So, I bought this thinking it was a mystery, ala Kenzie & Gennaro, but instead it's a straight up novel, set in the late 20s and early 30s. It has the feel of a John Jakes historical family epic.
Live By Night follows the life of young gangster (he prefers to think of himself as an outlaw) Joe Coughlin and it sucked me in pretty much from the beginning. Lehane has an easy style of writing - he's a real storyteller - and I found myself reluctant to set the book aside and get along with what I really should be doing. *LOL*
This is apparently the second in the Coughlin family saga, the first concerning Joe's older brother, but quite honestly, I've not read it and I didn't feel the lack at all. I will get a hold of it at some point, because, as I said, I enjoy Lehane's storytelling. :)
So yes, this is the story of a gangster, a bad man, but he has his own code of honour that saves him from being a villain. I liked him. :) And I liked many of the supporting players.
I do love a good family saga, and I'll be reading the third book in the series as well. Even if it's not a mystery. :)