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Dennis Lehane is a Boston-area author and well known writer of thriller novels, several of which have been adapted into film.

His works include:


Tropes present in many of his works

  • Badass Normal: He intentionally makes his protagonists normal people:
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 I decided, I do not want the people [in my books] to be veterans of any war I don't want them to know some sort of obscure Eastern kung fu philosophy that'll help them whoop ass. I want them to be regular, vulnerable people. They're not braver than most people, but they stick with it.

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  • Bittersweet Ending or Downer Ending: His books rarely end on completely positive notes, if there's anything positive to begin with.
  • Black and Grey Morality: While some villains are undeniably Complete Monsters, there are several who have sympathetic motivations, and the "good" people are rarely completely clean themselves.
  • Black Comedy: Present in many of his stories, which he relates to his Irish heritage.
  • Blue Eyes: Color photographs of him show that he has startlingly vivid ones.
  • Boston: Where the majority of his stories are set. He also cites Robert B. Parker and Andre Dubus as major influences on his style.
  • Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: He's been mistakenly referred to as the author of several different Boston-based stories, including The Departed and The Town, by both the media and people who actually live in Boston.
  • Hurting Hero: Most of his protagonists. He even admits that he's not sure how much Patrick Kenzie is capable of dealing with.
  • I Just Write the Thing: He explains the 11 year gap between Prayers for Rain and Moonlight Mile as being because Patrick Kenzie wouldn't talk to him.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: A running theme in many of his stories is that it's not so obvious what the "right" thing is, if it even exists.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Some aspects of his books are criticized for being unrealistic, but nine times of ten he's based it on something that really happened.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Heavy on the cynical side, but not completely dark.
  • Tuckerization: Several characters are based on real people.
  • Wham! Line: His stories often have at least one, which he explains as being the result of his love of the dramatic.
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