|Prayers for Rain
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Prayers for Rain is Dennis Lehane's fifth installment in his intricately plotted, beautifully written, and much underacknowledged Boston mystery series. Lehane's books reflect our morally complex times, when the borders between right and wrong are somewhat blurry.
Private investigator Patrick Kenzie is in the middle of a personal crisis--he's lost his passion for the profession, and is tired of people with their "predictable vices, their predictable needs and wants and dormant desires." Angie Gennaro, his occasional sweetheart, lifelong friend, and fellow investigator has quit the business. She's still deeply resentful about Patrick's handling of the Amanda McCready case, the focus of Gone, Baby, Gone. Without Angie, private investigating has lost its fizz.
The suicide of a former client, Karen Nichols, gives Kenzie his investigative itch back. Six months earlier, Kenzie tracked down a stalker who had been harassing Nichols, and put an end to his heinous hobby. But Nichols needed more help than this PI could ever have imagined. "She'd been drowning, and I'd been busy." The successful, middle-class young woman had been sinking into a sea of drugs, alcohol, and prostitution, hitting the bottom when she jumped from the Boston Custom House. Her death consumes Kenzie--he is convinced that someone pulled her into the vortex, although her nearest and dearest simply call her weak.
Kenzie teams up with his explosive, loving, gun-toting friend Bubba Rogowski, and, after a boozy reunion, Angie Gennaro joins them. This fearless threesome must surely be the most original team in contemporary crime fiction. Good at the core--but seriously screwed up by various demons from their pasts--tact and decorum is hardly their style. They work their way across Boston, doing whatever it takes to question Nichols's family and acquaintances. By unveiling the real Nichols, tragic family secrets, betrayals, and conspiracies are also unmasked.
If you haven't experienced Dennis Lehane's world before, be prepared for an invigorating new reading experience. --Naomi Gesinger
The master of the new noir, Dennis Lehane delivers a shattering tale of evil, depravity, and justice that captures the dark realism of Boston's gritty blue-collar streets.
Private Investigator Patrick Kenzie wants to know why a former client, a perky woman in love with life, could, within six months, jump naked from a Boston landmark -- the final fall in a spiral of self-destruction. What he finds is a sadistic stalker who targeted the young woman and methodically drove her to her death. A monster the law can't touch. But Kenzie can. He and his former partner, Angela Gennaro, will fight a mind-twisting battle against this psychopath even as he turns his tricks on them.
- ANOTHER WINNER!
I read this book by Dennis Lehane first. After reading it I immediately when to Amazon and ordered all the others at once. Dennis Lehane has created characters that are so believable and stories that are so engrossing that I read each book in a day. My husband couldn't stand my talking about Patrick Angie and Bubba as though they were friends, even Bubba is sometimes a pussycat,(I have never done this with characters before) so he began to read these books and became as engrossed as I was. We hope Dennis has another book out soon the man is a wonderful writer. We love these characters and hope he can keep thinking up more stories involving them....more info
Somehow he manages to make a very dark subject, the damage a sociopath can do into a facinating read. He shows the controlling influence in a way that leaves no doubt of the charismatic power or evil intent. It is deep and extremely accurate, while never talking like a text book. Only to be read if the real horrors of the man on the street don't fase you. Brilliant....more info
- Dennis, I hope you're working on the next one!
Oh my god. I've read all of Dennis Lehane's books. Now what? Sure I can read Faye Kellerman and Jonathan Kellerman and Martha Grimes and P.D. James and on and on and on. But, there is no one like Dennis. Now Dennis, I don't want to put any pressure on you, but you need to start writing right away. I don't know how long I can remain patient. So stop reading and start writing. Julie...more info
- Please Dennis, don't hurt any more animals...
...or I'll have to quit you now...it's the admirable hallmark of british mystery writers not to hurt the cat (or dog), or your readers will depart. Of course, please spare the children too...but still, when I encounter cruelty to animals in fiction the whole experience is marred and lessened. Yeah, it's a real gotcha for sympathy but a cheap shot.
