A Drink Before the War


by: Lehane, Dennis
Format: Hardcover

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Product Description Taking on a seemingly simple assignment to pinpoint the whereabouts of a cleaning woman who has allegedly stolen confidential State House documents, private investigators Patrick and Angela uncover a ring of extortion, assassination, and child prostitution. From Publishers Weekly 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. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library Journal In this first novel, set in Boston, violence swirls around narrator Patrick Kenzie and partner Angleo Gennaro. This intrepid investigative duo are hired by two state senators to locate a black cleaning woman who filched several sensitive "documents." They find her easily enough, but the items she took, which point to child prostitution and political corruption, cause gang warfare and murder. Lehane's minimal use of literary references helps establish character, as do his frequent allusions to child abuse and wife battering. Rough and tumble action for a high energy, likable pair. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Booklist Newcomer Lehane shows plenty of promise in his first book about a PI duo from the mean streets of Boston. Play-rough, talk-tough Patrick Kenzie and smart, feisty Angie Gennaro don't take no lip from nobody when they're on a hot case, and their latest is hot all right. When two well-known U.S. senators ask Patrick and Angie to recover some confidential documents they believe were stolen from their office by cleaning woman Jenna Angeline, the detectives think their job will be a piece of cake: find the woman, tell the senators where she is, and let them take it from there. But of course, the case isn't that easy, and before they're finished, Patrick and Angie tackle gang warfare, corruption, prostitution, blackmail, and murder. Lehane offers slick, hip, sparkling dialogue that's as good as it gets, a plot that rockets along at warp speed, and the wonderfully original, in-your-face crime-solving duo of Kenzie and Dimassi. A terrific first novel and, one hopes, the beginning of a superb series. Emily Melton 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 int


Product Code: 9780151000937
ISBN: 015100093X
Publisher: Harcourt
Publication Date: 1994-11-01
Number of Pages: 267 pages
Languages: english
Edition: 1st
Dimension: 6.18 x 1.1 x 9.09 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds