A Drink Before The War

A Drink Before The War by Dennis Lehane

A Drink Before The War by Dennis Lehane

Private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are hired by a group of Massachusetts politicians to track down a missing person believed to have documents detrimental to the upcoming passing of a new anti-terrorism bill.  As Kenzie and Gennaro begin to dig deeper into the case, questions arise surrounding their client’s true motives.

I thought this was an absolutely gripping read.  Lehane has enjoyed success working on the critically acclaimed HBO series The Wire, so it’s safe to say he understands the grittiness required when writing about crime on the streets.  Boston was a great choice for the novel’s setting as it’s no secret Bean Town has a long and sordid history with organized crime, gangs and racism.  Seeing the two detectives maneuver through cops, criminals and corruption made for solid storytelling.

It isn’t all setting though.  Kenzie and Gennaro themselves are compelling characters; both have their own deep-seated issues they have to work through.  From a young age, Kenzie was abused by his now late hero fire fighter father while his partner Gennaro currently deals with daily abuse from her jealous, alcoholic husband.  Both have to tiptoe around the fact that Kenzie is blatantly in love with Gennaro and aside from some gentle flirting, it threatens to strain their relationship as co-workers.

I’m not sure how I managed to miss out on this series up to now but something tells me it will not take long to fly through the rest of it.

Side note: This is the same series that spawned the 2007 movie Gone Baby Gone.  While I remember watching it when it first came out, I can’t recall if I liked it.  I will say this – I have a hard time seeing Casey Affleck as Patrick Kenzie.  I plan to watch the movie again after I pass that novel in the series, maybe my opinion will change.

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