Otherwise I totally agree with the brilliance of the story and pacing, plus the audio reader is sublime....more info
- The Guy's Best Book
I discovered Mr. Lehane when I picked up Mystic River on a whim. In that novel, his character studies were so rich and well written, I immediately went out and purchased all of his other books. Perfect for "beside the pool" summer reading, I have completed all of them in less than three weeks. In my opinion, this is his best. Same quick, sharp, humorous style as the others, but Prayers for Rain, I thought, offered the most challenging and curious plot.
My best advice, actually, if you are willing to devote the time, is read them all. And, if you do, read them in order. If your taste for detective mysteries doesn't run that deep, I would introduce myself to Mr. Kenzie and Ms. Gennaro right here with Prayers for Rain. I bet it will make you read at least one more!...more info
- Not Great, Not bad
My first of the Gennaro/Kenzie series, my 2nd Lehane novel. Lehane has a great reputation but after reading this and Shutter Island I have not yet been blown away. They both start off very strong but fail to deliver in the end. For "Prayers" I was disappointed in the direction of the 2nd half of the book. Starts off intruiging but plateaus and does not sustain the same level of suspense throughout. It was OK....more info
- confusing and implausible
This book was fun to read and well written. Lehane creates colorful characters, and makes them seem extremely lifelike. But this book is excessively violent, and the ultimate "reveal" is simply not believable. Nor are many of the plot twists along the way. Reading this book is like guzzling a 6 pack of diet soda -- tastes good going down, but leaves you feeling empty and slightly dirty inside. ...more info
- The best of the series
I just finished the last of the Kenzie/Gennaro series and have to say it was the best of the bunch -- which, considering my high opinion of the preceding books, is saying something. I'm not a big fan of violence, but it always seems counteracted by the scenes when Patrick, Ange and Bubba get together and start their "three stooges" routine. Besides, once I start a Lehane book, the writing just sucks me in and I've gotta stick to the end....more info
- So good that I want another one!
When Patrick Kenzie's 'friend' commits suicide he finds it difficult to reconcile her demise with the life of the gentle woman he knew. Thus begins his search into the mystery surrounding her death. With his partner and sometimes lover Angela Genarro he discovers the psychotic killer who has terrorized his friend. Now he and Angela become targets of this sadistic madman. Stories like this have been written before but not with such frightening realism and intensity. Lehane's writing has a dark edge to it but the emotional ties between Patrick and Angela create a contrast that makes the story human and compelling.
I read and enjoyed this book a while ago and I'm still waiting for the next entry in this incredibly well written series....more info
- Lehane is addictive
I recently read "Mystic River", my first Lehane book, and loved it, so I thought I would give one of the Kenzie-Gennaro books a try. I'm so glad I did because "Prayers for Rain" is one of the best books I've read in a long time. It's got a fast-moving, nail-biting plot and an antagonist so sinister that you'll find you can't turn the pages fast enough. The dialogue is pitch perfect and the characters are so well written that you'll feel like you know them only a few pages into the book. I can't wait to read the other books in the series....more info
- a book for the most discriminating mystery reader...
'Prayers for Rain' is my first Dennis Lehane book. I now think I'll read the rest. Why? Unlike many of the popular crime/mystery writers of today Lehane can *really write* as opposed to just tell a good story. 'Prayers for Rain' should be considered literature by any standard.
In this book we have a couple of private investigators following upon the odd suicide of a young woman. The more they dig into it the more strange things become. Before long it all becomes a bit unbelievable yet the author is so deft at spinning this story that each little twist comes as an exciting surprise (as opposed to a groan of disbelief). I should also add that much of the story is very violent, with some very cruel/sadistic moments.
But back to Lehane's writing ability. The prose is uniformly excellent, and the characters are very well-developed. Compared to the likes of Robert Crais and George Pelecanos, two authors I admire, Lehane is clearly the superior writer. It was a complete pleasure reading 'Prayers for Rain'.
