amount of success he has achieved so far and hopes to continue writing many more interesting stories in the years to come. On several occasions, Lehane has made guest appearances on the drama/comedy TV series called Castle as himself.

The debut book of the Joe Coughlin series written by author Dennis Lehane is entitled ‘The Given Day’. It was released by the William Morrow publishers in the year 2008. The primary characters of this book as mentioned by Lehane include Babe Ruth, Luther Laurence, and Joe Coughlin. This novel’s story is set around World War I’s end in Boston. It has successfully captured the social and political unrest of a country caught between its future and past. Through this story, author Lehane has told the tale of 2 families, one white and the other black. Both the families are shown being swept in the maelstrom of anarchists, revolutionaries, ward bosses, immigrants, ordinary citizens, and Brahmins. Every character is indulged in the battle of power and survival. At the book’s beginning, it is depicted that Danny Coughlin is the son of the most powerful and beloved police captains of the city, who performs beat cop duties. He joins a union movement and begins a hunt for some violent radicals. Luther Laurence is a close aid of the Coughlin family. He engages in a confrontation with a Tulsa-based crime boss.

Being on the run for his life, Luther Laurence seems desperate to get back to his wife pregnant with his first child. The plot features some influential figures of the time, including a leftist activist named Jack Reed, a cunning governor from Massachusetts named Calvin Coolidge, an ambitious lawyer John Hoover, the founder of NAACP DuBois, as well as Eugene O’Neill, Babe Ruth, Woodrow Wilson, etc. As the story proceeds further, it moves through the time’s pivotal events. One such event described by Lehane is the pandemic of Spanish Influenza. Finally, the events culminate in the Police Strike of Boston in 1919. This novel explores the irresponsible exuberance and crippling violence of a nation that is in war with itself. The characters find it difficult to define themselves in the turbulent times. Gradually, they begin to see each other as family and provide one another the support for riding through the rising storm of deprivation, hope and hardship. And the story nears its climax, they realize that their lives have undergone drastic changes.

Another entertaining book of this series is called ‘Live By Night’. It was also published by William Morrow in 2012. It features the central characters as Emma Gould, Joe Coughlin, and several others. Dennis Lehane has described a riveting story that consists of a diverse cast full of callous enemies, loyal friends, and tough rum-runners. The novel also consists of sultry femme fatales, cruel Klansmen, and Bible-quoting evangelists. All of these are shown battling for their survival and trying to achieve their American dream. The book shows the setting of 1926 in Boston. The era seems roaring with liquor flowing everywhere, bullets flying, and people trying to make their mark. Because of prohibition, a large underground network of speakasies, corrupt cops, distilleries, and gangsters rises.

Joe Coughlin arrives in the set up as the youngest cop in the department. He seems have stopped following the path of his proper and strict upbringing. Over the years of his growing up, Coughlin has managed to graduate from his petty childhood theft and make a career with a good pay. He appears to be enjoying the thrills, notoriety, and spoils of an outlaw. But, he knows that enjoying life on the darker side comes with a high price. Everywhere ambitious men roam without fear and are armed with illegal booze, guns, cash, and look for gaining control. And no one among friends, family, lovers, or enemies can be trustworthy. In such struggling times, people like Coughlin face the fear of death. But, until that day comes, Coughlin hopes to enjoy life to its fullest. Subsequently, he embarks on a journey by climbing up the ladders of crime. At one point, the story shows a compelling love story and at the other it looks like a sweeping revenge saga.

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