Dennis Lehane’s ‘Live by Night’ tops ‘Gone Girl’ for best novel of the year

10/01/2012 BROOKLINE, MA Author Dennis Lehane (cq) signs books for fans at Brookline Booksmith (cq) in Brookline. (Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)
Author Dennis Lehane signed his new book, “Live by Night,” for fans at Brookline Booksmith on Oct. 1, 2012.Credit: The Boston Globe

Dennis Lehane pulled off a literary upset Thursday night at the 2013 Edgar Awards, when the Boston author’s “Live by Night” won novel of the year, beating Gillian Flynn’s best-selling “Gone Girl,” a book that seemingly the entire planet has read.

“It’s a cool honor to win one of these, particularly because it’s the first novel of mine in 18 years to even be nominated,” Lehane wrote in an email to The Globe. “It’s good to know that apparently I’m finally doing something right.”

He’s done plenty right, in truth.

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From “Shutter Island” to “Mystic River” to “The Given Day,” Lehane’s suspenseful writing has established him as far more than a Boston crime writer. His books are almost guaranteed movies, and sure enough, Ben Affleck is set to produce “Live by Night” on screen.

“Live by Night” is the second in a trilogy about a Boston family of Irish lawmen. It tells the tale of Joe Coughlin’s rise from thief to gangster in the Prohibition Era.

The Edgars, named for Edgar Allen Poe, are awarded to mystery writers, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television_published or produced. Other winners included “The Last Policeman” by Ben H. Winters for best paperback original and best first novel by an American author, “The Expats” by Chris Pavone.

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