Bottom line: slightly over-cooked story aside, 'Prayers for Rain' and Dennis Lehane are definite winners. Strongly recommended....more info
- A disappointment from Lehane
I was expecting more from Dennis Lehane after reading the epic "Gone Baby, Gone", the multilayered "Mystic River" and the hypnotic "Shutter Island". "Prayer for Rain" is good but it is also a run of the mill piece of work. In hindsight, I can understand why Lehane hasn't reunited Kenzie and Gennaro since this thriller was published back in 1999....more info
- A Hodge-Podge (2.75*s)
By far the best thing about this book is the reuniting of Patrick and Angela, who had a major disagreement in "Gone, Baby, Gone," though their reunion is pretty low-key. Other than that, the book is a hodge-podge. The plot is too contrived and awkward, jerking along at best. The main characters are not believable in terms of their supposed powers to orchestrate and inflict mayhem. Others appear almost without explanation and are then gone. The violence seems over the top and not authentic. Patrick's over-large, enforcer buddy, Bubba Rogowski, is a goofball, lethal warrior, and improbable seducer of a sexy woman all rolled into one. And the dialog seems overly cutesy, or something.
Lehane just doesn't run a tight ship with this last offering of the series. No way is this book the best of the series or otherwise.
- last of the series
Prayers for Rain had been in my TBR pile for quite a while--several years at least. Surely not since 1999, though my copy is a new, non-remaindered hardcover, so probably since 2000. I don't feel that bad about leaving it there, because there are still no new Kenzie/Gennaro stories, and it's a bit sad knowing I've read the last one in my TBR pile.
The series is about PI Patrick Kenzie, his complex professional/romantic relationship with his partner Angie Gennaro, and their psychotic but extremely loyal pal Bubba Rogowski.
This 5th book in the series starts with Kenzie & Gennaro split up, both personally and professionally, and Patrick's not taking it well, reevaluating his life as Angie had. A young woman comes to him for help with a simple stalker, and he solves the problem without breaking a sweat, or even seeing her again.
Six months later, the same young woman, who'd been the epitome of "sweet girl next door", has committed suicide. The fact that she'd called him 3 months earlier and he'd forgotten to get back to her makes Patrick curious, so he starts to check things out. The more he learns, the more curious he becomes.
Before long, he's enlisted Angie & Bubba's help, and they find themselves afoul of the local mob, and embroiled in a case that's looking more sinister by the minute.
It's dark, with no easy answers, and Kenzie's brand of solution is always satisfying--violence when necessary, but always with a psychological angle, never pointless brute force. There's also humor in the darkness, like Bubba complaining when he doesn't get to just blow something up.
What grabs me about this, and the other books in the series, are the complex characters. We get the motivations of everyone, not just the main characters, and they all ring true. And yes, I've really enjoyed the ups and downs of the Kenzie/Gennaro relationship. It's not a sweet, happy ever after one, but it sucked me in.
I guess I'll have to break down now and get Lehane's non-series books. I'm assured they're just as good, though having seen the movie version of Mystic River, I'm a little wary of reading it....more info
- Prayers for the next Kenzie-Gennaro book!
Even though I am an avid reader, I haven't been able to get into a book recently--until now. "Prayers for Rain" kept me on the adge of my seat and left me wanting even more of Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro! I have been a HUGE Dennis Lehane fan since I "discovered" him early last year, and this book certainly kept with the Lehane tradition. Someone please tell me when the next book is coming out!! Other authors pale in comparison to this man and his story telling!...more info
- Can't ask for more in a thriller.
In the last 30 day I`ve read all five of Lehane' Kinzie/Gennaro books, finishing Prayers for Rain last night. Lehane has created a terrific franchise in the mystery/thriller arena with his realistic and (more importantly) entertaining pair of detectives. You like these people he's created and believe their motives for what they choose to do as they trek through the plot. Clearly I've found a lot of compelling entertainment in these stories.
The first book in the series, A Drink Before the War, really sucked me in, being in the same vein as the Elvis Cole series by Robert Crais which I also recommend. Both series are consistently well-written, a clear step (or two) above pop/trash/beach fiction, funny, intelligent stories where the plot make sense, and the characters seem frighteningly real. It turned out that the first Kinzie/Gennaro yarn was the lightest. Each one after has ratcheted up the twists and turns, but kept the personality of the characters growing and building. The stories definitely got blacker and bleaker in the depraved actions of the bad guys. By Prayers for Rain, the villain is a hardcore-fulltime psychopath, and Patrick and Angie are a-little-further-than-borderline vigilantes.
