Sacred (Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series #3)

Sacred (Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series #3)

4.2 125
by Dennis Lehane

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A beautiful, grief-stricken woman has vanished without a trace. So has the detective hired to find her. And a lot of money…

Enter tough-nosed private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro. Rooted in the streets of blue-collar Dorchester, they've seen it all – and survived. But this case leads them into unexpected territory: a place


A beautiful, grief-stricken woman has vanished without a trace. So has the detective hired to find her. And a lot of money…

Enter tough-nosed private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro. Rooted in the streets of blue-collar Dorchester, they've seen it all – and survived. But this case leads them into unexpected territory: a place of lies and corruption, where trusting anyone could get them killed, and where nothing is sacred.

Another superior thriller from Dennis Lehane, the bestselling and acclaimed author of Mystic River, Shutter Island, and Gone, Baby, Gone.

Editorial Reviews

Menace charges the atmosphere of this crackling thriller.
New York Times Book Review
Lively and entertaining . . . Driven by a fast-paced, twisting plot.
Boston Sunday Globe
His thriller grabs us with its blunt talk and breathtaking pace, but what leaves a lasting impression is the brooding authenticity of its atmosphere.
San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle
For an utterly relentless yet ultimately affirming examination of urban malaise and anxiety, look no further than Dennis Lehane's searing debut.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sharp verbal patter, a noirish kind of good/bad girl and a dying and quite possibly sinister old man all enliven this third stellar effort from the author of the Shamus Award-winning A Drink Before the War and Darkness, Take My Hand. PI Angela Gennaro lost her husband, and her partner, Patrick Kenzie, lost much of the skin from his face in their last outing. Now the Boston-based sleuthing partners are recovering nicely, slowly succumbing to a mutual attraction and searching for a missing girl. Billionaire Trevor Stone, dying of cancer, hires Patrick and Angie to find his daughter Desiree only after his first choice, Jay Becker, who was Patrick's mentor, disappeared during his quest for Desiree. The young woman was last seen at the highly questionable Grief Release Inc., getting over the year-old murder of her mother and hanging out with Sean Price. After Price ripped off the group, Desiree vanished with him. Is Trevor on the level? Is Desiree a wounded angel or something else entirely? While following the trail, Angie and Patrick emerge, in Patrick's smart and often funny narration, as boldly sketched characters who leap fully formed from the pages. For most of the novel, the punishing pace and internal plot logic perform in perfect tandem. Only Desiree's long-delayed entrance and an over-the-top ending are jarring. In all other respects, Lehane proves he belongs in the big leagues with another gritty and surpassingly entertaining mystery. Major ad/promo; 13-city author tour. (Aug.)
Library Journal
When detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are kidnapped by dying billionaire Trevor Stone and forced to find his lost daughter, they become entwined in a vicious whodunit in which "up is down and north is south." The case takes them to Grief Release Inc., a Boston-area church/cult whose members purge their sins, secrets, and financial records; then, accompanied by Stone's henchmen, to Tampa, Florida, where a top-of-the-line sports car and all the money they can spend are put at their disposal. Kenzie and Gennaro ditch it all to continue the search on instinct in a cheap convertible. When the detectives finally find their prize, the perfecto, leggy Desiree Stone, she turns out to be much more than they bargained for. With its fast-paced plot, Lehane's (Darkness, Take My Hand, LJ 7/96) newest will be a winner with adventure buffs. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/97.]Ahmad Wright, "Library Journal"
School Library Journal
YADying billionaire Trevor Stone has his thugs kidnap sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro and bring them to his mansion so he can hire them to find his missing daughter, Desire. She is supposedly grief-stricken over the death of her mother and the impending death of her father but it becomes clear that she may not be the sweet and beautiful daughter her father describes. Patrick's mentor, Jay Becker, was the first investigator on the case but he has also disappeared. Patrick and Angie follow the trail to Florida after a brief encounter with a group of religious swindlers who may be involved with the disappearances. Every person they meet adds more confusion and conflicting information to the puzzling case. The intricate mystery of the changing identity of Desire, dangerous car chases, bloody shoot-outs, and the humorous dialogue between Patrick and Angie, all with subtle romantic overtones, will keep YAs happily turning pages.Katherine Fitch, Lake Braddock Middle School, Burke, VA
Sacred has some nice plot surprises, a large body count and a wickedly satisfying villain comeuppance.
Paper Magazine
Kirkus Reviews
The kidnapping really should have tipped them off. You can't have much of a relationship with a client who grabs you off the street, drugs you, and ties you to a couple of chairs while he makes his pitch. But dying billionaire Trevor Stone, whose wife is dead and whose daughter has disappeared, is obviously a man in pain, and the $50,000 retainer he offers (plus $200,000 for expenses) goes a long way to soften the insult. So Boston shamus Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, his partner, friend, and sometime lover, agree to follow Patrick's vanished mentor Jay Becker into the darkness surrounding beautiful, depressed Desiree Stone, and soon—with only a brief intermission for a lovely farewell bash for their prison-bound buddy Bubba Rogowski—they're tangling with fraudulent grief counselors, a clever and vindictive IRS computer geek, and the Church of Truth and Revelation. And that's only the beginning, since the trail of Desiree's last known companion leads to Tampa, where the serious corpses will start to pile up, and where they'll finally get an inkling of the true relationship between their megalomaniac client and his anaconda-like daughter, "a Noël Coward play that had been rewritten by Sam Shepard." Lehane's barn-burning third novel (Darkness, Take My Hand, 1996, etc.) packs enough beatings, betrayals, unmaskings, resurrections, smart talk, and untrustworthy people for the most jaded palate. If you haven't discovered this gifted newcomer yet, you'd better hurry before his ship of fools and knaves casts off without you.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series , #3
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

