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The master of the new noir, Dennis Lehane magnificently evokes the dignity and savagery of working-class Boston in this terrifying tale of darkness and redemption.

Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro's latest client is a prominent Boston psychiatrist running scared from a vengeful Irish mob. The private investigators know something about cold-blooded retribution. Born and bred on the mean streets of blue-collar Dorchester, they've seen the darkness that lives in the hearts of the unfortunate. But an evil for which even they are unprepared is about to strike as secrets long-dormant erupt, setting off a chain of violent murders that will stain everything—including the truth.

Topics: Serial Killers, Murder, Police, Private Investigators, Women Detectives, Secrets, Secret Life, Psycho- & Sociopaths, Revenge, Massachusetts, Boston, New England, Noir, Violent, and First Person Narration

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061807992
List price: $9.99
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Someone is brutally killing people that Patrick knows and they are both on the case. The usual characters are there, which is nice since I have not read a Kenzie Gennaro book in a while.after reading The Given Day and thinking what a great writer Dennis Lehane is, it is nice to realize that that wonderful writing style is also evident on his mysteries. I am a Dennis Lehane fan all the way.more
An interesting mystery about private detectives who get more drawn into a case then they would have liked. The character development and study of desensitization intrigued me, however, I felt it could have been expanded upon much more. There were numerous times when I did not want to put the book down. However, I did not feel the main characters were realistic, multi-faceted or "human" enough to hold my interest in the less intense periods. I enjoyed the straight forward writing, and the keeps-you-guessing story line, however, I thought it left a bit to be desired. It touches on some extremely intriguing concepts of inurement and the necessity of pain, but I felt it largely left those ideas out there, very separately, instead of drawing them into the story and the characters.All in all a good read. But I was hoping for more.more
"Darkness Take My Hand" is the second in Dennis Lehane's series featuring private investigator team Patrick Kenzie and Angie Genhnaro. This series is on the extremely gritty end of the spectrum of books that I read, with more violence and harsh language than is my usual cuppa tea. I keep reading them for the same reason I keep reading James Lee Burke's series featuring Dave Robicheaux: the quality of the writing. Well-crafted, complex characters; descriptive writing that takes you to the setting with all your senses; plots with more twists and turns than a country mountain road; and just good, solid storytelling touching upon issues that make you think.In this one, Kenzie & Gennaro are hired by a psychologist who believes her son is being threatened because the girlfriend of a mob henchman confided to her about a murder. But nothing is quite as it appears. As murder and mayhem break out in Kenzie's old Boston neighborhood, links are made with a series of 2-decade-old crimes, and dirty old secrets rise to the surface. And no one in Patrick Kenzie's inner circle is safe.A monstrously good thriller!more
This is the second book of a series featuring Patrick Kenzie and Angie Genaro, partners in a private detective agency in a working-class section of Boston. That first book, A Drink Before the War dealt with a gang war, but Darkness, Take My Hand deal with a serial killer, and if the plot is fairly standard in that regard, this novel still stands out for style, setting and characters.A blurb in the book compares Lehane to Chandler, MacDonald and Parker. I actually prefer Lehane to any of them. I recently read through a list of mystery recommendations that included all those authors and discovered I actually don't usually care for the hard-boiled detective genre that includes those authors, even when the author is a fine stylist. (To Chandler and MacDonald I'd add Dashiel Hammett, Walter Mosley and James Lee Burke as impressive in that regard within that genre.) Yet with the possible exception of Hammett, you won't see me read more books by those other authors. In the end I find hard-boiled too cynical, too gritty and too many of the typical hard-boiled detectives are damn unlikable, little more than thugs. (Philip Marlowe, I'm looking at you!) And that is what sets Lehane apart. Because though the milieu Kenzie works in is dangerous, corrupt, at times bleak, there's a core of decency that runs through him, a sense of humor--and more than that--caring. The detectives of those other books are solitary, isolated and grim. But Kenzie has friends, and above all he has his partner Angie, and that makes all the difference to me. It's the humor, the way Lehane brings the mean streets of Boston to life, but above all that relationship between Angie and Patrick that will keep me reading the series.more