After racing through five of the books in so short a period, I am struck with a sense of vulnerability. If some bad dude makes it their career to mess with you, and if they have no normal limits to their behavior, you're just screwed. How can a normal, follow the rules type of citizen even comprehend the introduction of aggression and violence into their regular lives? Unless you have friends to help you out like Kenzie and Gennaro you might as well move out of the country and hope you're never found. Read these, you'll like them....more info
- "We need stuff. Illegal stuff."
Never one to be deterred by legal "technicalities" when he solves his cases, Patrick Kenzie, a Boston private detective, is up to his eyeballs in his own problems when Karen Nichols asks him to stop a stalker. Kenzie and his long-time partner/sometimes lover Angie Gennaro have worked together in four previous Dennis Lehane novels, but they have now split, and Kenzie is at loose ends. After solving Karen's problem, he ignores a later phone call, then reads six months later that she has jumped to her death. Thinking that she must have had a new problem that he was too "busy" to investigate, he wonders if he might have contributed to her death and feels honor bound to find out why she jumped.
As Kenzie investigates Karen's background and family, he turns up what may be the most dysfunctional family situation ever created. But he also discovers that Karen led a totally different life at the time of her death than the seemingly innocent and vulnerable life she led just six months before. Her mother and stepfather are unfazed by her death--and no one misses her or mourns her--except Kenzie, who is more curious than mournful. Teaming up once again with Angie, who helped him with an early aspect of the case, he continues his investigation, eventually calling upon Bubba Rogowski, another old friend, for help. Rogowski, a Vietnam War vet with "lobster tails" of scars on his chest and hidden shrapnel within his chest, has even bigger scars and "shrapnel" within his psyche.
As Kenzie uncovers Karen's long-time psychiatric problems and their origin within her family, the suspense ratchets up. Karen's little half-sister died at the age of four, and her stepbrother Wesley has had no contact with the family for ten years. Kenzie's insatiable curiosity about the family leads to new information that complicates what might have been a relatively straightforward case of family dysfunction and turns it into a case of manipulation, psychological warfare, and emotional torture.
Lehane, an absolute master of suspense, juggles plot lines and complications with aplomb, in the process creating intense scenes filled with local color and oddball details. As his characters face (and create) scenes of stomach-turning violence (and even sadism), the focus remains on people, not violence for its own sake. Though no one can claim that these are all rounded characters, they are usually unique, so fascinating that the reader always feels their behavior to be at least plausible--for them. As the plot lines converge, the novel winds up to a wild conclusion, filled with violence and several big surprises. One of Lehane's early (1999) novels, this one shows all the promise that he continues with Mystic River and Shutter Island. n Mary Whipple
The Given Day: A Novel
Darkness, Take My Hand (Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro Novels)
A Drink Before the War
Gone, Baby, Gone (Harper Fiction)
- DENNIS LEHANE
I have all of Dennis Lehanes books in paperback and recently ordered them all in hardback. "Prayer for Rain" was the first book of his I read. A friend loaned it to me. I loved it and read it again then went out and
bought all of his books (available in paperback only)!! I naturally had to read the series in order then, starting with "A drink before the war". Recently I started shopping at AMAZON.com and I have ordered all of his books in hardback. I have read them all at least twice. I am an avid reader and like to re-read my top authors. I also recommend David Rosenfelt, start with "Open and Shut" if you can, it is his first in the Andy Carpenter series. ...more info
- Another winner
Dennis Lehane deserves all the praise he receives. He is truly a master writer and story teller. He always delivers a well-written, strongly plotted and entertaining story. Prayers for Rain ranks up there with Gone Baby Gone and Mystic River. This book is dark, gruesome, violent and riveting. It's well paced and Lehane provides a number of twists and turns, as usual. Nothing, however, comes out of left field. Everything makes sense once investigator Patrick Kenzie and his partner Angela Gennaro answer the dangling questions. You'll race through this book.
- Blame it on the genre
If you're expecting another MYSTIC RIVER, think again. This is genre fiction, a hard-boiled mystery/thriller in the tradition of Robert Parker. PRAYERS FOR RAIN is also the fifth in a series with the recurring characters Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro.
