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:
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.
- 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: There are several villains 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.
- 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. He's mentioned that sometimes he corrects them, other times he doesn't.
- 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.
- Write Who You Know: He advocates this, but also says that people need to focus more on the overall human experience than specific events.