Well, once again, Dennis Lehane has managed to grab me and solidly rivet me to one of his books...while turning page after page well into the night. As with every book I've read by him (all but one now that I've not yet read)....I have been completely smitten and unable to put down this story of murder, suspense, love and loss."Darkness, Take My Hand" was a winner from page one. The characters Angie Gennaro and Patrick Kenzie, private investigators with a long history, are contacted by an old acquaintance with the prospect of a case....a wealthy psychiatrist who has received a threatening message from an unknown source. Thus begins a journey into the web of insanity and danger so extreme, that it consumes all involved without mercy.There are so many twists and turns in this story, I don't even know where to begin to try to describe it....only that this one will grab you and won't let go until the very last page....and leave you reeling after a thrill ride that you won't soon forget.If you've never read Dennis Lehane, you are really missing out. "Darkness, Take My Hand" is a 5 star winner, without question. I highly recommend this book!!more
I enjoy Dennis Lehane's sentences, but the stories have more sizzle than meat. There were are few points in this book that were laughably bad. I did read the book and only had to skip a few pages, but it is like the author is writing the novel in a attempt to get a movie made, more than to entertain his readers.more
As other reviewers have said, this book is dark. It's creepy and you'll want to lock your doors before reading at night! But it didn't hit me as hard as some Thomas Harris books have. What I really enjoy about this series is the romantic tension between the Angie and Patrick, the complexity of their relationship is very well done. In a good book, characters are allowed to grow and change as real people do, and Denis Lehane does that very well with his characters over the course of these books. I encourage you to read them in order, as this book has much more depth if you know what happens in A Drink Before the War.more
This was given to me by a friend with little preamble other than it was 'written by the guy who wrote Mystic River'. After reading it I ended up ploughing my way through all the other Kenzie and Gennaro books. Lehane is a very good writer with an eye for detail and the nerve to hang around with characters rather than let the plot whisk you away. It all helps build a really vivid sense of person and place, something he only gets better at with subsequent books. It's detective fiction but for 'The Wire' generation.more
This is my first Dennis Lehane and it's a top rate thriller. The characters are very well drawn and Lehane makes you consider the toll that being involved in crime, even as the good guy, takes on your life. It exposes everyone around you to violence which is beyond your control.more
Dennis Lehanes's thriller is a great story that will keep you up at night, an not just to finish reading! A superb cast of characters, and an absorbing plot make for terrific reading. One not to miss!more
So, I read the first installment of the Kenzie and Gennaro series, A Drink Before the War, a few months ago and gave it a glowing review (okay, not glowing, but it did get four stars each one deserved). However, I did give one complaint... I didn't think that the book was "dark" enough; I was just a bit underwhelmed by the actual case. Yeah well, be careful what you wish for because... Darkness, Take My Hand was way darker than I was expecting. This book was GRAPHIC (yes the caps and the exclamation point are needed to exemplify that)! I read more than a few reviews that were stating this, but when I was well under way into Darkness, Take My Hand, I thought "Well it's not too bad." Of course, then something dark and graphic was described that not only disturbed me, but scared the shit out of me as well (something that makes me recall "The Exorcist", which still terrifies me). It just went downhill from there. I, however, do not have a problem with dark, graphic, gritty, and/or gore (the last one I can only deal with in book form, not in films), so that didn't dampen my enjoyment of the book at all. However, I'd be lying if I didn't say that it took me completely by surprise. I'm still absolutely in love with the characters. In Darkness, Take My Hand, Lehane delves more into Patrick's past including more about his father and more about his ex-wife (who's identity just made my jaw drop at how screwy everything is). We also get to know Angie a little more and we're shown exactly how many flaws both these characters have. It makes them more real and