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Darkness, Take My Hand (Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series) Mass Market Paperback – July 27, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 416 customer reviews
Book 2 of 6 in the Kenzie and Gennaro Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Darkness, Take My Hand, Dennis Lehane gives readers an authentic view of the Boston suburb of Dorchester, the scene of A Drink Before the War, winner of the Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America. Dorchester, a solid blue-collar town with no shortage of good spots at which to sully up to the bar for a beer, is tarnished by a 20-year string of strangely similar killings. Patrick Kenzie, a local, becomes the improbable hero of this tale when he makes it his business to solve the slayings. The characters he encounters in Dorchester, with their distinctive accents and colorful pasts, make this mystery not only thrilling, but wildly entertaining. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In his outstanding second novel, Lehane (whose debut, A Drink Before the War, won a Shamus award) explores horror close to home. Boston PIs Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro agree to help psychiatrist Diandra Warren. Her patient, using the name Moira Kenzie, has said she was abused by Kevin Hurlihy, a sociopathic Irish Mafia henchman who grew up in Angie and Patrick's neighborhood. Hurlihy may have threatened the doctor, who fears that her son, Jason, may be in danger. While Patrick and Angela shadow Jason, another former neighbor, Kara Rider, is found crucified. Sensing a connection, Patrick seeks out a retired cop turned saloonkeeper who recalls a hushed-up crucifixion murder in the neighborhood 20 years ago. The suspect in that killing is in prison, so he can't be murdering again, can he? As Patrick probes painful memories, he faces losing the woman he loves, Grace Cole, who is appalled at the brutality invading their lives. By the time Patrick and Angie realize how the murders relate to their own youth, they are the next targets. The showdown is unpredictable, like the New England autumn which, in Lehane's depiction, is informed by a wind "so chilly and mean it seemed the exhalation of a Puritan god." The story is densely peopled with multidimensional characters; there are no forgettable, walk-on roles on Lehane's stage. Lehane's voice, original, haunting and straight from the heart, places him among that top rank of stylists who enrich the modern mystery novel. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (July 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061998850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061998850
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (416 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Douglas A. Greenberg on January 20, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are soooo many mystery writers out there these days, but there is only a handful who truly produce first-rate work on a consistent basis. Dennis Lehane is definitely a member of this elite, and *Darkness, Take My Hand* demonstrates why.
Like Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, and some others in the P.I./lone wolf cop genre, Lehane has written his books in such a way that they are best read "in order," as each book builds on the previous one(s) in terms of the development of his main characters. Consequently, readers should read Lehane's first book, *A Drink Before the War*, before picking up *Darkness, Take My Hand*, which is the second in the series.
In most respects, however, *Darkness* is a richer, deeper, and better-crafted mystery than was Lehane's debut novel. He has utilized a well-worn but still effective plot theme here, that of the long-term serial killer. This provides the basis for the mystery element of the book, and also, perhaps unfortunately, the blood-and-guts angle, as well. Yes, there is a lot of gore in this book, and lots of discussion in graphic detail of the depravities of which human beings are capable. Lehane's work is NOT for the faint of heart.
What separates Lehane from many other mystery writers, even good ones like Robert Parker, is his sheer literary talent. His writing is gloriously rich, descriptive (particularly in terms of his depictions of the Boston area setting for his stories), and insightful, and he goes to great pains to develop in some psychological depth his main characters, Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro. Consequently, this enables Lehane to take his work well beyond the cliches that are so typical of shamus novels.
If you like the work of Parker, Connelly, Crais, Barre, Burke, etc., you should definitely start reading Lehane--in order, of course.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
After devouring this novel I was drained. This is the second in Lehane's series featuring private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro and it really packs a whallup. The first novel, A Drink Before the War, did a fine job of introducing these characters, along with an adequate story. This novel digs deep into the relationships of these people, and all the while we're being pulled through a harrowing serial killer mystery. Lehane has pulled out all the stops here. Sure, there are many authors who will try to shock you with gruesome details, but in this novel it's the sense of the helplessness of the victims that stays with you long after you leave the story. If you're like me, and have already read dozens of rave reviews about this, you'll be about 100 pages into it and will be wondering what the big deal is. Trust me on this: the novel is so well structured and timed that it very slowly begins to build up, as if you're treading water just at the edge of a whirlpool. Slowly and gently the current begins to tug at you, and before you know it you're caught in its grip and being pulled to its depths......God, I'm beginning to sound like a Kirkus Review. Sorry. But the novel is that good and the characters are incredibly well drawn and complex. Here's a quote from the story that will stick with me forever: "We're human, so we're messy."
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This, the second of Lehane�s Kenzie/Gennaro novels, was gripping and suspenseful from prologue to epilogue. We know from reading the prologue that Kenzie and Gennaro are about to go through a harrowing experience. Still, I was not prepared for the chilling and gruesome events that unfold. There are many twists and turns as Lehane sustains a high level of suspense throughout. The writing is very good, although not flawless, and the mystery is well plotted. There are little details here and there that seem implausible, but they are easily overlooked under the sheer weight of the narrative.
I was mildly disappointed in the first Lehane novel (A Drink Before the War) mostly because it seemed like Kenzie was too much of a cheap imitation of Spenser, and the writing seemed a bit amateurish at times (but I still thought it was very entertaining and a good introduction into a new series.) In this one, though, Lehane seems more confident as a writer and Kenzie has become a much more realistic and convincing character. Angie Gennaro is a wonderful character that you can�t help but fall in love with. With this novel, Lehane has definitely become one of my �must read� authors. Highly recommended!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lehane's second thriller is on par with some of James Patterson's best work. Probably only 5-10% of the books I read are ones where I make extra time to read because I can't put it down. This is one of those books. The plot revolves around a serial killer and P.I.s Patrick and Angie.
The cool think about this book is that the serial killer element isn't introduced for 100 pages or so. Most novels introduce all their characters early in a story, but it shows Lehane's strength as a writer when he introduces new characters about 1/3 through the novel and the story continues to flow.
Then Lehane leads us along a thrilling ride full of twists and turns that end up involving characters that all knew each other in some fashion. This book is a lot like James Patterson in that there is a killer who has a personal vendetta against the main characters. Lehane keeps his mystery focused on a group of people who somehow knew each other, and the story doesn't seem far fetched.
There is a lot of violence and a lot of twists. Some authors reveal twists slowly and you wonder the police or FBI hadn't figured it out sooner. This happens all the time in James Patterson stories. Lehane lets the characters discover the truth in a natural progression. The twists don't seem forced.
Lehane actually takes the time to support the twists in the story.
Darkness, Take my Hand is full of gritty violence and a lot of bad things happen to a lot of people. Somehow Patrick and Angie survive it all and even come out on top in the end, although not without some sacrifice on their parts.
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