Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Darkness Take My Hand by Dennis Lehane is one of those books that grabs you by the throat and refuses to let go until the last, brutal page. I read Mystic River and Shutter Island by Lehane but steered clear of his PI books featuring the team of Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro.
That was a huge mistake.
I love the way Lehane writes, he truly makes you feel as if you are along for a pulse pounding ride with the characters. He writes with such emotion and naked truth that you cannot but glimpse the dark side of life and how it affects his protagonists. This story, like most that he writes, starts with a simple premise that explodes into a twisty landscape one can barely hold on to. Lehane shifts the mysteries within his book with a deft hand and pulls the reader from a confrontation with a mob enforcer to a story of a twisted serial killer looking for revenge against a mob that killed his partner. The twists are breath-taking and the writing elegant. Lehane is a master and this book stands out for me above all else. He examines the worst of us and finds a strange, twisted beauty beneath the darkness. All the Patrick Kenzie books are incredible and he writes few unmemorable bit players. The character Bubba, a childhood friend of the protagonist is an example: he is a psychopathic, homicidal, near-warlord, arms dealer who just happens to like the flawed hero of the story.
This was the book that reignited a love for mysteries I felt I had lost. I tend to have one guy for areas of the US (Pelecanos for DC, Burke for NO) Lehane is, and will always be, my Boston guy.