frankly, made me fall in love with them even more. Their banter (which I admit I absolutely adore and is the main reason for my enjoyment of this series) was still here in all of it's hilarious and aww-ing glory. We also have Bubba (who's loyalty is sweet albeit way disturbing) and almost all of the rest of the characters back in this installment and they're just basically wonderful. Patrick and Angie are surrounded by great friends who are amazing and colorful characters which make this book even better. Darkness, Take My Hand was definitely a great book. I loved it even more than A Drink Before the War. And all of Dennis Lehane's novels seem as if they're page-turners. I know I was clicking the Kindle at a frantic pace. So, highly recommended, but definitely not for the faint of heart or those who fear The Exorcist much more than I do (that one scene really traumatized me).more
Dennis Lahane does it again in this dark Boston mystery full of terror, love, hate and murder. And, although the violence was not to my taste, I found that I read the book whenever I could. That's the secret of Lahane. He is so talented that no matter what the subject he keeps the action moving and the characters fully developed like very few others can.The book deals with a serial killer, gang violence, tangled families, and love affairs. And, as the plot unravels terrifying events happen. Patrick and Angie, the central characters undergo great stress and experience real change. I read this book in spite of the fact that I am not enthusiastic about his grisly description of a Boston neighborhood, and its inhabitants. Still I was drawn to read the book because I admire Lahane's talents, and in spite of the fact that I have more than several enticing selections in my book stack that keep calling to me.As I move on to theses other books I can keep comfort in the fact that somewhere there I have another Lahane novel as yet unread.more
Clowns, send in the clowns. Much of this book is scene setting in Boston, three deckers, local bars, familiar locales like Dorchester Ave, Savin Hill, and so on. And the usual characters, the neighborhood kids all grown up -- punctuated by photo threats, and exceptionallly gruesome killings that lead back to an old neigborhood haunt, now jailed as a pscyho killer reminiscent of Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. And tho' jailed forever, he seems to have his freedom and his reach that continues the gruesome killings. A maelstrom of arrogant feds, good guys and bad guys, all getting killed and threatened, until the thread leads to a logical conclusion if not a happy ending, very close to home.more
Very bleak and brutal crime story (darker than the first Kenzie and Gennaro story)more
The book had a few twists and turns that were a little unbelievable, but I can forgive that because the story, in general, kept me interested. Plus, after reading several books in the series it's like Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are old friends.more
In this the second book in his Kenzie-Gennaro detective series, Dennis Lehane begins to show his skills in earnest (surpassing [[ASIN:0156029022 A Drink Before the War]]). The complex plot is well-constructed and expertly revealed. The book opens with Kenzie reflecting on the events to follow and foreshadowing an ominous tale. Kenzie is called in by a young man's mother to investigate a threat against him by the Irish mob. Kenzie and Gennaro get a sit down meet with the mobsters through their own psycho friend Bubba that leads pretty much nowhere. Kenzie continues to poke around in Boston's underbelly and nothing he finds is anything but pretty. Dead bodies start to stack up that suggest a serial killer is on the loose - but another killer reaches out to Kenzie from prison. His interview with this inmate called to mind the Silence of the Lambs. Lehane creates a truly disturbed person who causes primal fear even though he's shackled and behind bars. Are the events separated by some two decades somehow related? And who's calling the tune? The writing is very good, the story is taut and a page-turner. If you are like me, you will soon develop a whodunit theory or two that turn out to be way off course, a sign of a good mystery. Lehane explores the psychology of the extremely violent and how they got that way, but be forewarned, the violence is extreme and not infrequent. Even the survivors are damaged perhaps irretrievably. With the caveat about the violence, this book is highly recommended. But really folks, Lehane is not kidding about the darkness. A conditional five stars.more
