A Drink Before the War (Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro Novels)

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9780380726233: A Drink Before the War (Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro Novels)

As richly complex and brutal as the terrain it depicts, here is the mesmerizing, darkly original novel that heralded the arrival of Dennis Lehane, the master of the new noir -- and introduced Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, his smart and tough private investigators weaned on the blue-collar streets of Dorchester.

A cabal of powerful Boston politicians is willing to pay Kenzie and Gennaro big money for a seemingly small job: to find the missing cleaning woman who stole some secret documents. As Kenzie and Gennaro learn, however, this crime is no ordinary theft. It's about justice. About right and wrong. But in Boston, finding the truth isn't just a dirty business ... it's deadly.

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About the Author:

Dennis Lehane is the author of ten previous novels—including the New York Times bestsellers Live by Night; Moonlight Mile; Gone, Baby, Gone; Mystic River; Shutter Island; and The Given Day—as well as Coronado, a collection of short stories and a play. He lives in California with his family.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Patrick Kenzie is a Dorchester, Mass., boy born and bred. Now, working out of a church belfry as a private detective (along with partner Angela Gennaro, who has been his best friend since childhood and suffers at the hands of an abusive husband), he is hired by a senator to locate some papers reportedly stolen by an African-American (the senator uses a less polite term) cleaning woman. When the woman is gunned down in downtown Boston, it becomes clear that the materials in her possession were not the government documents the senator had claimed. The sure pacing, humor, and clear sense of place are unusually strong for a debut novel. Lehane's depictions of working-class Dorchester and the great divide between its Irish-American and African-American inhabitants are so on-target the reader could practically use them as a map and drive right into town. Even better are the descriptions of local foibles. Kenzie recounts that a friend had once been successful at removing a Denver boot (a clamp, which makes it impossible to move a car, placed around a car's tire after too many traffic tickets) and was downhearted to find that it was a fluke and that he would not be ``making more money than Michael Jackson.'' There is a lot of gun play here, and plenty of other violence too. Not only does Gennaro regularly come into work with black eyes, but Kenzie also recalls his firefighter father, a man whom he sarcastically refers to as ``the Hero,'' but who was brutal in his own home. A lively debut about residents of the Boston metropolitan area who don't summer in Hyannisport. -- Copyright 1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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