Small Mercies - Dennis Lehane

Small Mercies

By Dennis Lehane

  • Release Date: 2023-04-25
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
Score: 4.5
From 728 Ratings


Instant New York Times Bestseller

“Small Mercies is thought provoking, engaging, enraging, and can’t-put-it-down entertainment.” — Stephen King

The acclaimed New York Times bestselling writer returns with a masterpiece to rival Mystic River—an all-consuming tale of revenge, family love, festering hate, and insidious power, set against one of the most tumultuous episodes in Boston’s history.

In the summer of 1974 a heatwave blankets Boston and Mary Pat Fennessy is trying to stay one step ahead of the bill collectors. Mary Pat has lived her entire life in the housing projects of “Southie,” the Irish American enclave that stubbornly adheres to old tradition and stands proudly apart.

One night Mary Pat’s teenage daughter Jules stays out late and doesn’t come home. That same evening, a young Black man is found dead, struck by a subway train under mysterious circumstances.

The two events seem unconnected. But Mary Pat, propelled by a desperate search for her missing daughter, begins turning over stones best left untouched—asking questions that bother Marty Butler, chieftain of the Irish mob, and the men who work for him, men who don’t take kindly to any threat to their business.

Set against the hot, tumultuous months when the city’s desegregation of its public schools exploded in violence, Small Mercies is a superb thriller, a brutal depiction of criminality and power, and an unflinching portrait of the dark heart of American racism. It is a mesmerizing and wrenching work that only Dennis Lehane could write.


  • That’s Southie

    By socalmusefan
    What a great book! I grew up in Boston during the 70’s and remember so much of what the busing did to our city. Fabulous book!
  • Small Mercies

    By jejejwkejrbvyvehw
    As human as you can get. A tragedy that comes with so many of life’s lessons.
  • Outstanding

    By Lb8001
    Long time fan of his earliest books but not as much of more recent ones. This one brought me right back to his fan club - oh so good.
  • Great book

    By sipsey wilderness
    Mary Pat was a awesome character! Really enjoyed reading this book!
  • I will

    By AtomicCoug
    be reading this story over and over again for the next few years. I suspect it will haunt me forever.
  • Racist

    By Sdfrdeghfrjed
    The whole book as racist. None of the characters are likable. I feel no empathy for Mary, her racist daughter, her druggie son, nor her family, and all the other racists in the town. I guess we’re supposed to understand why racists feel the way they do, but that’s a fail. If the all white countries are less problematic for the author, likely bc they hide their dirt better, then maybe he and all the other racists should move there.
  • Good but kinda thin

    By stone crap
    Nice little story. A bit disappointing ultimately
  • Oh Boy!

    By Rg110647
    I was born in Boston. I love the city but hate it’s history. This book brings all the hate and injustices that will forever but a part of Boston’s history. This book, while fictional, hits the nail squarely on its head. There is too much hate in this world and it can not be buried.
  • Amazing book

    By CentralCALady
    Could not put it down. I think this is his best one.
  • Great, quick read!

    By chrisallenmax
    Was surprised at the pace; and the quality of the story. Really enjoyed it! Will be recommending it to friends!