The second Kenzie/Gennaro mystery. In this one they try to protect the college-student son of an aquaintance. We learn about Angie's grandfather and a bout her relationship to Patrick's ex-wife (if that was in the first book, I missed it). We also learn more about Patrick's father's horrific past. Other characters recur as well, including Bubba.As in the first volume, we are confronted with extreme violence and asked to consider its sources. I like the fact that Lehane doesn't expect us to approve of the violence or of all the choices that Patrick and Angie make. There are real costs to the lives they have chosen.Again we stay in Patrick's point of view and see events through his eyes. So far I haven't caught Lehane coloring the events too much through Patrick's eyes; he seems to see pretty clearly, with a weary worldliness that seems justified by what he has lived through. Yet there are things in Patrick's world, and especially people, who keep him from becoming a total nihilist. He and Angie are interesting characters and I will keep coming back to see them.more
#2 in the Kenzie/Gennaro series.Angela Gennaro and Patrick Kenzie, private detectives, take on a case that involves threats to a female psychiatrist and her family. The threats emanate from one of the more psychotic criminals that Gennaro and Kenzie have grown up with, and his arguably worse boss. With that starts the 2nd book of this impressive series. I raved on in my review about the merits of the first book, A Drink Before the War. Darkness, Take My Hand is even better, because not only does it have the same superb writing and plotting as the first book, but it continues with outstanding characterizations of Kenzie and Gennaro themselves, and what is now clearly a recurring set of supporting players. In this book, we also learn a great deal about Kenzie’s childhood and Gennaro’s marriage. The characters live, experience, and grow. And remain people about whom we are eager to learn more.I don’t want to write more about the plot, because it is a masterpiece.A Drink Before the War won the Shamus Award for Best First Novel and deserved all the acclaim it received. Darkness Take my Hand is at least as good, and quite possibly better. Highly recommended.more
I came across this series some ten years after the first one was published and was a bit miffed that I had missed out for so long. When I finally read it, I just loved the first one, A Drink Before The War. So after finishing Darkness, Take My Hand, am I still miffed? Heck, yeah. This one's better than the first. Lehane's plot is wonderfully crisp. Nothing is wasted, no dead lulls here. The characters feel real, with all the flaws and delightfulness of real people. And Lehane's prose is just fantastic! I'm really looking forward now to the third in the series.more
A good start to the brutal, funny, harrowing world of Dennis Lehane and his McKenzie/Gennaro series. When I first read this book, I thought it brutal and heartbreaking. Years later, a second reading finds it somewhat formulaic, and perhaps a little too influenced by "The Silence of the Lambs." The brutality, however, still remains. Read it before the inevitable movie/televisualisation.more
Very good mystery. Very interesting look at crime, humanity, and murder. Not only kept me on the edge of my seat but made me think as well.more
So far having read 2 Lehane books I can honestly say that these books are impossible to put down and very easy to pick back up. Lehane performs a nice tweak on a too used plot device, the serial killer, and the final showdown becomes truly frightening. More of an emotional rollercoaster since we already know these characters as they all become more fleshed out, three dimensional and real.I used the “starâ€? system to rank the books in the series in the order that I liked them. In a non comparative sense I would give all of the books at least a solid 4 star ranking.more
I think some of Lehane's best work is his Kenzie/Gennaro novels. This is such a great fictional duo and I regret he's not written more of them. If you've not read any of these earlier books, do yourself a favor and pick one up. You won't be disappointed.more
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This man is a fabulous writer, the story is more than violent, the characters are believable and in some cases likable or fighting, you decide. The world c an be a dark place.more
Private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro are hip and modern and rooted in the Irish, blue-collar culture of South Boston, heirs Hammet’s Spade or Spillane’s Hammer. This second installment puts Kenzie and Gennaro on the trail of a serial killer. But the trail leads to some brutal secrets that have plagued earlier generations of the neighborhood and seem to be putting their children at risk.Lehane’s gift for highlighting the moral ambiguities of life takes a bit of a back seat to a more sensational and bloody story. Though the level of gore supports a certain message about the numbing of modern man and the rise of depravity to fill that void, ultimately, the use of the blood and the shocking details of the murders seem to prove the point more than highlight it as a problem. Lehane’s debut in the series carried a more solid, real storyline and still managed to be thought provoking beyond the ‘whodunit’ aspect.The upside of the book is spending time getting to know Kenzie and Gennaro. Lehane has created central characters for this mystery series that are interesting and charismatic and unpredictably human, a recipe that will keep readers coming back. Bottom Line: Not as good as the debut in the series, but the main characters are worth the read.4 bones!!!!more
