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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.
Posted August 7, 2000
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!!!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 28, 2000
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.
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 10, 2011
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.
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Posted September 13, 2013
Posted April 22, 2012
Posted April 17, 2012
Posted February 3, 2012
Posted October 27, 2011
Dennis Lehane is a wonderful writer-his characters are real. Patrick and Angie have dark moments and sometimes commit dark acts. They are so very human.
Situations arise in this book that have no easy solution. Patrick uses his practical "street smarts" while Angie falls back on her Catholic faith. This tension between the partners heightened by the sexual tension that sometimes arises, is classic Lehane. The reader experiences the action through Patrick's eyes. He is so very real. The streets of South Boston come alive with sights, smells and everyday ugliness.
I won't reveal the plot ; that is not really necessary if you have read any other books in the series you will not be disappointed. Just know, this book is every bit as good as the others. If you have not read any of the series, you are in for a great experience.
Posted September 25, 2011
Posted April 10, 2011
I Also Recommend:
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 20, 2010
I Also Recommend:
Before I started this book, I read the reviews on B&N and I read many negative reviews from readers. After reading Darkness, Take my Hand, I figured many people felt that Dennis Lehane didn't bring his A game for Sacred. Well, I thought that Sacred was just as good as the first two novels in the Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro series. this book was so good. Lehane is an amazing writer of crime, I think he is the best modern crime-noir writer. His books are funny and violent, and you can't stop from thinking about Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett when reading this series(especially Sacred, so far, it most closely resembles classic noir novels). If you are looking for crime novels when you get tired of stuff by James Patterson, I would recommend Lehane, Michael Connelly, George Pelecanos, Richard Price, and HBO's the Wire.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 23, 2009
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 7, 2009
Posted December 7, 2008
Sacred picks up after the great ending of the last book in the series and leaves the pair like a rock band who has broken up but the comes out of retirement and stronger than ever as they try and solve a missing person¿s case that a disparate billionaire ¿hires¿ them for. The plot takes off quickly while still addressing the emotional state of Patrick and Angie after the last book and this remains an important issue throughout the book. This book does not reflect on the past as the other past two books have an instead focuses on the relationships of the characters they attempt to find on the case and the motives for all the strange occurrences that happen. The humor still is a part of the series but it feels a bit more awkward between the two partners this time around. The book still has a feeling of excitement but this time there is no telling what may occur nest since the plot leaves Boston and picks up in Florida which gives a nice break from the last two books that were focused in Boston. Still even with the setting change all the original characters play a part in some way or another which would appeal to people who have read the previous books in the series. Still the book seems to take a bold new look at the main characters as they face new emotional battles as well as twists in the case. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes detective and drama novels.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 9, 2008
If this book came from any other author I would give it a better review. It is due to that it comes from Mr.Lehane that I say it is only okay. This book has a splendid plot to it and that's it. What this book lacks, which all of his other works don't, are the authentic pathos for the reader to emotionally connect with the character. 'Sacred' came across as just another contrived mystrey novel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 10, 2007
The fifth book of his I've read. Mystic River, Shutter Island, A Drink Before the War, Darkness Take My Hand, and now Sacred. They have all been excellent and Sacred is no exception. Good twists and the relationship between Kenzie and Gennaro all make for another great book. On to Gone, Baby, Gone......Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 4, 2004
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 21, 2003
Posted June 22, 2003
I have this baby on audio and have been riveted to say the least. And funny....the characters are so real, I can't stop laughing either, I love it! I love them! The only drawback is the last tape is torn and trapped inside the cassette, so I have to buy the book to finish the last several chapters! I simply love it so I'm on my way to buy the paperback!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 17, 2001
I was given this book and put off reading for too long. This was my first Lehane book and I will read more. Being from the Tampa St. Pete area made the plot all the more interesting. It's a tough plot to figure out and the characters keep you guessing too. Good Book!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.