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Search tags: dennis-lehane
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review 2018-01-18 14:45
"A Drink Before The War - Kenzie and Gennaro #1" by Dennis Lehane
A Drink Before the War - Dennis Lehane

How can this be my first Dennis Lehane book? How did I miss someone who writes like this?

 

I went into the book in complete ignorance because I liked the title.

 

I was immediately impressed by a new style of hard-boiled PI that mixes swagger with self-deprecation, reluctant empathy and hate-driven violence.

 

My only point of confusion was why the author had set this piece of edgy, I'm-self-confident as long as I don't think about it or the dreams don't get me, noir. in the 1990s. It took me ages to realise it was PUBLISHED in the 1990s.

 

"A Drink Before The War" is set in 1990s Boston and is wrapped around a plot involving corrupt politicians covering up the truth about the worthless excuses for human beings that they are, gang warfare, blackmail and multiple attempts on the lives of our two PIs.

 

The novel is powered by two challenging themes that feel contemporary: racial hatred as an unchangeable reality and the violence of abusive fathers and husbands. These two themes are braided together to explore what happens to the powerless when love and violence are twisted around one another and the corrosive effect long-harboured hate has on our ability to be human.

 

I admired Lehane's ability to provide a bold and ballsy shell for the two PIs while still letting us see the doubts and hatreds that eat at them. There's no preaching here, no moralising. This is not a discussion of issues and options, it's an up close and personal look at the consequences of abuse and hate, the hard choices they face us with and how much it costs us to make the right call.

 

The story is told mainly from Kenzie's point of view, so it's his head we get to crawl inside, his nightmares we share and his history that we discover, but Gennaro, his tough, competent, friends-since-childhood female partner is also well drawn. She is married to a man who beats her, has a partner who is constantly trying to woo her, is half the size of people trying to kill her and is still the most grounded and determined of the two PIs.

 

The plot twists but doesn't cheat. The setting feels authentic. The dialogue is sharp without becoming mannered, The violence is disturbing and morally ambiguous.

 

This is noir at its best. I'm sorry I missed these in the 90s but the good news is that there are five more Kenzie and Gennaro books in print so this year I'm going to enjoy catching up.

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text 2017-07-31 17:08
Finished it!
Since We Fell - Dennis Lehane

And it was a wild ride, but ultimately left me thinking, is that all there is?

 

In the end, there were just too many plot twists. I love getting that huge "whoa, I did not see that coming" moment, but it gets a bit stale when it happens again, and then again, and yet again. Eventually the plot gets too far-fetched and it seemed to me that Lehane had no idea how to end the book, so it just limps along to the finish.

 

I do think this book would make a great movie, and I've got a sneaky suspicion that's what the author is hoping for. But if you want a Lehane book with the "whoa, I did not see that coming" moment, I would recommend Shutter Island over Since We Fell every time.

 

 

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text 2017-07-29 22:34
Reading progress update: I've read 59%.
Since We Fell - Dennis Lehane

OMG! This is so twisty turny; I have no idea where Lehane is going, but I'm definitely enjoying the ride. 

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text 2017-07-09 23:06
Since We Fell
Since We Fell - Dennis Lehane

Since We Fell follows Rachel Childs, a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel's marriage. As does Rachel herself. Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths. By turns heart- breaking, suspenseful, romantic, and sophisticated, Since We Fell is a novel of profound psychological insight and tension. It is Dennis Lehane at his very best.

 

Went to the beach today and this was my book of choice. As with all of Lehane's books, I was sucked in immediately.

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text 2017-07-03 02:53
Kindle edition is currently $4.99
Since We Fell - Dennis Lehane

At that price I decided to utilize the 'one click' button rather than join the library wait list. 

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