The mesmerizing, darkly original novel that heralded the arrival of now New York Times bestselling author 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 a 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
An ordinary job takes a pair of detectives down a blind alley of political corruption, racial hostility, and warring street gangs in Dennis Lehane’s thrilling 1994 debut. Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are Boston-based private eyes hired by three powerful politicians for a seemingly simple job: to retrieve the “documents” taken by the woman who cleans their offices. The detectives soon discover that they’ve been hired to get stolen photos with primo blackmail potential, pulling the pair into an explosive web of misdeeds involving the city’s most violent crime kingpins. Lehane shows his talent for hardboiled, neo-noir mysteries, and he doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to exploring how race, class, and money divide the city he loves. A Drink Before the War is a hard-edged crime thriller that has something to say.
Lehane's assured debut avoids several common first-mystery flaws before stalling on a less ordinary one. Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, two young, smart-mouthed Boston PIs, are hired by a trio of prominent macho politicians to find a State House cleaning woman who may have purloined some important ``documents.'' The pair quickly learns that Jenna Angeline has no documents. She does have a son and a husband who lead rival black street gangs, an angry sister and a photo of one of the pols with her husband in a hotel room. While helping Patrick, Jenna is gunned down in a hail of Uzi fire; gang war is quickly declared, and the two detectives aim for a plan that will avenge the innocent and punish the guilty. Lehane leaps right into the action; more gradually, we learn about Pat's abusive father, Angie's abusive husband and the attraction smoldering between the two principals. The light tone and whipsaw banter, however, can't carry the pace when the action later slows in this mystery that starts with a bang and goes on shooting-but doesn't hit the bull's eye.
I always love his books and this is no exception. A great start to a superb series
A drink before the war .
Loved this book .The characters were great lots of good fast story line no lags .I will look for more of his work and tell my friends .Bette winsor
A drink before the war
Dennis Lehane never disappoints. When I lust for a solid read: plot, believable characters, tight dialogue and sharp prosaic narrative...I inevitably return after others fail.
As well, there is little formula save Boston mean streets.