Darkness, Take My Hand (Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series #2)

Darkness, Take My Hand (Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series #2)

4.4 153
by Dennis Lehane

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Lehane's stunning thriller sees the return of tough-talking, hard-playing Boston private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro. The detectives are enjoying Indian summer in their office in an old church belfry in Dorchester - the blue-collar, racially and ethnically diverse but troubled part of Boston where they grew up - when they are called to their next case…  See more details below


Lehane's stunning thriller sees the return of tough-talking, hard-playing Boston private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro. The detectives are enjoying Indian summer in their office in an old church belfry in Dorchester - the blue-collar, racially and ethnically diverse but troubled part of Boston where they grew up - when they are called to their next case. Dr. Diandra Warren, a prominent psychiatrist, believes she has inadvertently angered a powerful member of the Boston Irish Mafia and asks Patrick and Angie to protect her vulnerable son from retribution. Can the detectives shield him from the thug who is not only right-hand man to the head of the Irish Mafia but who grew up with Patrick and Angie? Can Dr. Warren's ex-husband, the most powerful district attorney in the Boston area, help to protect his estranged son? As the detectives are drawn deeper into the case, bodies begin piling up around them. The clues begin to point unaccountably to an unlikely suspect - a serial killer who has been in prison for twenty years of a life sentence. Patrick and Angie must find out if he has indeed inexplicably resurfaced and what, if anything, his connection is to the people from their neighborhood.

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Editorial Reviews

Haunting . . . Heart-pounding suspenseful.
Cincinnati Enquirer
Masterfully plotted and beautifully written . . . A fierce and frightening story of crimes of the flesh and the heart.
Washington Post Book World
Taut writing . . . Lehane is one of those brave new detective stylists who is not afraid of fooling around with the genre's traditions.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Two PIs investigate the crucifixion of a former neighbor in a "haunting" mystery that received a starred review from PW. (July)
Library Journal
Lingering pain is the central theme of Lehane's second novel (following A Drink Before the War, LJ 11/1/94) featuring Boston p.i. Patrick Kenzie. The Dorchester detective and partner Angie Gennaro investigate threats against a university psychiatrist that pit the pair against a dark and mysterious foe. Along the way, local history is unearthed that implicates Kenzie's abusive father in a decades-old crime. Violent and suspenseful action recommend this title.
Emily Melton
Lehane's latest is an explosive story that is at once gut-wrenchingly violent and achingly melancholy. Patrick Kenzie and Angie Dimassi have known each other since they were six-year-olds running wild on the playgrounds of South Boston. As grown-ups, they're partners in a detective agency, and the dangerous spots they've encountered together have strengthened the old bonds. Angie is coming out of an unhappy marriage, and Patrick is happily in love, when a series of brutal murders intrude. As Angie and Patrick try to find out what kind of human being could perform such horrifying acts of rape, mutilation, torture, and dismemberment, they soon find that the killer's motive is disturbingly rooted in their own distant past. The two work frantically with the Boston cops, the FBI, the local Mafia, and folks from the old neighborhood to unearth the killer. In a series of heart-stopping climaxes that grow ever more terrifying and bloody, Patrick and Angie lose nearly everything. Lehane's perfectly crafted plot leers, teases, taunts, and lulls, scattering bits of humor and heartbreak among the soul-chilling episodes of death and destruction. A tour de force from a truly gifted writer.
…one of the most terrifying tales to come along in a while.
Paper Magazine
Kirkus Reviews
Lehane follows up his Shamus-winning A Drink Before the War (1994) with a second case for the private-detective team of Patrick Kenzie and Angela Dimassi Gennaro. This time, Patrick and Angel are called on to defend a psychologist against some nasty members of the Boston Irish criminal community. Although the threat appears to be forestalled, a budding young actress from the old neighborhood is found murdered, and is later strangely implicated in the torture and death of the psychologist's son. Multiple crimes follow with the lethal signature of a long-jailed sociopath, a cop's son reared on those same mean streets. Panic sets in. The FBI commandeers the case. Angie finally divorces her abusive husband as Patrick struggles to protect his lover and her daughter from the murderer. But domestic difficulties pale as the increasingly terrifying wave of violence seems to point toward long-hidden secrets in Boston's Irish-American community, and motives (a long dance of betrayal and revenge among Irish cops and crooks) reach out from one generation to destroy the next.

