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Prayers for Rain (Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro Novels) Mass Market Paperback – May 2, 2000
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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
Bring it on, Mr. Lehane; I want to be there with Patrick and Angie...and even Bubba...to the end.
I love Dennis Lehane. He writes stories that are like a blues tune. They have a hook that draws the reader in and you turn the pages to the various beats of the story. Good, bad, fun, sorrow all flow so easily one is never confused. All characters, dialogue and background are believable. The reader is never confused. He uses a great blend of humor and snark. This was one of his more brutal stories, dealing with destroying people psychologically. The following paragraph applies to many of us:
It occurred to me, as we wound our way down the beach road past the old amusement park, that if I ever had kids, and I took them to places that had once mattered to me, all there'd be to show for my youth would be the buildings that had replaced it.
I will re-read this book, skipping certain sections, and look forward to more works from Dennis Lehane.
Not only was the plot fast paced and well-written, with plenty of twists, but the character development was great. I loved the interactions between Patrick and Bubba, who is a character unlike any other. Throw in Angie, who had left Patrick after Gone, Baby, Gone, she rejoins the team for this one, intrigued as they look for this person who completely destroyed a woman's life for no apparent reason.
There is a lot of graphic violence but it didn't bother me, it added to the credibility of the story. I'm not sure whether Patrick and Angie are PI's so much as vigilantes in this one, but I enjoyed it very much. I've heard the next installment doesn't have as much Bubba, though it goes back to the story from Gone, Baby, Gone. I'll probably read it though I'll miss Bubba. I am also pretty sure I am going to read Shutter Island which I heard was much better than the movie which I did not see.
I can see why Lehane is so popular. If you like the mystery/thriller genre with a little edge, I think you will enjoy this book.
my rating 4.5/5
Most recent customer reviews
Read the whole book—it will be well worth the time!