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World Gone By: A Novel (Joe Coughlin Series) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, March 10, 2015

4.3 out of 5 stars 554 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Coughlin Series

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Editorial Reviews


“Lehane writes convincingly, tensely… powerfully.” (USA Today)

“The novel’s plot is as complex as its morality.” (New York Daily News)

“A textbook guide on how to end a series .” (Associated Press)

“Lehane has Elmore Leonard’s ear for dialogue.” (Miami Herald)

“Lehane’s prose is…lean, elegant and brutal.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

“Lehane [is] a novelist of…effortless power.” (Chicago Tribune)

“Lehane’s 12th novel is a classic gangster epic.” (Tampa Bay Times)

From the Back Cover

“Lehane writes convincingly tensely . . . powerfully.”—USA Today

Late spring, 1943. The world is at war but the American mob is in its heyday. Former crime boss Joe Coughlin now works as a consigliere to the infamous Bartolo Crime Family, effortlessly handling their interests in Tampa, Boston, and Cuba. In the decade since he lost his wife in a cascade of bullets, Joe has made a home for himself and his son, and once again forged everything out of nothing: money, power, a relationship with a beautiful woman, and a privileged place in Tampa’s shadowy underworld.

But a rumor surfaces that someone wants Joe dead. And he has only days to figure out who, or he will die. And then there’s the ghost—a young boy who appears on the fringes of Joe’s vision and seems to be trying to tell him something. Racing against time and fate, Joe hurtles through a violent yet intoxicating world on the brink of total collapse or epic triumph, a world on the cusp of reinvention and rebirth—where the old codes, the old sins, and the old dreams may soon be swept away once and for all.

“The novel’s plot is as complex as its morality.”—Daily News (New York)

“Lehane has Elmore Leonard’s ear for dialogue.”—Miami Herald


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Product Details

  • Series: Joe Coughlin Series (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1St Edition edition (March 10, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060004908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060004903
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (554 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By My 2 Cents VINE VOICE on March 10, 2015
Format: Hardcover
World Gone By is the final book of a trilogy that began with The Given Day (2008), followed by Live By Night (2012).

Now in World Gone By, the story picks up some 10 years later with protagonist, Joe Coughlin, who once held a top level spot with the Bartolo crime family, is now a "consigliere" to a Tampa crime boss. He is trying to stay out of the limelight and away from violence for the sake of his young son, Tomas. When Tomas was just 2, Joe's Cuban wife was killed in the wake of a mob related attack. Tomas is a quiet, gentle boy and Joe is trying to protect him.

When a woman in prison for murdering her husband get's a guard to summon Joe, telling him she has some important information for him, he's curious. It seems she has heard from a good source that Joe is the mob's next target. Joe is not sure what to think.

This is a story that has a great hook early on and held my interest. However, there are several different threads running through. Lots of characters, and locales of Tampa and Cuba, plus back stories to keep track of. It's mostly a dark story, extremely well written with plenty of action, politics, corruption,violence, scandal and sex. There was a surprising wrap up as well.

I wouldn't recommend reading this as a stand alone, as you'd be missing the back stories about Joe's dad and brother as Boston cops when Joe was just a child, as well as Joe's days at the top of his game as a crime Boss. Overall a busy but enjoyable read. Recommend for readers who enjoy historical crime fiction.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I could not wait for this book to come out. I had finished the previous Joe Coughlin novel last year and was pleasantly surprised to see another one coming out so soon. I cannot say enough about this book. It ends all of the sub plots from the last book without it feeling forced. The novel never stops and you cannot stop turning the pages. I finished it in one day and was disappointed that it was over. It is a great novel by a great author. I did not read the first book in the series but am going to start reading it now. I have read most of Mr Lehane's other series and I have to say that this is the best of them. The characters are rich and the story keeps moving. I have some other comments but these comments would spoil the book for others. I highly recommend that you read this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
World Gone By by Dennis Lehane is a highly recommended second novel in the gangster series featuring Joe Coughlin. World Gone By is a sequel to Live By Night (2012) in Lehane's series of historical novels that began with The Given Day (2008).

It's almost ten years since Joe's wife was killed in a bloody gangland battle. Now Joe is a devoted, single father to Tomas and a respected leader in the underworld of Tampa, Florida. Joe is a businessman, although the legalities of all his businesses may be in question, his control and influence never has been in doubt, until now. An imprisoned young woman manages to get in contact with Joe to warn him that someone has a contract out on him and his life is in danger. While this is perplexing to Joe, he starts to ask questions and speculations and rumors begin to unfold.

This is a complex novel with numerous different storylines going on at the same time so it is a novel that you have to pay attention to the characters and the relationships while reading. It is also a gangster novel, so the characters are not engaged in virtuous action, although there is some sort of honor among thieves, there is also a moral ambiguity concerning their actions. While Joe has a code of ethic, it is based on the whole gangster culture that he is an integral part of, even though he's not in the trenches as much as he used to be.

Lehane is always an excellent writer so this is not only a well written technically, there is also a complexity to the plot and character development that set his book above many others. Additionally, he includes many historical facts and characters. World Gone By is a historical gangster novel, but it is not only about betrayal and bloody gang wars, it is also about fathers and sons, family ties, and fate.
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Format: Hardcover
World Gone By is a continuation of "Live By Night" which is perhaps the only flaw in a fascinating novel by Lehane. The book brings the characters created in the first book ten years into the future during the time of the Second World War and without the information of the first novel there is a loss of continuity that the reader will miss. Joe Coughlin who had built an empire for the crime family he worked for in Boston in Tampa, Florida sees his work destroyed and his beloved wife killed in the first book, and is now the consigliere to the Bartolo crime family traveling back and forth for them between his home base in Tampa to Cuba.
Joe works with and meets the mob families of Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano, connections with naval intelligence as well as the mob financed Cuban dictator Batista. Lehane describes the rise of the mobs during World War Two, the murders, public official corruption and the intercine battles between the mob families. A gun battle on Ash Wednesday on the streets of Ybor City, Tampa is described in exacting detail bringing to life the violence and the complete disregard of law and order of the mobs.
The ending serves up a picture of ultimate payment by many of those that have lived a life without regard for the rights of others. It is another superb read served up by a master of his craft. Very well done.
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