A piece of advice: If you ever follow someone in my neighborhood, don't wear pink.

The first day Angie and I picked up the little round guy on our tail, he wore a pink shirt under a gray suit and a black topcoat. The suit was double-breasted, Italian, and too nice for my part of town by several hundred dollars. The topcoat was cashmere. People in my neighborhood could afford cashmere, I suppose, but usually they spend so much on the duct tape that keeps their tail pipes attached to their '82 Chevys, that they don't have much left over for anything but that trip to Aruba.

The second day, the little round guy replaced the pink shirt with a more subdued white, lost the cashmere and the Italian suit, but still stuck out like Michael Jackson in a day care center by wearing a hat. Nobody in my neighborhood--or any of Boston's inner-city neighborhoods that I know of--wears anything on their head but a baseball cap or the occasional tweed Scally. And our friend, the Weeble, as we'd come to call him, wore a bowler. A fine-looking bowler, don't get me wrong, but a bowler just the same.

"He could be an alien," Angie said.

I looked out the window of the Avenue Coffee

Shop. The Weeble's head jerked and then he bent to fiddle with his shoelaces.

"An alien," I said. "From where exactly? France?"

She frowned at me and lathered cream cheese over a bagel so strong with onions my eyes watered just looking at it. "No, stupid. From the future. Didn't you ever see that old Star Trek where Kirk and Spock ended up on earth in the thirties and were hopelessly out of step?"

"I hate Star Trek."

"But you're familiar with the concept."

I nodded, then yawned. The Weeble studied a telephone pole as if he'd never seen one before. Maybe Angie was right.

"How can you not like Star Trek?" Angie said.

"Easy. I watch it, it annoys me, I turn it off."

"Even Next Generation?"

"What's that?" I said.

"When you were born," she said, "I bet your father held you up to your mother and said, 'Look, hon, you just gave birth to a beautiful crabby old man.'

"What's your point?" I said.

The third day, we decided to have a little fun. When we got up in the morning and left my house, Angie went north and I went south.

And the Weeble followed her.

But Lurch followed me.

I'd never seen Lurch before, and it's possible I never would have if the Weeble hadn't given me reason to look for him.

Before we left the house, I'd dug through a box of summer stuff and found a pair of sunglasses I use when the weather's nice enough to ride my bicycle. The glasses had a small mirror attached to the left side of the frame that could be swung up and out so that you could see behind you. Not quite as cool as the equipment Q gave Bond, but it would do, and I didn't have to flirt with Ms. Moneypenny to get it.

An eye in the back of my head, and I bet I was the first kid on my block to have one, too.

I saw Lurch when I stopped abruptly at the entrance of Patty's Pantry for my morning cup of coffee. I stared at the door as if it held a menu and swung the mirror out and rotated my head until I noticed the guy who looked like a mortician on the other side of the avenue by Pat Jay's Pharmacy. He stood with his arms crossed over his sparrow's chest, watching the back of my head openly. Furrows were cut like rivers in his sunken cheeks, and a widow's peak began halfway up his forehead.

In Patty's, I swung the mirror back against the frame and ordered my coffee.

"You go blind all a sudden, Patrick?"

I looked up at Johnny Deegan as he poured cream into my coffee. "What?"

"The sunglasses," he said. "I mean, it's, what, middle of March and no one's seen the sun since Thanksgiving. You go blind, or you just trying to look hipper'n shit?"

"Just trying to look hipper'n shit, Johnny."

He slid my coffee across the counter, took my money.

"It ain't working," he said.

Out on the avenue, I stared through my sunglasses at Lurch as he brushed some lint off his knee then bent to tic his shoelaces just like the Weeble had the day before.

