Prayers for Rain Mass Market Paperback – May 2 2000
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
After the shattering consequences of their last case (Gone, Baby, Gone), Lehane's PI partners Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are back, but not together. Estranged from Angie personally and professionally, Patrick works the old Boston neighborhoodAwith the occasional help of his loyal and happily homicidal pal Bubba RogowskiAwhile Angie has moved uptown to a blue-chip corporate security firm. Enter Karen Nichols, a nice, hard-working sort who's being stalked. Patrick and Bubba are glad to take care of the stalkerAin an extremely satisfying wayAand everybody expects a happy ending. Which no one gets, because six months later the woman dives to her death off the Custom House tower. It turns out that everything that could go wrong with her life didAall at the same time. Everyone, including the policeAand Karen's strangely unsympathetic familyAchalks it up to a streak of extraordinarily bad luck, but Patrick is suspicious. He doesn't believe in coincidences and needs Angie's help to uncover a killer whose methods seem to put him beyond the lawAone who makes his victims do the work, by manipulating their minds and lives until suicide seems a plausible alternative. Lehane's sense of place is acute, and his ear is finely attuned to the voices of Boston's many neighborhoods, as Patrick and Angie trace Karen's downward spiral, from the exclusive, cobbled streets of Beacon Hill to the wharves and bars of the North End. As the plot twists through layers of old deceit and current corruption, the victims multiply while the killer remains elusive, protected by the terror he inspires. With sharp dialogue, inventively gruesome violence and the darkest of dark humor, Lehane's fifth novel proves again that he's the hippest heir of Hammett and Chandler. Author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Kenzie has helped a young woman who claimed that a man from her gym was stalking her and that he had in fact trashed her car. This matter is easily set right by Kenzie and his side-kick and protector, Bubba Rogowski. A few months later the young lady jumps naked from the 24th story of the Custom House Tower in Boston. Kenzie feels some moral responsibility to look in to the matter as he had neglected to return a call from the woman before heading of to Bermuda with a tempoary romantic interest and when he got back he had forgotten to call.
His looking into the matter sets him on a chilling course of events which are better read than described here. Kenzie/Gennaro/Rodowski make a formidable and somewhat entertaining team, although some of the diologue and situations strain credulity a bit. All in all, a read that you will enjoy and be reluctant to put down until the rather twisted ending is revealed.
The plot was intriguing and compelling and I somehow ended up reading the whole book in the space of one day (and most of the night!). I had never read a Kenzie / Gennaro / Rogowski crime novel before and so I was new to the characters, but they all seemed to me to be very well developed and interesting. I even liked the fact that Bubba was more like a superhero than a real life human being. However, I was shocked by some of the things that the lead characters did, for example, arranging for criminals to be beaten up severely and other shady dealings which made me a bit uncomfortable.
Overall Prayers For Rain was a great introduction for me into this series. The excellent humour was a real surprise and definitely made me read on and there was a satisfying twist at the end. The twists and turns of the plot were entertaining and the action scenes were described really well. I'll certainly be checking out other Lehane books in the future. Highly Recommended.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
The only thing I can say about Dennis Lehane is: "When's the next one going to print?" For myself, I thought 'Prayers' dialogue was a bit snappier, more colorful, than the others... Read morePublished on May 19 2004 by R. J. Nagel
'Prayers for Rain' is by far the best in the series.All of them are excellent reads of the highest order. Read morePublished on March 26 2004 by Molly
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... Read morePublished on Oct. 27 2003
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. Read morePublished on Sept. 12 2003
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?). Read morePublished on July 18 2003 by Duke
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. Read morePublished on Jan. 17 2003 by M. C. Albano