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Dying billionaire Trevor Stone hires private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaroto find his missing daughter. Grief-stricken over the death of her mother and the impending death of her father, Desiree Stone has been missing for three weeks. So has the first investigator Stone hired to find her: Jay Becker, Patrick's mentor.

Patrick and Angie are led down a trail of half-truths and corruption into a world in which a therapeutic organization may be fronting for a dangerous and seductive cult, a high-tech private investigation firm may be covering up lethal crimes, and a stolen cache of millions in illegal funds may be tied to both disappearances and a tanker full of heroin. Nothing is what it seems as the detectives travel from the windblown streets of Boston to the rum-punch sunsets of Florida's Gulf Coast. And the more Patrick and Angie discover, the more they realize that on this case any wrong step will certainly be their last . . .

Snappy dialogue, explosive action scenes, and original characters have become Dennis Lehane's trademarks. With Sacred, Lehane confirms his status as today's hottest young author of first-rate mysteries that are also smartly written literary novels.

Topics: Missing Persons, Corruption, Family, Private Investigators, Kidnapping, Crime, Murder, Death, Secrets, Betrayal, Cults, Florida, Boston, 1990s, Suspenseful, Tense, Gripping, Noir, and 20th Century

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061807664
List price: $9.99
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Not the best of the series in my opinion. The writing is not as good. The story is rather uninteresting and the social criticism that we found in A Drink Before The War is not there. The characters are not deep enough neither, so it doesn't draw you in as much as Darkness, Take My Hand. All in all, a pretty shallow and passable read.more
The high quality of this series continues. This time, Kenzie & Gennaro are looking for the missing daughter of a billionaire -- and for the private investigator who disappeared while on her trail. In this story, nothing and no one is as it appears, and it's best not to trust anyone. This book was almost impossible to put down, as the plot twisted and turned toward its conclusion. In some regards, the ending was a little over-the-top; but I can't think of an ending that would fit the story (and the characters involved) better.Lehane displays his usual descriptive virtuosity, giving a rich, spot-on sense of place and atmosphere without overdoing it. I especially enjoy the sections set in Boston because I know that city pretty well, and Lehane captures its essence flawlessly.more
This novel fits smugly in the hard boiled detective genre, which as a rule I despise. Celebrated stylists such as Mosley, Burke and Chandler for various reasons have left me cold, their books unfinished or leaving me determined never to read another, and yet I keep reading Lehane's Kenzie and Genaro. This third in the series has them investigating the disappearance of a billionaire's beautiful daughter. The reviewer who calls this formulaic with silly action scenes is right. In particular there's this scene on a bridge that is way too Hollywood action scene, with trauma inflicted on human beings that shouldn't allow them to walk away. And we're supposed to credit that because some punk works for the IRS he can freeze accounts and screw up your credit cards by himself at will within a few hours. The plot points of this one is conventional, even cliched noir, and plot-wise this third book is the weakest in the series so far. Yet I enjoyed this novel and intend to read more in the series. Why? Not two pages in there's an exchange between Patrick Kenzie and Angie Genaro that caused me to smile wildly and encapsulates the reasons I keep reading this series:"How can you not like Star Trek?" Angie said."Easy. I watch it, it annoys me, I turn it off""Even Next Generation?""What's that?" I said."When you were born," she said, "I bet your father held you up to your mother and said, 'Look, hon, you just gave birth to a beautiful crabby old man.'"That's why I keep reading. Because I enjoy myself along the way. Because unlike the usual hard-boiled private detective, Patrick isn't some lone gunman but has a partner--a woman he loves, respects and depends upon who is a kick-ass heroine who always has his back, and because Patrick is enough of a smart aleck to amuse but not so much to annoy me. Because I love Kenzie and Gennaro separately and together.more
Too formulaic, too improbable plot, too sillly action scenes - a disappointment. I'm not going to buy any more Kenzie and Gennaro books.more