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Reviews

Someone is brutally killing people that Patrick knows and they are both on the case. The usual characters are there, which is nice since I have not read a Kenzie Gennaro book in a while.after reading The Given Day and thinking what a great writer Dennis Lehane is, it is nice to realize that that wonderful writing style is also evident on his mysteries. I am a Dennis Lehane fan all the way.more
An interesting mystery about private detectives who get more drawn into a case then they would have liked. The character development and study of desensitization intrigued me, however, I felt it could have been expanded upon much more. There were numerous times when I did not want to put the book down. However, I did not feel the main characters were realistic, multi-faceted or "human" enough to hold my interest in the less intense periods. I enjoyed the straight forward writing, and the keeps-you-guessing story line, however, I thought it left a bit to be desired. It touches on some extremely intriguing concepts of inurement and the necessity of pain, but I felt it largely left those ideas out there, very separately, instead of drawing them into the story and the characters.All in all a good read. But I was hoping for more.more
"Darkness Take My Hand" is the second in Dennis Lehane's series featuring private investigator team Patrick Kenzie and Angie Genhnaro. This series is on the extremely gritty end of the spectrum of books that I read, with more violence and harsh language than is my usual cuppa tea. I keep reading them for the same reason I keep reading James Lee Burke's series featuring Dave Robicheaux: the quality of the writing. Well-crafted, complex characters; descriptive writing that takes you to the setting with all your senses; plots with more twists and turns than a country mountain road; and just good, solid storytelling touching upon issues that make you think.In this one, Kenzie & Gennaro are hired by a psychologist who believes her son is being threatened because the girlfriend of a mob henchman confided to her about a murder. But nothing is quite as it appears. As murder and mayhem break out in Kenzie's old Boston neighborhood, links are made with a series of 2-decade-old crimes, and dirty old secrets rise to the surface. And no one in Patrick Kenzie's inner circle is safe.A monstrously good thriller!more
This is the second book of a series featuring Patrick Kenzie and Angie Genaro, partners in a private detective agency in a working-class section of Boston. That first book, A Drink Before the War dealt with a gang war, but Darkness, Take My Hand deal with a serial killer, and if the plot is fairly standard in that regard, this novel still stands out for style, setting and characters.A blurb in the book compares Lehane to Chandler, MacDonald and Parker. I actually prefer Lehane to any of them. I recently read through a list of mystery recommendations that included all those authors and discovered I actually don't usually care for the hard-boiled detective genre that includes those authors, even when the author is a fine stylist. (To Chandler and MacDonald I'd add Dashiel Hammett, Walter Mosley and James Lee Burke as impressive in that regard within that genre.) Yet with the possible exception of Hammett, you won't see me read more books by those other authors. In the end I find hard-boiled too cynical, too gritty and too many of the typical hard-boiled detectives are damn unlikable, little more than thugs. (Philip Marlowe, I'm looking at you!) And that is what sets Lehane apart. Because though the milieu Kenzie works in is dangerous, corrupt, at times bleak, there's a core of decency that runs through him, a sense of humor--and more than that--caring. The detectives of those other books are solitary, isolated and grim. But Kenzie has friends, and above all he has his partner Angie, and that makes all the difference to me. It's the humor, the way Lehane brings the mean streets of Boston to life, but above all that relationship between Angie and Patrick that will keep me reading the series.more
