Dennis Lehane, Shamus Award-winner for A Drink Before the War and
Darkness, Take My Hand, produces his third Kenzie and Gennaro novel with
Not unlike a '90s version of Chandler's The Big Sleep, we find Kenzie and Gennaro
hired by dying billionaire Trevor Stone to find his daughter, Desiree. Kenzie's mentor, Jay
Becker, was hired first, and has disappeared in St. Petersburg, Florida, while working the
case. Kenzie and Gennaro head off to Florida to pick up the trail where they meet all sorts of
street-life and risk their lives in some very bruising encounters. Desiree, the billionaire
daughter, is, of course, a sweet and law abiding beauty...according to her father - but nothing
could be further from the truth.
With terrific dialogue, a noir setting where good is bad and the truth is lies, Lehane manages
to produce a passable thriller with spills and chills aplenty. Perhaps concentrating too much on
characterisation and not enough on plot (there isn't much of one...) Lehane produces an
entertaining mystery, but not one that is of the standard of his first two award-winning books.
"Darkness, Take My Hand" and "A Drink Before the War" succeeded in keeping the reader off-
balance with unexpected twists and turns. Sacred fails in this regard and reads as if it was
written for Bruce Willis to star in the movie...cars crashing, people screaming...you get the
picture. It all depends on whether you like that sort of fare.