I think Sacred might be Dennis Lehane's most fun novel. Granted I haven't read all of them yet, but from the ones I have read, Sacred definitely takes the cake as most fun. It wasn't as dark as A Drink Before the War or Darkness, Take My Hand, but the characters more than made up for that. The mystery was sort of lackluster. I was interested in what was going on, but this mystery might've been my least favorite of this series. Still, it was twisted and bizarre. Plus, you never see any of the twists coming (and in other mysteries, I totally do). However, the list of suspects in Sacred was just incredible. And the baddies were seriously twisted (so much that it really just bears repeating). The good thing about Dennis Lehane's mysteries is that in spite of some lacklusterness (totally not a word, by the way), they're still pageturners and you don't want to stop reading until you finish every last word. That's really what a mystery needs. Now, on to the reason I love this series. I absolutely adore the characters. I love Patrick and Angie and I love Patrick and Angie TOGETHER. That has to be in all caps because I'm really not a big romance fan. And usually books go south for me if they put characters together for the sake of having romance in a book (even if the book doesn't necessarily need it). Does Sacred need romance? Probably not. But I do really enjoy Patrick and Angie's chemistry so I'm glad that it's in there. I love and adore their witty banter. It never fails to make laugh. Their banter in this book was completely off the charts (and not in that annoying bad way). Not only was their banter hilarious, but so was the banter they have with the baddies, their other "not completely concerned with moralities" crew, and just random people in airports. Seriously, I'm a huge fan of the banter in this series. And since it was all sorts of on in Sacred, it definitely is the most fun book I've read so far when it comes to this series (and Lehane). So, I recommend Sacred. But do yourself a favor and read the other two in the series first because Sacred really spoils the crap out of you if you haven't read them. It tends to recap the most important parts of the previous two (and that did get semi-annoying). But if you're a mystery buff (as I am), you'll enjoy those two a bit more than this one. But still, pretty good mystery novel and I really can't wait to pick up the next one.more
I wanted to pick up a quick read that wouldn't require any effort, and this mystery did the trick. As is all too often the case with the crime fiction genre, there was plenty to cringe about when it came to the writing, but the storyline was interesting enough to keep me turning quickly through the pages. A dying old tycoon who has recently lost his wife hires detectives Kenzie and Gennaro to find his missing grieving daughter. Very soon it becomes apparent to them that nothing in this case is as it seems, that "black is white and up is down". My first Dennis Lehane and not my last since I mooched another of his mysteries (A Drink Before the War) and also bought Shutter Island on special. They're ok to unwind with, but I don’t think I'll go out of my way to read the whole series.more
This is the third book in Lehane's Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro series. The two detectives are hired to find the missing daughter of a dying millionaire and stumble upon the strange company, Grief Relief, Inc. The simple case gets more complicated with each turn as a fellow private eye goes missing and Kenzie and Gennaro travel to Florida to pursue a lead. This book fell a bit flat for me. I've loved a lot of Lehane's other stuff, but this one didn't catch me in the same way. The detectives still had great chemistry and there is a wonderful humor in Lehane's writing, but it's not quite up to par with his other books. If you want to try out the author I would highly recommend Mystic River and Shutter Island, both are great reads.more
Descriptions of Boston are vivid as usual, but this particular narrative failed to grab me. Review of action from prior book seemed awkward. DNF, but this is not a slam to the author, just an indication that I hadn't the patience to hang on past three chapters.more