Well, once again, Dennis Lehane has managed to grab me and solidly rivet me to one of his books...while turning page after page well into the night. As with every book I've read by him (all but one now that I've not yet read)....I have been completely smitten and unable to put down this story of murder, suspense, love and loss."Darkness, Take My Hand" was a winner from page one. The characters Angie Gennaro and Patrick Kenzie, private investigators with a long history, are contacted by an old acquaintance with the prospect of a case....a wealthy psychiatrist who has received a threatening message from an unknown source. Thus begins a journey into the web of insanity and danger so extreme, that it consumes all involved without mercy.There are so many twists and turns in this story, I don't even know where to begin to try to describe it....only that this one will grab you and won't let go until the very last page....and leave you reeling after a thrill ride that you won't soon forget.If you've never read Dennis Lehane, you are really missing out. "Darkness, Take My Hand" is a 5 star winner, without question. I highly recommend this book!!more
I enjoy Dennis Lehane's sentences, but the stories have more sizzle than meat. There were are few points in this book that were laughably bad. I did read the book and only had to skip a few pages, but it is like the author is writing the novel in a attempt to get a movie made, more than to entertain his readers.more
As other reviewers have said, this book is dark. It's creepy and you'll want to lock your doors before reading at night! But it didn't hit me as hard as some Thomas Harris books have. What I really enjoy about this series is the romantic tension between the Angie and Patrick, the complexity of their relationship is very well done. In a good book, characters are allowed to grow and change as real people do, and Denis Lehane does that very well with his characters over the course of these books. I encourage you to read them in order, as this book has much more depth if you know what happens in A Drink Before the War.more
This was given to me by a friend with little preamble other than it was 'written by the guy who wrote Mystic River'. After reading it I ended up ploughing my way through all the other Kenzie and Gennaro books. Lehane is a very good writer with an eye for detail and the nerve to hang around with characters rather than let the plot whisk you away. It all helps build a really vivid sense of person and place, something he only gets better at with subsequent books. It's detective fiction but for 'The Wire' generation.more
This is my first Dennis Lehane and it's a top rate thriller. The characters are very well drawn and Lehane makes you consider the toll that being involved in crime, even as the good guy, takes on your life. It exposes everyone around you to violence which is beyond your control.more
Dennis Lehanes's thriller is a great story that will keep you up at night, an not just to finish reading! A superb cast of characters, and an absorbing plot make for terrific reading. One not to miss!more
So, I read the first installment of the Kenzie and Gennaro series, A Drink Before the War, a few months ago and gave it a glowing review (okay, not glowing, but it did get four stars each one deserved). However, I did give one complaint... I didn't think that the book was "dark" enough; I was just a bit underwhelmed by the actual case. Yeah well, be careful what you wish for because... Darkness, Take My Hand was way darker than I was expecting. This book was GRAPHIC (yes the caps and the exclamation point are needed to exemplify that)! I read more than a few reviews that were stating this, but when I was well under way into Darkness, Take My Hand, I thought "Well it's not too bad." Of course, then something dark and graphic was described that not only disturbed me, but scared the shit out of me as well (something that makes me recall "The Exorcist", which still terrifies me). It just went downhill from there. I, however, do not have a problem with dark, graphic, gritty, and/or gore (the last one I can only deal with in book form, not in films), so that didn't dampen my enjoyment of the book at all. However, I'd be lying if I didn't say that it took me completely by surprise. I'm still absolutely in love with the characters. In Darkness, Take My Hand, Lehane delves more into Patrick's past including more about his father and more about his ex-wife (who's identity just made my jaw drop at how screwy everything is). We also get to know Angie a little more and we're shown exactly how many flaws both these characters have. It makes them more real and frankly, made me fall in love with them even more. Their banter (which I admit I absolutely adore and is the main reason for my enjoyment of this series) was still here in all of it's hilarious and aww-ing glory. We also have Bubba (who's loyalty is sweet albeit way disturbing) and almost all of the rest of the characters back in this installment and they're just basically wonderful. Patrick and Angie are surrounded by great friends who are amazing and colorful characters which make this book even better. Darkness, Take My Hand was definitely a great book. I loved it even more than A Drink Before the War. And all of Dennis Lehane's novels seem as if they're page-turners. I know I was clicking the Kindle at a frantic pace. So, highly recommended, but definitely not for the faint of heart or those who fear The Exorcist much more than I do (that one scene really traumatized me).more
