A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As a gang war looms on the horizon, private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennara are hired to find a missing woman who stole some documents from a senator. What they find could ignite a race war and burn Boston to the ground...
When I recently got caught up on Robert Crais's Elvis Cole and Joe Pike series, I wondered if I'd find an acceptable crime series to fill the void. Consider the void filled to the point of overflowing.
A Drink Before the War stars PI team Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennara. Patrick's a PI with unresolved issues with his dead father and not at all secret romantic feelings for his partner. Angie's a tough but beautiful lady with an abusive husband. Their office is in the bell tower of a church. Sound good so far?
The story sees them visiting Boston's dark underbelly in their search for a missing cleaning woman who happens to have some damning documents about a senator and ties to the heads of two rival gangs. The plot is a pressure cooker waiting to whistle. Driving the story along are Patrick and Angela and their complicated relationship. Both characters go through the wringer as they discover the truth about what they're after.
Lehane's writing is a notch above most series detective books. I kept noticing lines I would have read out loud if anyone was around to hear them. I like that Lehane didn't make anything easy for Patrick and Angie. Like a lot of good series detective books, the Dorchester setting was almost a character on its own.
A Drink Before the War is damn near perfect for what it is. I hope I don't devour the entire series too fast.
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