This one made me laugh out loud. More than once. In a good way. Yeah, it’s a detective novel and there are preposterous things in it – like the perfect understandings between strangers and hairsbreadth escapes, but that’s what it’s supposed to be. Angie and Patrick are a team and share responsibility for casework, bloodshed and screw-ups. It’s nice to see. Of course Desiree is not what she seems. Neither is Trevor. The old man wants her dead, not found. Because she tried to kill him. She killed her mother in the faked car-jacking instead. In the end, they are left tied by the ankles to chairs in a huge room in Trevor’s mansion where the first to put their fieldstripped semi-automatic together, gets to shoot the other. Pretty funny. They both get a shot home and are found dead.I am surprised that Jay was killed off. I didn’t expect that. I think he would have been useful in later books. The detective firm that he worked for was destroyed (and one of the partners killed) by Trevor and so there would have been no business’ covenant to break if Jay went into the business on his own. Oh well. Patrick has other buddies who can come to his rescue. Like Bubba and his acetylene torch. Now THAT was a funny scene.more
Another not-so-great page-turner from Lehane. He is very readable -- I finished the book in two days -- but he employs a degree of melodrama that's distasteful. His characters and the situations are cinematic in the negative sense. This would be fine in a genre less anchored to realism, but in a gritty crime novel, its a flaw that becomes fatal.That said, it's a fine book for a plane or a beach. And I completely endorse his rant against modern architecture. 6.6.09more
I really enjoyed this. It's fast-paced, with good dialogue & interesting characters, even the baddies. I had trouble putting it down and I'm looking forward to reading more of Patrick Kenzie & Angela Gennaro.more
Definitely hard-boiled & gritty. Nice twists. Even a bit of romance. And the hero respects, admires, & treats his partner like an equal. Gotta love that.more
Patrick and Angie, exhausted in many ways from their previous adventure, are not taking any more cases. Through unorthodox means, a wealthy, dying recluse engages them to find his missing daughter. They discover that Patrick's mentor was looking for her and has disappeared too, and they agree to take on the case.As in the previous two volumes, nothing is as simple as it sounds; this volume is a lesson in questioning all our assumptions. The problem and its resolution are unveiled slowly as our heroes figure out what the heck is going on. In general there is less violence than in the first two Kenzie/Gennaro novels, less focus on Patricks family history, and more focus on the relationship between the two principals. A very enjoyable read, which I found hard to put down and stayed up late to finish.more
As with the other volumes in Lehane's Kenzie and Gennaro series, Sacred is wonderfully written. The plot's as dense as usual and the growth of the characters is well done. Lehane's prose is a colorful and engaging as in the previous novels. All in all, a fine addition to the series.more
3rd in the Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro series.By unorthodox means, Gennaro and Kenzie are hired by an incredibly wealthy and powerful but dying businessman to find his daughter who, stricken with grief by several deaths within a short period of time, has disappeared. Disappeared as well is the private detective—Kenzie’s mentor—who was originally hired to find her.So begins the 3rd installment in the series. The trail leads the pair to Florida and back to Boston again, in a complicated plot full of twists and turns until the denouement which is just as full of surprises as the story itself.The pace never lets up. The writing is superb—taut but with plenty of humorous banter between Gennaro and Kenzie to bring them and keep them real. Lehane can write about Kenzie’s emotional state with ease. Both protagonists, as this series progresses, evolve themselves, ever interesting. Their relationship, unlike so many others in a series, is never stable long enough to get boring. As usual, Lehane’s ability to depict the working class streets and other sections of Boston is excellent. Even the Florida locale seems real but is never as in-you-face as the Boston scenes. Nothing, however, can detract from the action in the story, the suspense, the always imminent sense of danger, of disaster lurking just around the corner.Sacred advances the series another order of magnitude. After finishing this book, you can’t wait to get your hands on the next, to keep up with the lives and adventures of Kenzie and Gennaro, who, by this time, seem like rather alarming friends, but friends nevertheless.Highly recommended.more
Another great Kenzie and Gennaro mystery! Probably my favorite so far; I finished it in one night.more
quick read, nothing extraordinary but enjoyable. A bit tiresome by the end.more
This story is a little more over the top and tongue in cheek but as always the central relationship is riveting. Its nice to see them finally and “officiallyâ€? together. 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
What a great read, thoroughly enjoyed it. Waiting for the sequel.more