Dennis Lahane does it again in this dark Boston mystery full of terror, love, hate and murder. And, although the violence was not to my taste, I found that I read the book whenever I could. That's the secret of Lahane. He is so talented that no matter what the subject he keeps the action moving and the characters fully developed like very few others can.The book deals with a serial killer, gang violence, tangled families, and love affairs. And, as the plot unravels terrifying events happen. Patrick and Angie, the central characters undergo great stress and experience real change. I read this book in spite of the fact that I am not enthusiastic about his grisly description of a Boston neighborhood, and its inhabitants. Still I was drawn to read the book because I admire Lahane's talents, and in spite of the fact that I have more than several enticing selections in my book stack that keep calling to me.As I move on to theses other books I can keep comfort in the fact that somewhere there I have another Lahane novel as yet unread.more
Clowns, send in the clowns. Much of this book is scene setting in Boston, three deckers, local bars, familiar locales like Dorchester Ave, Savin Hill, and so on. And the usual characters, the neighborhood kids all grown up -- punctuated by photo threats, and exceptionallly gruesome killings that lead back to an old neigborhood haunt, now jailed as a pscyho killer reminiscent of Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. And tho' jailed forever, he seems to have his freedom and his reach that continues the gruesome killings. A maelstrom of arrogant feds, good guys and bad guys, all getting killed and threatened, until the thread leads to a logical conclusion if not a happy ending, very close to home.more
Very bleak and brutal crime story (darker than the first Kenzie and Gennaro story)more
The book had a few twists and turns that were a little unbelievable, but I can forgive that because the story, in general, kept me interested. Plus, after reading several books in the series it's like Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are old friends.more
In this the second book in his Kenzie-Gennaro detective series, Dennis Lehane begins to show his skills in earnest (surpassing [[ASIN:0156029022 A Drink Before the War]]). The complex plot is well-constructed and expertly revealed. The book opens with Kenzie reflecting on the events to follow and foreshadowing an ominous tale. Kenzie is called in by a young man's mother to investigate a threat against him by the Irish mob. Kenzie and Gennaro get a sit down meet with the mobsters through their own psycho friend Bubba that leads pretty much nowhere. Kenzie continues to poke around in Boston's underbelly and nothing he finds is anything but pretty. Dead bodies start to stack up that suggest a serial killer is on the loose - but another killer reaches out to Kenzie from prison. His interview with this inmate called to mind the Silence of the Lambs. Lehane creates a truly disturbed person who causes primal fear even though he's shackled and behind bars. Are the events separated by some two decades somehow related? And who's calling the tune? The writing is very good, the story is taut and a page-turner. If you are like me, you will soon develop a whodunit theory or two that turn out to be way off course, a sign of a good mystery. Lehane explores the psychology of the extremely violent and how they got that way, but be forewarned, the violence is extreme and not infrequent. Even the survivors are damaged perhaps irretrievably. With the caveat about the violence, this book is highly recommended. But really folks, Lehane is not kidding about the darkness. A conditional five stars.more
The second Kenzie/Gennaro mystery. In this one they try to protect the college-student son of an aquaintance. We learn about Angie's grandfather and a bout her relationship to Patrick's ex-wife (if that was in the first book, I missed it). We also learn more about Patrick's father's horrific past. Other characters recur as well, including Bubba.As in the first volume, we are confronted with extreme violence and asked to consider its sources. I like the fact that Lehane doesn't expect us to approve of the violence or of all the choices that Patrick and Angie make. There are real costs to the lives they have chosen.Again we stay in Patrick's point of view and see events through his eyes. So far I haven't caught Lehane coloring the events too much through Patrick's eyes; he seems to see pretty clearly, with a weary worldliness that seems justified by what he has lived through. Yet there are things in Patrick's world, and especially people, who keep him from becoming a total nihilist. He and Angie are interesting characters and I will keep coming back to see them.more
