Just finished this one by Dennis Lehane. I'd heard the movie's really good, but I chose to read the book first. Quite some good work there. Initially, I was a little put off by the bad language and bad grammar used to portray the crime-infested, mugger-dominated neighborhood of the three protagonists. But as the story develops, you tend to get so absorbed into it, that you really forget the language. The way the characters are potrayed is simply amazing. From when the three friends Sean, Jimmy and Dave were little kids growing up in an area in the city where innocence is lost really early on; until the time all three have become men with distinct characters - the author takes us through their minds and thought processes as they build their personalities. Same neighborhood, different outcomes. All three make something different of the collectively similar set of experiences they have.
And the story moves forward at a medium pace, engrossing all the same. Suspense is kept alive too... all in all, a very good read! Gonna catch the movie too!