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Darkness, Take My Hand: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – Jul 1 1997

4.4 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; Reprint edition (July 1 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380726289
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380726288
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,080,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

In Darkness, Take My Hand, Dennis Lehane gives readers an authentic view of the Boston suburb of Dorchester, the scene of A Drink Before the War, winner of the Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America. Dorchester, a solid blue-collar town with no shortage of good spots at which to sully up to the bar for a beer, is tarnished by a 20-year string of strangely similar killings. Patrick Kenzie, a local, becomes the improbable hero of this tale when he makes it his business to solve the slayings. The characters he encounters in Dorchester, with their distinctive accents and colorful pasts, make this mystery not only thrilling, but wildly entertaining. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In his outstanding second novel, Lehane (whose debut, A Drink Before the War, won a Shamus award) explores horror close to home. Boston PIs Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro agree to help psychiatrist Diandra Warren. Her patient, using the name Moira Kenzie, has said she was abused by Kevin Hurlihy, a sociopathic Irish Mafia henchman who grew up in Angie and Patrick's neighborhood. Hurlihy may have threatened the doctor, who fears that her son, Jason, may be in danger. While Patrick and Angela shadow Jason, another former neighbor, Kara Rider, is found crucified. Sensing a connection, Patrick seeks out a retired cop turned saloonkeeper who recalls a hushed-up crucifixion murder in the neighborhood 20 years ago. The suspect in that killing is in prison, so he can't be murdering again, can he? As Patrick probes painful memories, he faces losing the woman he loves, Grace Cole, who is appalled at the brutality invading their lives. By the time Patrick and Angie realize how the murders relate to their own youth, they are the next targets. The showdown is unpredictable, like the New England autumn which, in Lehane's depiction, is informed by a wind "so chilly and mean it seemed the exhalation of a Puritan god." The story is densely peopled with multidimensional characters; there are no forgettable, walk-on roles on Lehane's stage. Lehane's voice, original, haunting and straight from the heart, places him among that top rank of stylists who enrich the modern mystery novel. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 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

Format: Mass Market Paperback
First, I thought the book was excellent. Great writing, very visually descriptive and nicely put together. Excellent characters that are complex and believable and interesting. I can see why Mr. Lehane uses them again and again in his future novels (a male and female pair of Private Detectives). The book is written in the first person primarily, which I normally don't care for but works well here because it's not overdone (thus giving the reader many perspectives). The villains and situations are very dark (as the title suggests) and I would compare Mr. Lehane's "monsters" to the likes of Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lector although the descriptions of the acts done on others are not quite as graphic (which can be a plus, if you're reading while eating lunch for example). The plot is a clever mystery and realistic on all levels especially regarding the main character's (Patrick) relationships with the other characters in the novel. If you enjoy authors like Patricia Cornwell or Thomas Harris or Phillip Margolin, then I recommend you try this novel. You won't be disappointed.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is not Lehane writing in the intellectual, psychological vein of "Mystic River," which I found brilliant. This is one of his Kenzie/Gennaro mysteries. They're darker (if you can believe it), pulpier, extremely violent, but highly readable page-turners. I have to admit that, for me, all the killing (psychotic torture, in this one) became more than a bit wearing, and ultimately produced an "oh,come on -- enough already" attitude on my part. I guess serial killers really do exist, but the plot of "Darkness, Take My Hand" ended up being just a bit too ridiculously unbeleavable, in my opinion. And I'm beginning to sour on Pat and Angela, whose morals are at best questionable. (Are all cops and PIs in Boston truly this cavalier about justice and the worth of human life -- even the bad guys? And if their good pal and psycho bodyguard Bubba is comic relief, I guess I have no sense of humor.) Lastly, the main villain's identity was pretty clear from mid-book. All-in-all, in "Darkness" Lehane is trying to muscle in on Hannibal Lecter territory, with limited success. It's a good disposable read, but one that's highly flawed.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dennis Lehane kept me up late last night. I had begun reading 'Darkness, Take My Hand,' and I couldn't put it down. The prologue sets up what promises to be a very tragic story, and Lehane delivers. The prologue leaves a few questions unanswered, and you have to read through the novel to find out what the answers really are.
The second novel in the Kenzie/Gennaro series finds Patrick Kenzie accepting employment from a woman who has recently received a threatening phone call and a picture of her college son in the mail. Quite simply, she wants Kenzie and his partner Angie Gennaro to find out who is stalking her.
Kenzie and Gennaro suspect that the ghoulish Kevin Hurlihy of the Irish mafia in Massachussetts in involved. A quick meeting with the Irish mafia casts a cloud over this suspicion and subsequent work on the case raises new suspects. An old acquaintance of Kenzie's is murdered in grizzly fashion, and Kenzie is left wondering if this has anything to do with the case he is working on.
From this point on, the novel becomes somewhat complicated. The investigation into the threatening calls and photographs grows to include a serial killer or maybe two. The police force, FBI, and Kenzie's walking terror of a friend named Bubba all get involved.
Other crime fiction writers would do well to study Lehane's work. He has mastered the ability to create suspense and tension in a way that so many other authors in the genre have not realized yet. Kenzie and Gennaro, plus the law enforcement officers that work around them, actually do detective work and do not wait for all the clues to conveniently fall in their lap. Lehane finds ways to include twists that aren't quite as shocking as surprising as say James Patterson's, but highly effective.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
For a detective thriller, this isn't exactly light reading. Like the title warns you, it is indeed dark, and peers into a darkness within the souls of the characters.
The prologue sets us up to be prepared for some rather serious and unhappy occurances in the book...maybe not what we expect, but still we're warned that this book won't be all fun and games.
The woman who hires Kenzie fears that she and her son are being targeted and this leads him eventually into the tracking of a serial killer who may have been involved with murders that occured 20 years ago. Eventually, he finds connections even with his own family and neighborhood.
There's an undercurrent in the novel touching on how violence poisons the inner being of all involved, a theme that apparantly is recurrent in Lehane's books.
There's genuine literary quality in Lehane's writings. There's also a tragic and fatalistic aura about his stories. Kenzie is faced not only with the challenge of doing the jobs he's hired for but also with the challenge of retaining his own soul, his own feeling of rightness.
This works both as a well plotted mystery and also as a walk on the very dark side of human nature.
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