#2 in the Kenzie/Gennaro series.Angela Gennaro and Patrick Kenzie, private detectives, take on a case that involves threats to a female psychiatrist and her family. The threats emanate from one of the more psychotic criminals that Gennaro and Kenzie have grown up with, and his arguably worse boss. With that starts the 2nd book of this impressive series. I raved on in my review about the merits of the first book, A Drink Before the War. Darkness, Take My Hand is even better, because not only does it have the same superb writing and plotting as the first book, but it continues with outstanding characterizations of Kenzie and Gennaro themselves, and what is now clearly a recurring set of supporting players. In this book, we also learn a great deal about Kenzie’s childhood and Gennaro’s marriage. The characters live, experience, and grow. And remain people about whom we are eager to learn more.I don’t want to write more about the plot, because it is a masterpiece.A Drink Before the War won the Shamus Award for Best First Novel and deserved all the acclaim it received. Darkness Take my Hand is at least as good, and quite possibly better. Highly recommended.more
I came across this series some ten years after the first one was published and was a bit miffed that I had missed out for so long. When I finally read it, I just loved the first one, A Drink Before The War. So after finishing Darkness, Take My Hand, am I still miffed? Heck, yeah. This one's better than the first. Lehane's plot is wonderfully crisp. Nothing is wasted, no dead lulls here. The characters feel real, with all the flaws and delightfulness of real people. And Lehane's prose is just fantastic! I'm really looking forward now to the third in the series.more
A good start to the brutal, funny, harrowing world of Dennis Lehane and his McKenzie/Gennaro series. When I first read this book, I thought it brutal and heartbreaking. Years later, a second reading finds it somewhat formulaic, and perhaps a little too influenced by "The Silence of the Lambs." The brutality, however, still remains. Read it before the inevitable movie/televisualisation.more
Very good mystery. Very interesting look at crime, humanity, and murder. Not only kept me on the edge of my seat but made me think as well.more
So far having read 2 Lehane books I can honestly say that these books are impossible to put down and very easy to pick back up. Lehane performs a nice tweak on a too used plot device, the serial killer, and the final showdown becomes truly frightening. More of an emotional rollercoaster since we already know these characters as they all become more fleshed out, three dimensional and real.I used the “starâ€? system to rank the books in the series in the order that I liked them. In a non comparative sense I would give all of the books at least a solid 4 star ranking.more
I think some of Lehane's best work is his Kenzie/Gennaro novels. This is such a great fictional duo and I regret he's not written more of them. If you've not read any of these earlier books, do yourself a favor and pick one up. You won't be disappointed.more
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This man is a fabulous writer, the story is more than violent, the characters are believable and in some cases likable or fighting, you decide. The world c an be a dark place.more
Private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro are hip and modern and rooted in the Irish, blue-collar culture of South Boston, heirs Hammet’s Spade or Spillane’s Hammer. This second installment puts Kenzie and Gennaro on the trail of a serial killer. But the trail leads to some brutal secrets that have plagued earlier generations of the neighborhood and seem to be putting their children at risk.Lehane’s gift for highlighting the moral ambiguities of life takes a bit of a back seat to a more sensational and bloody story. Though the level of gore supports a certain message about the numbing of modern man and the rise of depravity to fill that void, ultimately, the use of the blood and the shocking details of the murders seem to prove the point more than highlight it as a problem. Lehane’s debut in the series carried a more solid, real storyline and still managed to be thought provoking beyond the ‘whodunit’ aspect.The upside of the book is spending time getting to know Kenzie and Gennaro. Lehane has created central characters for this mystery series that are interesting and charismatic and unpredictably human, a recipe that will keep readers coming back. Bottom Line: Not as good as the debut in the series, but the main characters are worth the read.4 bones!!!!more
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