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Kenzie/Gennaro Books In Order

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Publication Order of Kenzie & Gennaro Books

A Drink Before the War (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Darkness, Take My Hand (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sacred (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gone, Baby, Gone (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Prayers for Rain (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Moonlight Mile (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon

Dennis Lehane is a gifted mystery and fiction writer, widely known for his best-selling novel, Mystic River. In a majority of his books, both fiction and mystery, Dennis Lehane uses the gritty side of Boston, as his trademark setting. A Drink Before the War is author Dennis Lehane’s debut book, which features two P.I’s Kenzie and Gennaro. Another best selling novel by author Dennis Lehane is Mystic River which not only performed well but also received mostly positive reviews. After it became a bestselling and award-winning novel, Mystic River was eventually adapted into a critically acclaimed feature film, going by the same name as the book, Mystic River. Clint Eastwood directed the feature film which includes renowned stars such as Kevin Bacon, Tim Robbins, and Sean Penn. Mystic River won the Barry Award and the Anthony Award and also became a finalist for the Winship/PEN award.

Kenzie/Gennaro Best Books
A Drink Before the War
A Drink Before the War is the first installment in the Kenzie/Gennaro book series and author Dennis Lehane’s debut novel. In A Drink Before the War, author Dennis Lehane introduces Patrick Kenzie, a Dorchester born boy and a PI. When we first meet with Patrick Kenzie, he is working as a private detective alongside his partner, Angela Gennaro. Angela and Patrick have been the best of friends ever since they were young. As the novel begins a well-respected senator hires Patrick to assist him, locate some important documents stolen by a cleaning woman, who happens to be of African American descent. However, before Patrick and Angela could begin working on the case, someone guns down, the African American woman, in the streets of Boston, in broad daylight.

Furthermore, as Patrick and Angela continue with the investigation, they eventually come to realize that the documents the senator was looking for were not government documents. The humor, the clear sense of place and the sure pacing are somewhat too strong for a debut novel. Author Dennis Lehane’s depictions of the great divide between the African Americans living in Dorchester and the working class as well are quite accurate, such that the readers can even use the book as a map or a community guide.

Darkness Take My Hand
Author Dennis Lehane follows his explosive debut novel, with an equally captivating book, titled Darkness Take My Hand, centered on Angela Dimassi and Patrick Kenzie. This time around, a psychologist contracts the two detectives, Angela and Patrick, to offer him protection against some members of a Boston Irish community. Despite the fact that the threat posed appears to be forestalled, an upcoming actress from the community is found dead. Long after her death, the cops discover that the actress had something to do with the death of the psychologist’s son. After the killing of the actress, multiple killings follow, with each of death bearing the signature of a jailed serial killer. The community members and the local police believe that the serial killer is the son of one of the most respected police officers in the small community.

As panic begins to engulf the entire Dorchester community, the FBI decides to intervene. Angela Dimassi separates from her husband, while Patrick, on the other hand, does all he can to protect both his daughter and wife from the killer. Nonetheless, as the two main characters continue to struggle with domestic difficulties, the new wave of violence points towards Boston’s long-hidden secrets of the Irish-American communities. The motives, characterized by revenge and betrayal among the police officers and the criminals, threaten to destroy the entire Dorchester Community. Despite the fact that there is a lack of subtlety to the author’s violent set pieces and sex scenes, the passion surrounding, Boston’s neighborhood nightmare can hardly be denied. In Darkness Take My Hand, author Dennis Lehane creates a villain who is grimly fascinating and surprising as well; the type of character that the readers cannot help but hate, but will not stop reading about.

A noirish kind of good girl/bad girl, a sharp verbal partner and a sinister old man, all bring the third installment by author Dennis Lehane to life. In the previous installment, Angela lost her husband, while Patrick, on the other hand, lost a big portion of skin from his face. Sacred begins as the two detectives are recovering slowly while giving in to a mutual attraction. Author Lehane introduces the readers to billionaire Trevor Stone, who apparently is slowly dying due to cancer. Trevor Stone hires Angie and Patrick to locate his daughter, Desiree, a few months after Patrick’s mentor, Jay Becker also disappeared while trying to locate Desiree.

Desiree was last seen at Grief Inc. a highly questionable company, hanging out with Sean Price, while trying to get over her mother’s death. Immediately after Sean Price ripped off the company, Sean Price took off. While the two detectives follow the trail, author Dennis Lehane presents them as boldly sketched characters, who eventually turn into fully formed characters.

Gone, Baby Gone
One chilling evening, unknown individuals, take a four-year-old, one Amanda, from her home, in a working-class section of Boston. Amanda’s mother, left Amanda in the house alone, to run some “errands” and possibly return home before nightfall. Shocked by Amanda’s abduction, Amanda’s aunt and uncle, contract the best PI’s in Dorchester, Kenzie, and Gennaro to look into the case. The two PI’s will this time around work alongside an unlikely pair of partners, detectives Nick and Remy, who work for the local police force, under the Crimes Against Children Department. While tracing the history of Amanda’s neglectful mother, the four officers uncover that she had links with one of the biggest drug lords in Boston and some of his most trusted servants as well. It does not take long before the four officers find themselves in Boston’s dangerous world of crime, at the center what appears to be a coup among Boston’s criminal organizations.

Once again, author Dennis Lehane manages to develop lots of tension between different parties in the book, this time around between, two cops and the two private investigators, federal and police agencies, and the various camps in the underworld. Lehane delivers all this tension with abundant violence, i.e., street shootouts, gangland executions, threats of murder and execution, mutilated and bloated corpses and many others. While bringing a complicated plot to a satisfying end, author Lehane tackles the different type of corruptions and vices, and in the process leaving the readers to ponder on the moral questions regarding individual and social responsibilities.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Kenzie/Gennaro

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