The third installment of Lehane’s mystery series, finds Kenzie and Gennaro tracking the missing daughter of a billionaire, Desiree Stone, apparently set adrift by grief over the deaths of her mother and boyfriend and her father’s terminal cancer diagnosis. The investigators eventually learn that even their client and the apparent victim in the case can’t be trusted.As in the previous novel, Lehane seems more interested in building plot than in his gift for solid story-telling, as the twists and turns in the book seem to serve no other purpose than to twist and turn the reader. Ultimately, the growth of Kenzie and Gennaro as people and as characters saves the book from itself.Bottom Line: Read it to find out what’s next for Kenzie and Genarro and less for the mystery.4 bones!!!!more
Read all 23 reviews

Reviews

Not the best of the series in my opinion. The writing is not as good. The story is rather uninteresting and the social criticism that we found in A Drink Before The War is not there. The characters are not deep enough neither, so it doesn't draw you in as much as Darkness, Take My Hand. All in all, a pretty shallow and passable read.more
The high quality of this series continues. This time, Kenzie & Gennaro are looking for the missing daughter of a billionaire -- and for the private investigator who disappeared while on her trail. In this story, nothing and no one is as it appears, and it's best not to trust anyone. This book was almost impossible to put down, as the plot twisted and turned toward its conclusion. In some regards, the ending was a little over-the-top; but I can't think of an ending that would fit the story (and the characters involved) better.Lehane displays his usual descriptive virtuosity, giving a rich, spot-on sense of place and atmosphere without overdoing it. I especially enjoy the sections set in Boston because I know that city pretty well, and Lehane captures its essence flawlessly.more
This novel fits smugly in the hard boiled detective genre, which as a rule I despise. Celebrated stylists such as Mosley, Burke and Chandler for various reasons have left me cold, their books unfinished or leaving me determined never to read another, and yet I keep reading Lehane's Kenzie and Genaro. This third in the series has them investigating the disappearance of a billionaire's beautiful daughter. The reviewer who calls this formulaic with silly action scenes is right. In particular there's this scene on a bridge that is way too Hollywood action scene, with trauma inflicted on human beings that shouldn't allow them to walk away. And we're supposed to credit that because some punk works for the IRS he can freeze accounts and screw up your credit cards by himself at will within a few hours. The plot points of this one is conventional, even cliched noir, and plot-wise this third book is the weakest in the series so far. Yet I enjoyed this novel and intend to read more in the series. Why? Not two pages in there's an exchange between Patrick Kenzie and Angie Genaro that caused me to smile wildly and encapsulates the reasons I keep reading this series:"How can you not like Star Trek?" Angie said."Easy. I watch it, it annoys me, I turn it off""Even Next Generation?""What's that?" I said."When you were born," she said, "I bet your father held you up to your mother and said, 'Look, hon, you just gave birth to a beautiful crabby old man.'"That's why I keep reading. Because I enjoy myself along the way. Because unlike the usual hard-boiled private detective, Patrick isn't some lone gunman but has a partner--a woman he loves, respects and depends upon who is a kick-ass heroine who always has his back, and because Patrick is enough of a smart aleck to amuse but not so much to annoy me. Because I love Kenzie and Gennaro separately and together.more
Too formulaic, too improbable plot, too sillly action scenes - a disappointment. I'm not going to buy any more Kenzie and Gennaro books.more
I think Sacred might be Dennis Lehane's most fun novel. Granted I haven't read all of them yet, but from the ones I have read, Sacred definitely takes the cake as most fun. It wasn't as dark as A Drink Before the War or Darkness, Take My Hand, but the characters more than made up for that. The mystery was sort of lackluster. I was interested in what was going on, but this mystery might've been my least favorite of this series. Still, it was twisted and bizarre. Plus, you never see any of the twists coming (and in other mysteries, I totally do). However, the list of suspects in Sacred was just incredible. And the baddies were seriously twisted (so much that it really just bears repeating). The good thing about Dennis Lehane's mysteries is that in spite of some lacklusterness (totally not a word, by the way), they're still pageturners