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A Drink Before the War (1994)
This is the first entry in a critically acclaimed new private eye series featuring Patrick Kenzie & Angie Gennaro. The series is set in Boston & in this initial outing, Kenzie & Gennaro are hired by a couple politicos to find a black cleaning woman who supposedly stole some important state documents. They find the cleaning woman but also end up in the middle of a street war between two black gangs.
The book is okay as modern PI novels go, but it also epitomizes the weaknesses that the genre has succumbed to, largely as a result of Robert Parker's Spenser series. Kenzie spends page after page mewling about how painful his relationship with his Father was. He loves Gennaro, who is an abused wife & nearly as annoying as Spenser's Susan Silverman. And they, of course, have a friend who is a conscienceless killer, who does their dirty work for them.
One longs for the PI's of old; loners, whose only emotional ties were to the clients they tried to save & whose personal code of morals prevented them from taking the easy outs that characters like Hawk (Robert Parker) & Joe Pike (Robert Crais) provide.
See also:Private Eyes
-INTERVIEW: Boston or Bust Dennis Lehane (Amazon.com)
-Postmodern P.I. (Jesse Sublett, Weekly Wire)
-INTERVIEW: Dennis Lehane (January Magazine)
-PROFILE : A Good Place to Die : There are still some spots in Dennis Lehane?s old neighborhood where the writer refuses to set foot-but he can't help revisiting them in Mystic River (Adam Dunn, Book)
-REVIEW : of Mystic River (Randy Michael Signor, Book)
-REVIEW: of Prayers for Rain (Karen G. Anderson, January Magazine)
-REVIEW: of SACRED. By Dennis Lehane Third Kenzie novel builds on solid series (JEFF DRUMMOND, Houston Chronicle)