70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 1999
I read an average of two books a week and I never felt a need to recommend any author. I read all of Dennis Lehane's books, except A Drink Before the War and I'm waiting for a responsibility free weekend to read it so I won't have to put it down. I read Sacred twice and found it just as amazing the second time as the first. Dennis Lehane's characters really are characters but they are totally believable. Patrick Kenzie, as the main character, tells you the story but he doesn't make himself an invincible hero, just a guy you wouldn't want to date, but would feel lucky to have as a friend. Angie, as his partner, is, of course, beautiful but even with her aggressive, sometimes belligerent attitude, she's human too, staying in an abusive relationship for 12 years. Bubba, although he's a psychotic criminal, has a soft, fuzzy side that's really likable (from a distance). Some won't like the graphic violence in Prayers or Darkness but I think the media has made us jaded enough to deal with it within the context of the stories. I didn't read the stories in order but I think each book is well written enough to stand on its own. I'm wondering how long Dennis Lehane will be able to keep the series going and hoping one new book a year for the next 20 or 30 years isn't too much to ask.
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2000
This is my first Dennis Lehane book but it won't be my last. As a lover of crime fiction, especially Michale Connelly and James Lee Burke, I simply devoured Prayers for Rain. The dialogue is so snappy, and often so humorous, you don't realize an entire chapter has passed. It took me no time at all to get a sense of Kenzie, Bubba and Ange. These are characters you quickly get to know and care about. Kenzie has a love for the Marx Brothers, and I imagine that comes from Dennis Lehane himself, as the banter between the principals can be very funny. Despite the breezy and punchy style, there's enough darkness to satisfy the hard-boiled. And there is some effective writing here. There were several passages I made note of so that I could relay them to friends, the description and dialogue was that good. If you're going to the beach this summer, or even spending a weekend on the couch, you'll eagerly consume the zero-calorie treat that is this book.
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2005
I got hooked on Lehane after Mystic River, and his thriller Shutter Island was absolutely gripping and completely mind-twisting. I had to stay up late one night to finish that, and I couldn't sleep afterwards, so I had to read a Dave Barry book to take my mind off it! I should have learned my lesson, because as soon as I got into Prayers for Rain, I couldn't get the creepiness and mystery out of my head, and I once again had to stay up late to finish the entire book.
I'm a snob who usually avoids genre fiction, and I have a sneaking suspicion this might be found in the mystery/crime genre section, but Lehane is really a league above the other mytery writers I have read. Lehane is a masterful storyteller and has a rock solid plot here. He's very talented with the psychological aspects of crime (very much so in Shutter Island...I fear my review is becoming a big ad for that book!), and I wished he had further developed some of the psychological aspects in this book.
The lesson I've learned about Lehane is that he is such a good and creepy storyteller than I'm no longer reading any of his books in bed late at night. They are only to be digested when I am lying on the beach. If you enjoy thrillers, definitely get this book, and be prepared to be blown away by a well-crafted plot.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Lehane has outdone himself on this one. Starting with a seemingly sad unconnnected event (the suicide of a client Kenzie only spoke to once, and then forgot to respond to her phone message), Kenzie begins a search for truth. It will lead him back from the depressive edge of insanity that resulted from the events of 'Gone,Baby,Gone' and once again into the arms of Angela Gennaro (hopefully for good).
What makes these five Boston based mysteries, so amazing, isn't the tight plotting, but it is the detailed descriptions of what his characters do and think. There are very few throw-away characters, and almost all of them are represented as real people. The motivation, to present everyone as more than just a shell, is one of the hallmarks of Lehane's writing.
This is a well structured, and even plausible story, that builds to a climax, just when it should, but with Lehane, the ending always takes you back a step, reminding you that there are no fairytale endings. Your never sure if anyone will live, happily or be the same after it's over.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 1999
Dennis Lehane's mind is a wonderful instrument. His Kenzie/Gennaro series is so original that for the time being, I have forsaken the reading of any other fiction, choosing instead to keep returning to A Drink Before the War, etc. just because I can't believe how beautifully Lehane uses language to pull us in and make us care. Oh my god, but I love this series of books!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 3, 2004
This was my first venture w/this series by the author and I might have benefitted from reading the four previous novels involving Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro as some of the interplay between them alluded to previous matters. My first Lehane experience was Mystic River which, in my opinion, is a stand alone classic. This is a different breed of cat, but an interesting one, nonetheless.
Kenzie has helped a young woman who claimed that a man from her gym was stalking her and that he had in fact trashed her car. This matter is easily set right by Kenzie and his side-kick and protector, Bubba Rogowski. A few months later the young lady jumps naked from the 24th story of the Custom House Tower in Boston. Kenzie feels some moral responsibility to look in to the matter as he had neglected to return a call from the woman before heading of to Bermuda with a tempoary romantic interest and when he got back he had forgotten to call.
His looking into the matter sets him on a chilling course of events which are better read than described here. Kenzie/Gennaro/Rodowski make a formidable and somewhat entertaining team, although some of the diologue and situations strain credulity a bit. All in all, a read that you will enjoy and be reluctant to put down until the rather twisted ending is revealed.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Each time time Lehane writes a new book it is better than the ones that came before it -- and keep in mind his first book, A Drink Before The War was VERY GOOD. Prayers For Rain is a book that you won't be able to put down once you start it. In typical Lehane fashion, the plot grabs your attention from page one and never lets up; and the main characters, Patrick and Angie, come across as so real you feel that you are one of their friends (or at least would like to be one). And let's not forget Bubba -- and I don't mean Clinton. Bubba is definitely one of my favorite bad/good guys in fiction, and is someone I'd want on my side if I was ever in major trouble. In Prayers For Rain Lehane provides insights into Bubba's character like never before. Don't miss this book!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2004
This was by far the best Genero/Kenzie novel of the series. I loved this book. Everything about it. In this one, you really got to see the emotional side of Bubba. Made him more likeable.
The storyline kept me riveted and not wanting to put the book down. I was happy to see Angie and Patrick back together. The ending was very good and left you thinking the character could possibly come back in a future book.
I'm scratching my head wondering why this was the last book of the series and why Lehane hasn't published another. It's been 5 years. I will be watching for it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 1999
I live in Dorchester/Boston where Dennis Lehane's novels take place. He has a great feel for the area, both in terms of geography and culture, which he conveys without forcing the sense of place. More importantly for a detective novel, Lehane weaves an incredibly strong mystery; he paces the revelations out perfectly right up to the very last page. And he does so in style. His prose is for the most part funny, chilling at times and at other moments painfully moving. Even more interesting for a detective series, Lehane hasn't lost focus of the main characters (Patrick, Angie and Bubba) nor has he let them grow stale. Just as he tosses a few curveballs into the investigation, he also throws major curveballs into Patrick, Angie and Bubba's personal lives. Lehane also introduces a number of new and extremely hatable villains. This is his best book since "Darkness Take My Hand."
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By far the best thing about this book is the reuniting of Patrick and Angela, who had a major disagreement in "Gone, Baby, Gone," though their reunion is pretty low-key. Other than that, the book is a hodge-podge. The plot is too contrived and awkward, jerking along at best. The main characters are not believable in terms of their supposed powers to orchestrate and inflict mayhem. Others appear almost without explanation and are then gone. The violence seems over the top and not authentic. Patrick's over-large, enforcer buddy, Bubba Rogowski, is a goofball, lethal warrior, and improbable seducer of a sexy woman all rolled into one. And the dialog seems overly cutesy, or something.
Lehane just doesn't run a tight ship with this last offering of the series. No way is this book the best of the series or otherwise.