and you don't want to stop reading until you finish every last word. That's really what a mystery needs. Now, on to the reason I love this series. I absolutely adore the characters. I love Patrick and Angie and I love Patrick and Angie TOGETHER. That has to be in all caps because I'm really not a big romance fan. And usually books go south for me if they put characters together for the sake of having romance in a book (even if the book doesn't necessarily need it). Does Sacred need romance? Probably not. But I do really enjoy Patrick and Angie's chemistry so I'm glad that it's in there. I love and adore their witty banter. It never fails to make laugh. Their banter in this book was completely off the charts (and not in that annoying bad way). Not only was their banter hilarious, but so was the banter they have with the baddies, their other "not completely concerned with moralities" crew, and just random people in airports. Seriously, I'm a huge fan of the banter in this series. And since it was all sorts of on in Sacred, it definitely is the most fun book I've read so far when it comes to this series (and Lehane). So, I recommend Sacred. But do yourself a favor and read the other two in the series first because Sacred really spoils the crap out of you if you haven't read them. It tends to recap the most important parts of the previous two (and that did get semi-annoying). But if you're a mystery buff (as I am), you'll enjoy those two a bit more than this one. But still, pretty good mystery novel and I really can't wait to pick up the next one.more
I wanted to pick up a quick read that wouldn't require any effort, and this mystery did the trick. As is all too often the case with the crime fiction genre, there was plenty to cringe about when it came to the writing, but the storyline was interesting enough to keep me turning quickly through the pages. A dying old tycoon who has recently lost his wife hires detectives Kenzie and Gennaro to find his missing grieving daughter. Very soon it becomes apparent to them that nothing in this case is as it seems, that "black is white and up is down". My first Dennis Lehane and not my last since I mooched another of his mysteries (A Drink Before the War) and also bought Shutter Island on special. They're ok to unwind with, but I don’t think I'll go out of my way to read the whole series.more
This is the third book in Lehane's Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro series. The two detectives are hired to find the missing daughter of a dying millionaire and stumble upon the strange company, Grief Relief, Inc. The simple case gets more complicated with each turn as a fellow private eye goes missing and Kenzie and Gennaro travel to Florida to pursue a lead. This book fell a bit flat for me. I've loved a lot of Lehane's other stuff, but this one didn't catch me in the same way. The detectives still had great chemistry and there is a wonderful humor in Lehane's writing, but it's not quite up to par with his other books. If you want to try out the author I would highly recommend Mystic River and Shutter Island, both are great reads.more
Descriptions of Boston are vivid as usual, but this particular narrative failed to grab me. Review of action from prior book seemed awkward. DNF, but this is not a slam to the author, just an indication that I hadn't the patience to hang on past three chapters.more
This one made me laugh out loud. More than once. In a good way. Yeah, it’s a detective novel and there are preposterous things in it – like the perfect understandings between strangers and hairsbreadth escapes, but that’s what it’s supposed to be. Angie and Patrick are a team and share responsibility for casework, bloodshed and screw-ups. It’s nice to see. Of course Desiree is not what she seems. Neither is Trevor. The old man wants her dead, not found. Because she tried to kill him. She killed her mother in the faked car-jacking instead. In the end, they are left tied by the ankles to chairs in a huge room in Trevor’s mansion where the first to put their fieldstripped semi-automatic together, gets to shoot the other. Pretty funny. They both get a shot home and are found dead.I am surprised that Jay was killed off. I didn’t expect that. I think he would have been useful in later books. The detective firm that he worked for was destroyed (and one of the partners killed) by Trevor and so there would have been no business’ covenant to break if Jay went into the business on his own. Oh well. Patrick has other buddies who can come to his rescue. Like Bubba and his acetylene torch. Now THAT was a funny scene.more
