Dennis Lehane Books In Order

Dennis Lehane is mostly popular through two of his books, Shutter Island and Mystic River (both which were made into movie with Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon, and Leonardo Di Caprio respectively), however the author has written several other worthwhile books, including his Kenzie & Gennaro series and the Coughlin series.

Reading the Dennis Lehane books in order is not important for his stand along novels, but it is worthwhile reading his series in the right chronological order.

While most authors are best known for their mystery series (e.g. the author duo Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child are best known for their Pendergast series and less for their standalone books written by each separately, or Vince Flynn for his Mitch Rapp series rather than his standalone novel), Dennis Lehane is best known for his two standalone books.

One reason is because they are both made into two popular movies, however I find it a pity to not read his series as well, which make some really fascinating stories.

His very very first novel, A Drink Before the War is part of the Dennis Lehane Kenzie and Gennaro series and it was written back in 1994. The series is about two private investigators in Boston, Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, who take cases that all are in some way gruesome, sad, and plain horrifying. The order of the Dennis Lehane books for his series and the two stand alone novels is shown below.

There is lots of violence and terror in these books, and some of the descriptions of what the killers do to their victims made me at times even me stop reading for a bit. However I also enjoy the so-called gallows humour that I see coming through the books, and the vivid descriptions of everything Boston related.

The latest novel published by Dennis Lehane is called Since We Fell a standalone novel.

So far there are two books in the series, each dealing with one member of the Coughlin family. The first book is about Danny Coughlin, the son of the local police captain, and the second book is about Joe Coughlin, the youngest son in the family.

So here are the Dennis Lehane books in order for his hardboiled detective Kenzie & Gennaro series, his newer Coughlin series and his standalone novels.


Dennis Lehane Kenzie and Gennaro Series In Order

1. A Drink Before the War (Kenzie and Gennaro Series #1), published 1994

2. Darkness, Take My Hand (Kenzie and Gennaro Series #2), published 1996

3. Sacred (Kenzie and Gennaro Series #3), published 1997

4. Gone, Baby, Gone (Kenzie and Gennaro Series #4), published 1998

5. Prayers for Rain (Kenzie and Gennaro Series #5), published 1999

6. Moonlight Mile (Kenzie and Gennaro Series #6), published 2010


Coughlin Series In Order

1. The Given Day (Coughlin Series #1), published 2008

2. Live by Night (Coughlin Series #2), published 2012

3. World Gone By (Coughlin Series #3), published 2015


Dennis Lehane Standalane Books In Order

Mystic River, published 2001

Shutter Island, published 2003

Coronado: short stories, published 2006 – a collection of short stories by Dennis Lehane

The Drop, published 2014

Since We Fell, published 2017

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14 Responses to “Dennis Lehane Books In Order”

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  1. Michael Kennedy says:

    Loved the Coughlin series .

  2. Frank Madden says:

    What about ” The Drop ” which preceded “Since we Fell ” ?

    • Mystery Sequels says:

      Huh, you’re right, I missed it! Probably because it was one of my least favorite books by the author. Added it now.

  3. Liz Cook says:

    I loved shutter Island and mystic river. Half thru live by night and find it quite boring. Hope it picks up a bit when Joe gets involved with Figgis daughter. Keep thinking Emma will come back. Guess I will have to keep reading. Usually like to watch movie after but think I will pass this time. Loved shutter book and movie.

    • Liz cook says:

      Just finished live by.night. See where it is left open for a next book. Disappointed all the women died or left Joe. Had a hard time reading it.

  4. nick says:

    hi. i would like to see more kenzie and gennaro books. any chance

  5. Susan says:

    During his first three K and G novels, he references characters and events that I have never read about. Am I missing something? For example, Angie’s husband death mentioned in Sacred. And Grace and her daughter, Mae.

    • Sean says:

      Angie’s husband, Phil is in the first 2 books A Drink Before the War & Darkness, Take My Hand. Grace and Mae are in Darkness… as well!

  6. Nicole says:

    Has anyone read the ‘Coughlin series’ if so is it nessecary for me to read the first book or can I just skip to the second book “Live by Night” ? Any help will be greatly appreciated

  7. Diane says:

    I have all of Dennis Lehane’s Books except World Gone By which I will be purchasing for my collection
    very shortly. I do have a Kindle but am enjoying having personal copies of his books. Love his mysteries.
    Formerly from Boston, I have savored the stories from that area and location. Now living in Fl the mention
    of Ybor City and Tampa have piqued my interest. Keep up the great work Dennis!
    A true fan,
    Diane
    Bradenton FL

    • Frank Marino says:

      Hi Diane: I am working my way through Lehane’s works. But if you’ve read them all and like stories set in Boston area you should check out all the Robert B. Parker “Spenser” series. He was the trendsetter for Boston area Private Investigators and known as the Dean of American Crime fiction. Sadly he passed away in January 2010. The family has contracted with author Ace Atkins who has done an excellent job continuing the Spenser series. But I’d read the originals first.
      Wikipedia:
      Robert Brown Parker (September 17, 1932 – January 18, 2010) was an American crime writer. His most famous works were the novels about the private detective Spenser. ABC television network developed the television series Spenser: For Hire based on the character in the mid-1980s; a series of TV movies based on the character were also produced. His works incorporate encyclopedic knowledge of the Boston metropolitan area.[3] Parker was 77 when he died of a heart attack at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts; discovered at his desk by his wife Joan, he had been working on a novel.[1][4][5] The Spenser novels have been cited by critics and bestselling authors such as Robert Crais, Harlan Coben and Dennis Lehane[6] as not only influencing their own work but reviving and changing the detective genre.[7]

  8. Carol Barnes-Bryant says:

    Anymore kenzie/gennaro and gabby books on the horizon? First introduce to characters in the faceoff book. Never read any before but since may I have read every one in the series. I am thoroughly hooked.

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