Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
There are threads in our lives. You pull one, and everything else gets affected. When they were children, Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus and Dave Boyle were friends. But then a strange car pulled up their street. One boy got in the car, two did not, and something terrible happened - something that ended their friendship and changed all three boys for ever. Twenty-five years later, Sean Devine is a homicide detective. Jimmy Marcus is an ex-con who owns a corner store. And Dave Boyle is trying to hold his marriage together and keep his demons at bay - demons that urge him to do horrific things. When Jimmy Marcus's daughter is found murdered, Sean Devine is assigned the case. His personal life unravelling, he must go back into a world he thought he'd left behind to confront not only the violence of the present but the nightmares of his past. His investigation brings him into conflict with Jimmy Marcus, who finds his old criminal impulses tempt him to solve crime with brutal justice. And then there is Dave Boyle, who came home the night Jimmy's daughter died covered in someone else's blood. While Sean Devine attempts to use the law to return peace and order to the neighbourhood, Jimmy Marcus finds his need for vengeance pushing him ever closer to a moral abyss from which he won't be able to return, and Dave's wife, Celeste, sleeps at night with a man she fears may very well be a monster, a monster who fathered her child and hides his true nature from everyone, possibly even himself. At once a tense and unnerving psychological thriller, MYSTIC RIVER is also an epic novel of love and loyalty, faith and family, in which people irrevocably marked by the past find themselves on a collision course with the darkest truths of their own hidden selves.