New Tack For 'Mystic River' Author

Dennis Lehane has gotten rave reviews for several best-selling suspense novels, including "Mystic River," which was later made into the movie of the same name.

But his latest book is different.

"Coronado" is a collection of five short stories and a two-act play.

Much of the material is original, and all of it features compelling characters and gripping plots.

Lehane discussed "Coronado" on The Early Show, with co-anchor Harry Smith on Thursday.

To watch the interview, click here.

To hear an audio excerpt of "Coronado," click here.

To hear a podcast with Lehane about "Coronado," click here.

One of Lehane's early books, "Gone, Baby, Gone," part of the Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro series, is being made into a film, directed by Ben Affleck and starring Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan. It's slated for release in 2007.

According to material prepared about "Coronado" by publisher Harper Collins, "As his millions of fans well know, Dennis Lehane is a masterful writer. His last two novels were New York Times Bestsellers, he's won many mystery awards, and his acclaimed novel Mystic River became a popular Oscar-winning film. What they may not be aware of is his talent for literary fiction, short stories, and playwriting. Lehane's new collection, "Coronado," showcases the versatile author's lesser-known but no-less-stunning abilities through new and classic stories and the critically lauded theatrical adaptation he wrote to give some of his most beloved (and most reviled) characters new life.

The stories in "Coronado" explore the darker side of small town living -- friendship and vengeance, solidarity and class conflict, sexuality and deception -- in a singular style that is both relentless and hopeful. Lehane's gifts for intricate plotting, unforgettable characters, and lyrical prose come together in a surprisingly different collection of five short stories and a play."

The Harper Collins Web site says, "Along with completely original material, this new collection is a compilation of the best of Dennis Lehane's previously published short stories, including "Until Gwen," which was adapted for the stage in 2005 and appears in this book as the play "Coronado."

At turns suspenseful, surreal, romantic, and tragically comic, these tales journey headlong into the heart of our national myths — about class, gender, freedom, and regeneration through violence — and reveal that the truth waiting for us there is not what we'd expect."