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Darkness, Take My Hand (Kenzie & Gennaro #2)
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Darkness, Take My Hand (Kenzie & Gennaro #2)

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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  16,216 ratings  ·  712 reviews
The master of the new noir, Dennis Lehane magnificently evokes the dignity and savagery of working-class Boston in this terrifying tale of darkness and redemption.

Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro's latest client is a prominent Boston psychiatrist running scared from a vengeful Irish mob. The private investigators know something about cold-blooded retribution. Born and bre
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ebook, 239 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published July 12th 1996)
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Nancy
Posted at Shelf Inflicted

This second book in the Kenzie/Gennaro series is even better than the first. It retains some of the humor of the first, but is considerably darker and more violent. Bubba, the one-man army who cares for no one but Patrick and Angie, has a much more significant role which involves a fire hydrant and a bowling alley. Angie’s abusive ex-husband, Phil, has quit drinking and starts to show his decent side to a point where I actually began to like the guy. Patrick now has a s
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Dan 1.0
Just when things are going great for both of them, Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are hired by a psychiatrist to find out who's stalking her son. Meanwhile, Patrick runs into a troubled girl from the neighborhood. But what do these two things have to do with an imprisioned psychopath who wants to speak with Patrick?

One of these days, I'm going to learn my lesson and have Kemper and Nancy pick out all my books for me. Kenzie and Gennaro are rapidly climbing my detective hierarchy.

Things have
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Kemper
“If you and your partner aren’t civilians and you’re not cops, then what are you?”

I shrugged. “Two idiots who aren’t half as tough as we thought we were.”

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In media res is a cute little story telling trick where the writer starts in the middle or with the aftermath of the action and then drops hints and clues about what occurs in what you’re about to read. It works really well if it’s some kind series where you already know the characters. I’m a complete sucker for this tactic, and Lehane uses
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Mara
May 25, 2014 Mara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mara by: Richard, Kemper, James, Trudi
Hot on the heels of finishing A Drink Before the War , I felt ready for another dose of Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro in my life. Actually, rave reviews for this second volume In Dennis Lehane's detective duo series were what lead me to read the first. After all, what girl can resist a promise of serial murders and Boston days of yore? Not this one.

The case starts off simply enough, a psychiatrist receives a photograph of her son and a menacing phone call, possibly Mafia associated, and Pa
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Magdalena
In this book Patrick has started a relationship with Grace, a young doctor with a daughter, and Angie has divorced Phil. But their life will soon be turned upside down. A psychiatrist hires Angie and Patrick to watch over her son who she is scared is a target by the Irish mafia. But they never imagine what the case will do to their life...

This book grabbed a hold on me from the beginning and kept it hold until the end. The first book was good, this book was awesome. The story was tragic, disturb
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Tfitoby
It's like a James Patterson. Only, you know, good.

It might seem churlish of me to criticise a 510 page book that I finished (and enjoyed) in record breaking time as being too populist to be truly great but the fact of the matter is that this series jumped from what I might consider hard-boiled and noir in to thriller territory marked for mass consumption by people who prefer their font to be on the larger size in the space of one book.

I complained in my review of book 1 that Lehane drifted far t
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Jonathan Peto
The blurb on the back cover refers to a serial killer. Usually that would be a show stopper for me, because serial killers do not fascinate me at all, especially the Mensa type that seem to overpopulate thrillers. If not for Lehane's reputation, especially among various friends here on Goodreads, I'm sure I would have passed. Lehane's serial killer does spout some spooky stupid mumbo jumbo, but by the time I got to it, I didn't give a hoot.

This is Lehane's second novel. I read and enjoyed his fi
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Teresa
"não somos nada, nenhum de nós, para além de um monte de órgãos e veias e músculos e válvulas suspensos em correntes de sangue, escondidos por exteriores frágeis, de uma vaidade inútil."

Este livro reconciliou-me com a literatura policial.
As minhas últimas incursões neste género revelaram-se verdadeiramente decepcionantes, por não corresponderem ao que aprecio num livro policial:
1. A Escrita.
Gosto de ler palavras e frases que me envolvam na história e me criem empatia com as personagens, de uma
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Richard
9/10

Me and the little lady were planning on going to New England in the “Fall” and, among other areas, visiting Boston. This book did enough to make me have a re-think on that one! I mean there are serial killers roaming around for a number of years going undetected, mafia folk doing what mafia folk do (making people swim with the fishes), psychotic friends who like to use fire hydrants as a beating tool, and two private eye’s who are trying to figure out the whole sorry mess.

