He was born August 4, 1965 in Boston, Massachusetts as the youngest of five children of first generation Irish immigrants. He currently lives in Boston with his second wife and daughter. According to his official website, he held a series of jobs, including a counselor for abused kids and the mentally handicapped, before finding success as a writer. He periodically teaches writing courses at colleges in Florida and Massachusetts and has written for film and television. His most notable television credit is as a writer for the HBO series The Wire, in which he also made a cameo appearance in the third season episode entitled Middle Ground.
Lehane is probably most well known for his five book series featuring private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro. Titles in this series are:
- A Drink Before the War
- Darkness, Take My Hand
- Gone, Baby, Gone - adapted as a film in 2007, directed by Ben Affleck, and starring Ben's brother Casey, Michelle Monaghan, Ed Harris, and Morgan Freeman; actress Amy Ryan was nominated for an Academy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her role in the movie.
- Prayers for Rain
- Moonlight Mile
Stand alone books include:
- Mystic River - adapted as a film in 2003, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laura Linney, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurence Fishburne, and Emmy Rossum; it was nominated for 6 Oscars, including Best Picture, and won two, one for Sean Penn as Best Actor and one for Tim Robbins as Best Supporting Actor.
- Shutter Island - adapted as a film in 2010, it was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley and Michelle Williams
- Coronado - a collection of five short stories and one play
- The Given Day - a historical novel about the Boston Police Department strike in 1919