Another not-so-great page-turner from Lehane. He is very readable -- I finished the book in two days -- but he employs a degree of melodrama that's distasteful. His characters and the situations are cinematic in the negative sense. This would be fine in a genre less anchored to realism, but in a gritty crime novel, its a flaw that becomes fatal.That said, it's a fine book for a plane or a beach. And I completely endorse his rant against modern architecture. 6.6.09more
I really enjoyed this. It's fast-paced, with good dialogue & interesting characters, even the baddies. I had trouble putting it down and I'm looking forward to reading more of Patrick Kenzie & Angela Gennaro.more
Definitely hard-boiled & gritty. Nice twists. Even a bit of romance. And the hero respects, admires, & treats his partner like an equal. Gotta love that.more
Patrick and Angie, exhausted in many ways from their previous adventure, are not taking any more cases. Through unorthodox means, a wealthy, dying recluse engages them to find his missing daughter. They discover that Patrick's mentor was looking for her and has disappeared too, and they agree to take on the case.As in the previous two volumes, nothing is as simple as it sounds; this volume is a lesson in questioning all our assumptions. The problem and its resolution are unveiled slowly as our heroes figure out what the heck is going on. In general there is less violence than in the first two Kenzie/Gennaro novels, less focus on Patricks family history, and more focus on the relationship between the two principals. A very enjoyable read, which I found hard to put down and stayed up late to finish.more
As with the other volumes in Lehane's Kenzie and Gennaro series, Sacred is wonderfully written. The plot's as dense as usual and the growth of the characters is well done. Lehane's prose is a colorful and engaging as in the previous novels. All in all, a fine addition to the series.more
3rd in the Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro series.By unorthodox means, Gennaro and Kenzie are hired by an incredibly wealthy and powerful but dying businessman to find his daughter who, stricken with grief by several deaths within a short period of time, has disappeared. Disappeared as well is the private detective—Kenzie’s mentor—who was originally hired to find her.So begins the 3rd installment in the series. The trail leads the pair to Florida and back to Boston again, in a complicated plot full of twists and turns until the denouement which is just as full of surprises as the story itself.The pace never lets up. The writing is superb—taut but with plenty of humorous banter between Gennaro and Kenzie to bring them and keep them real. Lehane can write about Kenzie’s emotional state with ease. Both protagonists, as this series progresses, evolve themselves, ever interesting. Their relationship, unlike so many others in a series, is never stable long enough to get boring. As usual, Lehane’s ability to depict the working class streets and other sections of Boston is excellent. Even the Florida locale seems real but is never as in-you-face as the Boston scenes. Nothing, however, can detract from the action in the story, the suspense, the always imminent sense of danger, of disaster lurking just around the corner.Sacred advances the series another order of magnitude. After finishing this book, you can’t wait to get your hands on the next, to keep up with the lives and adventures of Kenzie and Gennaro, who, by this time, seem like rather alarming friends, but friends nevertheless.Highly recommended.more
Another great Kenzie and Gennaro mystery! Probably my favorite so far; I finished it in one night.more
quick read, nothing extraordinary but enjoyable. A bit tiresome by the end.more
This story is a little more over the top and tongue in cheek but as always the central relationship is riveting. Its nice to see them finally and “officiallyâ€? together. 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
What a great read, thoroughly enjoyed it. Waiting for the sequel.more
The third installment of Lehane’s mystery series, finds Kenzie and Gennaro tracking the missing daughter of a billionaire, Desiree Stone, apparently set adrift by grief over the deaths of her mother and boyfriend and her father’s terminal cancer diagnosis. The investigators eventually learn that even their client and the apparent victim in the case can’t be trusted.As in the previous novel, Lehane seems more interested in building plot than in his gift for solid story-telling, as the twists and turns in the book seem to serve no other purpose than to twist and turn the reader. Ultimately, the growth of Kenzie and Gennaro as people and as characters saves the book from itself.Bottom Line: Read it to find out what’s next for Kenzie and Genarro and less for the mystery.4 bones!!!!more
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