Though there's an unseemly lack of subtlety to Lehane's sex scenes and violent set pieces, the passion of his neighborhood nightmare can hardly be denied. And he's created a villain who's both surprising and grimly fascinating: The kind of figure one hates but can't stop reading about.

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series, #2
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Christmas Eve
6:15 p.m.

Three days ago, on the first official night of winter, a guy I grew up with, Eddie Brewer, was one of four people shot in a convenience store. Robbery was not a motive. The shooter, James Fahey, had recently broken up with his girlfriend, Laura Stiles, who was a cashier on the four-to-twelve shift. At eleven fifteen, as Eddie Brewer filled a styrofoam cup with ice and Sprite, James Fahey walked through the door and shot Laura Stiles once in the face and twice in the heart.

Then he shot Eddie Brewer once in the head and walked down the frozen food aisle and found an elderly Vietnamese couple huddling in the dairy section. Two bullets each for them, and James Fahey decided his work was complete.

He walked out to his car, sat behind the wheel, and taped the restraining order Laura Stiles and her family had successfully filed against him to the rearview mirror. Then he tied one of Laura's bras around his head, took a pull from a bottle of Jack Daniel's, and fired a bullet into his mouth.

James Fahey and Laura Stiles were pronounced dead at the scene. The elderly Vietnamese man died en route to Carney Hospital, his wife a few hours later. Eddie Brewer, however, lies in a coma, and while doctors say his prognosis isn't good, they also admit his continued existence is all but miraculous.

The press have been giving that description a lot of play lately, because Eddie Brewer, never anything close to a saint when we were growing up, is a priest. He'd been out jogging the night he was shot, dressed in thermals and sweats, so Fahey didn't know his vocation, though I doubt it would have mattered much. Butthe press, sensing both a nostalgia for religion so close to the holidays, and a fresh spin on an old story, played his priesthood for all it was worth.

TV commentators and print editorialists have likened Eddie Brewer's random shooting to a sign of the apocalypse. and around-the-clock vigils have been held at his parish in Lower Mills and outside the Carney. Eddie Brewer, an obscure cleric and a completely unassuming man, is heading for martyrdom, whether he lives or not.

None of this has anything to do with the nightmare that descended on my life and that of several others in this city two months ago, a nightmare that left me with wounds the doctors say have healed as well as can be expected, even though my right hand has yet to regain most of its feeling, and the scars on my face sometimes burn under the beard I've grown. No, a priest getting shot and the serial killer who entered my life and the latest "ethnic cleansing" being wrought in a former Soviet republic or the man who shot up an abortion clinic not far from here or another serial killer who's killed ten in Utah and has yet to be caught-none of it is connected.

But sometimes it feels like it is, as if somewhere there's a thread to all these events, all these random, arbitrary violence's, and that if we can just figure out where that thread begins, we can pull on it, unravel everything, make sense of it.

Since Thanksgiving, I've grown the beard, the first one of my life, and while I keep it trimmed, it continues to surprise me in the mirror every morning, as if I spend my nights dreaming of a face that is smooth and unruptured by scars, flesh that is clean the way only a baby's is, skin untouched by anything but sweet air and a mother's tender caresses.

The office-Kenzie/Gennaro Investigations-is closed, gathering dust I assume, maybe the first stray cobweb in a corner behind my desk, maybe one behind Angie's too. Angie's been gone since the end of November, and I try not to think about her. Or Grace Cole. Or Grace's daughter, Mae. Or anything at all.

Mass has just ended across the street, and with the unseasonably warm weather-still in the low forties, though the sun's been down for ninety minutes-most of the parishioners mill about outside, and their voices are sharp in the night air as they wish each other good cheer and happy holidays. They remark on the strangeness of the weather, how erratic it's been all year, how summer was cold and autumn warm and then just as suddenly bitter and icy, how no one should be surprised if Christmas morning were to bring a Santa Ana and a mercury reading in the seventies.

Someone mentions Eddie Brewer, and they speak about it for a moment, but a brief one, and I sense they don't want it to spoil their festive mood. But, oh, they say, what a sick, crazy world. Crazy is the word, they say, crazy, crazy, crazy.

