Prayers for Rain
is Dennis Lehane's fifth installment in his intricately plotted, beautifully written, and much underacknowledged Boston mystery series. Lehane's books reflect our morally complex times, when the borders between right and wrong are somewhat blurry.
Private investigator Patrick Kenzie is in the middle of a personal crisis--he's lost his passion for the profession, and is tired of people with their "predictable vices, their predictable needs and wants and dormant desires." Angie Gennaro, his occasional sweetheart, lifelong friend, and fellow investigator has quit the business. She's still deeply resentful about Patrick's handling of the Amanda McCready case, the focus of Gone, Baby, Gone. Without Angie, private investigating has lost its fizz.
The suicide of a former client, Karen Nichols, gives Kenzie his investigative itch back. Six months earlier, Kenzie tracked down a stalker who had been harassing Nichols, and put an end to his heinous hobby. But Nichols needed more help than this PI could ever have imagined. "She'd been drowning, and I'd been busy." The successful, middle-class young woman had been sinking into a sea of drugs, alcohol, and prostitution, hitting the bottom when she jumped from the Boston Custom House. Her death consumes Kenzie--he is convinced that someone pulled her into the vortex, although her nearest and dearest simply call her weak.
Kenzie teams up with his explosive, loving, gun-toting friend Bubba Rogowski, and, after a boozy reunion, Angie Gennaro joins them. This fearless threesome must surely be the most original team in contemporary crime fiction. Good at the core--but seriously screwed up by various demons from their pasts--tact and decorum is hardly their style. They work their way across Boston, doing whatever it takes to question Nichols's family and acquaintances. By unveiling the real Nichols, tragic family secrets, betrayals, and conspiracies are also unmasked.
If you haven't experienced Dennis Lehane's world before, be prepared for an invigorating new reading experience. --Naomi Gesinger
From Publishers Weekly
After the shattering consequences of their last case (Gone, Baby, Gone), Lehane's PI partners Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are back, but not together. Estranged from Angie personally and professionally, Patrick works the old Boston neighborhoodAwith the occasional help of his loyal and happily homicidal pal Bubba RogowskiAwhile Angie has moved uptown to a blue-chip corporate security firm. Enter Karen Nichols, a nice, hard-working sort who's being stalked. Patrick and Bubba are glad to take care of the stalkerAin an extremely satisfying wayAand everybody expects a happy ending. Which no one gets, because six months later the woman dives to her death off the Custom House tower. It turns out that everything that could go wrong with her life didAall at the same time. Everyone, including the policeAand Karen's strangely unsympathetic familyAchalks it up to a streak of extraordinarily bad luck, but Patrick is suspicious. He doesn't believe in coincidences and needs Angie's help to uncover a killer whose methods seem to put him beyond the lawAone who makes his victims do the work, by manipulating their minds and lives until suicide seems a plausible alternative. Lehane's sense of place is acute, and his ear is finely attuned to the voices of Boston's many neighborhoods, as Patrick and Angie trace Karen's downward spiral, from the exclusive, cobbled streets of Beacon Hill to the wharves and bars of the North End. As the plot twists through layers of old deceit and current corruption, the victims multiply while the killer remains elusive, protected by the terror he inspires. With sharp dialogue, inventively gruesome violence and the darkest of dark humor, Lehane's fifth novel proves again that he's the hippest heir of Hammett and Chandler. Author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.