I took off my sunglasses, thinking of Johnny Deegan. Bond was cool, sure, but he never had to walk into Patty's Pantry. Hell, just try and order a vodka martini in this neighborhood. Shaken or stiffed, your ass was going out a window.

I crossed the avenue as Lurch concentrated on his shoelace.

"Hi," I said.

He straightened, looked around as if someone had called his name from down the block.

"Hi," I said again and offered my hand.

He looked at it, looked down the avenue again.

"Wow," I said, "you can't tail someone for shit but at least your social skills are honed to the quick."

His head turned as slowly as the earth on its axis until his dark pebble eyes met mine. He had to look down to do it, too, the shadow of his skeletal head puddling down my face and spreading across my shoulders. And I'm not a short guy.

"Are we acquainted, sir?" His voice sounded as if it were due back at the coffin any moment.

"Sure, we're acquainted," I said. "You're Lurch." I looked up and down the avenue. "Where's Cousin It, Lurch?"

"You're not nearly as amusing as you think you are, sir."

Sacred. Copyright © by Dennis Lehane. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are saying about this

Michael Connelly
Lehane's voice is an original. He turns the hard-boiled detective novel into an elegiac treatise on the corruption of the soul.
James W. Hall
I'm betting Lehane is going to be a name to reckon with in years to come.
Andre Dubus
Young Lehane is rapidly climbing the mountain of detective fiction upon whose peak rests James Lee Burke.

Meet 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.

Brief Biography

Boston, Massachusetts
Date of Birth:
August 4, 1965
Place of Birth:
Dorchester, Massachusetts
B.A., Eckerd College, 1988; M.F.A., Florida International University, 1993

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Sacred (Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series #3) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 125 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read Sacred after a friend passed the hardback to me. She bought it on a bargain table at a local bookstore and highly recommended it. I LOVED IT.... found out it was #3 in a series of 5 to date and rushed out to buy all the others! I am almost through 'Darkness Take My Hand' and resent every second I have to be away from reading it. Dennis, your books are wonderful! Keep this series going. I feel like I know the characters and I want to know what is next!! I recommend all of these books to anyone who reads the crime/mystery/thriller type books. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sacred is another terrific mystery in the series featuring Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, the team you'd want on your side if you needed a private investigation -- if only they were real people. Lehane describes these characters in such realistic detail and uses such crisp dialogue that you forget that they are only fictional characters. Nonetheless, they are characters you want to get to know better, and Lehane successfully evolves the personalities of Patrick and Angie in each of the five books in the series. Thus, it's best if you read the series in chronological order. Sacred is very fast-paced and loaded with surprising plot twists, which forces you to read on non-stop. While you can see I am very high on Sacred, it -- believe it or not -- is not the best book in the series. Of the four I've read so far, I enjoyed Darkness, Take My Hand and Gone, Baby Gone even more. Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to all of Lehane's books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First book I have ever read by this author. Glad there are others of his to read. Well paced and well plotted. Interesting characters and strong sense of place reminiscent of the Florida of Travis McGee. Also had nor realized that some excellent movies have been made from some of Lehanes other work. Great read.
SallyG376 More than 1 year ago
You fall in love with Kenzie and Gennaro as they first fall in love with each other. Great suspense and action on the shoot out on the bridge between them and the bad guys.
Booklover87 More than 1 year ago
I am still enjoying this series very much. The chemistry between Kenzie and Gennaro is very entertaining and the story line is very interesting. Not all is what it seems in this story and you find yourself not trusting any character. This was not as good and Darkness Take My Hand but it was still a very good read and I enjoyed it immensely.
KomodoDragon More than 1 year ago
Lehane's style of writing is interesting down to the last page. The book becomes a psychological thriller with the main characters Patrick and Angie caught in the middle. I found this book to be my least favorite of the series, however, compared to the other four that still speaks highly for this novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading Shutter Island (great book) I decided to try another book by Lehane. Well I found this book even better. If you ever been to Tampa or St. Pete¿s in Florida your gonna love this book because it makes you feel like your there again and you might think twice about the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. This book has it all - Great characters, witty dialogue, plot twisting, suspense, action, romance, etc., who could ask for anything more? One of his best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this book upu at the bargain table and I fell in love with the characters as well as the writer. His imagery is wonderful and I felt like I knew the characters first hand. It has taken me several months to find a writer that is passionate and takes time to embrace his characters, but he has proved that his writing style is a welcome treat to new readers as well as avid readers. Don't miss the opportunity to discover his work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoy these characters and the plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been reading the series & am enjoying them very much. Lehane never disappoints & especially interesting is his introduction of the Kenzie & Gennaro team. They are a smart combination & solve the crimes.
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Um hello.
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He smiled at all the she cats, "okay each of you go to seperate results. But after the one that is filled."
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
another good one from a favorite author
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