I spend most of my time sitting out here lately. From the porch, I can see people, and even though it's often cool out here, their voices keep me here as my bad hand stiffens with cold and my teeth begin to chatter.

In the mornings, I carry my coffee out, sit in the brisk air and look across the avenue to the schoolyard and watch the small boys in their blue ties and matching blue pants and the small girls with their plaid skirts and glinting barrettes run around the yard. Their sudden shrieks and darting movements, their seemingly bottomless supply of frenetic energy, can be wearying or invigorating depending on my mood. When it's a bad day, those shrieks tide my spinal column like chips of broken glass. On good days, though, I get a flush of something that may be a memory of what it was like to feel whole, when the simple act of breathing didn't ache.

The issue, he wrote, is pain. How much I feel, how much I parcel out.

He came during the warmest, most erratic autumn on record, when the weather seemed to have flipped completely off its usual course, when everything seemed upside down, as if you'd look at a hole in the ground and see stars and constellations floating at the bottom, turn your head to the sky and see dirt and trees hanging suspended. As if he had his fingers on the globe, and he slapped it, and the world-or at least my portion of it-spun.

Sometimes Bubba or Richie or Devin and Oscar drop by, sit out here with me and we talk about the NFL playoffs or the college bowls or the latest movies in town. We didn't talk about this past autumn or Grace and Mae. We don't talk about Angie. And we never talk about him. He's done his damage, and there's nothing left to say.

The issue, he wrote, is pain.

Those words-written on a piece of white, 8X11 copy paper-haunt me. Those words, so simple, sometimes seem as if they were written in stone.

Copyright ) 1997 by Dennis Lehane

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Darkness, Take My Hand (Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series #2) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 152 reviews.
BillyTheKid-inVietNam More than 1 year ago
If you read a ton of books like I do, you will really like this author's style and talent at telling a story. The characters are totally believable. The story is woven with many twists and turns and will have you guessing until the very end.
Sean_From_OHIO More than 1 year ago
Dennis Lehane has this amazing way of making this intense violent world he captures seem so realistic while not sensationalizing it. His dialogue is what I hear when I think of Boston and his characters make life-altering decisions and actually are affected by them. This book starts off being one thing and ended up in a totally different all while keeping the love between two people at the forefront even though its not a love story. This book is dark. This book is gruesome. This book also shows how much you can care about your loved ones and the steps someone might take to keep them safe. Overall, another fantastic novel in Lehane's library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lehane continues to be a wonderful crime writer. His plots are intriguing & the pairing of Kenzie & Gennnaro are full of action & expectation. I have read a number of Lehane's books & they never disappoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will read anything that Dennis Lehane publishes. He has an awesome feel for dialogue and can tell an amazing fleshed out story.
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sobiech57 More than 1 year ago
Read the #5 of this series first, and went back and bought all the other 5 in the series. Kept me entertained for a month! Loved this series, and the other Dennis Lehane books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dennis does it again. I couldn't put it down. I wish there was more about Bubba, though.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of the mystery/detective/drama genre. Nothing I enjoy more than a good, tightly woven story. But my OWN particular personality defects prevent me from becoming totally involved, (or engrossed/committed -take your pick), in the tale if the author himself fails to present HIS plot in an unimpeachable, water-tight fashion that I, as the reader, am prevented from asking myself - "Well, wait a minute.... Why would they actually DO (or NOT do) this......" It HAS to make sense! It HAS to pass the smell-test for me, or I am then, @ that point, just skimming it to finish it and be done with it. And that is pretty much how THIS plot is constructed, in my view...... One example of many: So they've got a plan and are intent on catchin the BoogeyMan; on the night they're lying in wait and gonna catch him and save the city, they lose focus by having sex and lighting candles all over the stake-out location and, uh,... he kinda gets away! Damnit Jim! Trying not to give anything away here, but.... Yeah, put me down as dissapointed. And I wish I could have read a review indicating as much so I could have saved my self some time.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thrilling ! One of my favorite authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
vanbergk More than 1 year ago
Good series, interesting characters etc.
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KrissyKiernan More than 1 year ago
Really liked this one. Full of suspense. Will be adding this series to my must read list. Like I need another one. LOL.