At the beginning private detective Kenzie helps Karen Nichols discourage a stalker. Six months later, she's dead, having jumped from the top of Boston's Custom House. Several weeks before she'd died, Kenzie had neglected to return her phone call, and he feels guilty. He can't believe the same girl (A fifties type with the personality of a Barbie Doll) had become a drug-addicted prostitute.
I always like to reread the blurbs when I finish with a novel, just to see if the reviewers actually read the novel. One mentions the "wonderfully rounded characters." Bubba Rogowski, a former special forces operative, is about as rounded as Rambo, and Angela and Patrick aren't much better. They're former partners at the beginning (she's working for a security company), but it doesn't take much foresight to know they'll be back together shortly. The dialogue also bothered me quite a bit; it's supposed to be snappy, but Lehane doesn't know when to quit, and the characters all have the same voice (Lehane's).
There are some pretty good fight scenes in the beginning, but I was disappointed by the climax. One thing about series novels: you always know nothing too bad is going to happen to the main character. We also have, count them, three villains. Lehane had me really hating Cody Falk, the original stalker, but he's soon replaced by Karen's step brother and then by this postal clerk who seems to be impersonating the step brother.
I was really amazed at the difference between this novel and MYSTIC RIVER, which is darn near perfect. At first I thought this might be an early work, but Lehane actually wrote A DRINK BEFORE THE WAR, DARKNESS TAKE MY HAND, SACRED, and GONE, BABY, GONE before this one, so I guess you have to blame it on the genre....more info
- Series still good, but getting old
Prayers for Rain is the last in the Kenzie, Gennarro detective series, and it starts to show that Lehane made a good choice in changing characters for his most recent novel, Mystic River (a great book).
This is the 5th in the series, and some of the dialogue between Patrick, Angie and Bubba gets old and I just skip over it because it really adds nothing to the story. Like in Darkness Take My Hand (the best in the series) Lehane does a great job of plotting and shifts the focus of the plot halfway through the book from why a woman killed herself, to who perhaps made her kill herself.
Lehane is a good author and I recommend everyone of his books....more info
- Fantastic story, genuine bad guy, incredible humor
This guy (Lehene) is good. What a teriffic plot, and I find myself laughing out loud with the banter between Angie, Patrick, Bubba (is this guy a piece of work or what?). This is great reading. If you can get the unabridged book on tape, it is worth the extra $$$. The readers "Basten" accent adds a dimension to the story that cannot come thru in written form....more info
- Absolutely Terrific
A guilty pleasue that makes you want to go out and buy ALL of Lehane's other books. The characters, plot twists, storyline,and dialogue are all fantastic. ONE PROBLEM: You won't be able to tear yourself away from it for work, sleep, etc....more info
- A story with sizzle and suspense - where nothing is what it seems to be.
Mr. Lehane is one of my favorite writers as he can tell a story with sizzle and suspense. He paints his characters such that you feel like you know them, feel their emotions, and causes you to have a definite feeling about each one. He is one of the best storytellers out there today and this 5th book in the Patrick Kenzie/Angie Gennaro series grabs your attention and keeps it until the last page.
Patrick, a PI, is surprised when he reads about the suicide of a young woman that hired him six months ago when she was being stalked. This young lady was the epitome of the innocent, naive, sweet girl next door and now she has jumped naked from the 24th story of the Custom House Tower in Boston. She had left him a message about a month after he quickly handled the "stalker" problem - he had forgotten to return the call when he arrived back in town. Patrick is curious and started asking questions. Everyone, even her own family says her death was a suicide - that her boyfriend's death, just weeks before, was an unfortunate accident. With no paying client, Patrick starts peeling back the layers of this twisting mystery where nothing is what it seems to be.
Author al-Qaeda Strikes Again...more info
- Prayers for More
Before you read this book and enjoy the story, the plot, the language, and the characters; make sure you also read the first four books in the series. All of them including the latest book "Prayers for Rain" are absolute top-class - intelligent, witty, and hard-boiled - all at once. I keep the books by Lehane on the same shelf as the books by Raymond Chandler and Michael Connelly....more info