But that is just th
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Hallie
Well, that was fun! A bit light and fluf...

Okay, no, it wasn't. I seem to have been on a roll of much grimmer than I'd expect to like books that have worked for me despite everything. There are a couple of reasons this one did, and one of them is a bit of denial/compartmentalization (unless it isn't?) that I have to do. I can *just* manage to read books with high body-counts, and extreme violence or cruelty if the author doesn't seem to be saying that all humans are deeply cruel at some fundamen
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Rob
I know I'm supposed to reserve my adoration for authors who are stylistic experimenters, boundary pushers, pioneers in voice and structure. But damn it all if I don't find authors like Dennis Lehane more impressive for how they take familiar genres and breathe life into them. I'll wrestle manfully with the latest Pynchon, for instance, but I won't enjoy it half as much as I enjoyed Darkness, Take My Hand. The second of Lehane's Kenzie/Gennaro books, it's a wholly original take on the private det ...more
Anastasia
È inutile che io cerchi di essere obiettiva con Lehane.

Ritrovare il binomio Kenzie-Gennaro dopo due mesi e passa è il calore in persona. Non che loro abbiano da offrire thé, pasticcini e chiacchierate su quanto sia bella la vita, ma è bello sapere che dopo una giornata scolastica sfiancante andrai a letto, aprirai il libro e Kenzie, per quanto abbia veramente bisogno di un antidolorifico per l'anima, sarà lì e continuerà a raccontarti dell'indagine, del suo mondo e di lui ed Angie, senza esclude
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J.P.
If there currently is a better author at revealing the darker side of human nature than Dennis Lehane, I’d like to know who it is because he’s the best at it in my opinion. This is the 6th book I’ve read by him, and I have thoroughly enjoyed them all.
Once again we have the team of Kenzie and Gennaro at work. What starts off looking like an ordinary case for our detectives quickly evolves into one with more sinister overtones. There’s action aplenty as the duo again collect injuries like trading
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Bryce Wilson
I read this book on a five hour trip in the worst Amtrack in the country.

The reason I was on the Amtrack was because I had to come home after putting my beloved Labrador, who I've had since I was 10 to sleep, this being after I watched her suffer from a bad case of bowel cancer for two days. The entire trip consisted of Guilt, depression, and a severe case of nicotine depravation.

My traveling companions consisted of a mildly retarded woman who sang along with her Ipod the whole time, a man who
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Katie
Audiobook re-read August 2014

Not much to add. Though I did again appreciate the way the darkness affects the characters. It's not something they brush off.

Original Review

This might be more of a 4.5 stars, rounding up, but any book that can keep me up way too late more than one night is probably pretty good.

This was a lot darker than the first one, but I appreciate the way the characters wrestle with the darkness and the idea of what it does to THEM.

I was more invested in the relationship this ti
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Bill
After devouring this novel I was drained. This is the second in Lehane's series featuring private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro and it really packs a wallup.

The first novel, A Drink Before the War, did a fine job of introducing these characters, along with an adequate story. This novel digs deep into the relationships of these people, and all the while we're being pulled through a harrowing serial killer mystery.

Lehane has pulled out all the stops here. Sure, there are many au
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Harry
Hmmmm...someone liked one of my reviews and I checked out this person's reading list as well as their reviews and heard mention somewhere in there a sentence or two about heroes, one likeable, the other...well, more along the lines of a sociopath. Dennis Lehane, among other authors was mentioned in this respect.

As always, my curiosity was piqued, and although I checked out the other named authors I did finally settle on Dennis Lehane. It was a good decision. Perhaps one of the best reading decis
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Rex Fuller
This is fine work. That is a considered judgment, made after thinking about the book for several days after I finished it. I won't mention what I objected to because they are probably nothing more than quibbles that may not even bother anyone else. Instead, my full-throated opinion is this is great entertainment, well worth reading by anyone who likes a mystery or a thriller. I especially liked the "kill the roaches" freely meted out.
Jim
Wow! I couldn't put this down for the last 150 pages or so. It was much better than the first book, which was pretty good. The characters had more depth & the situation or plot was just fantastically twisted, but so realistic. Very exciting & well done. I can't wait to read the next.

Nancy, thanks so much for turning me on to this series & allowing me to mooch the books from you!
Paul
This was a monthly book club selection. We wanted to read something in the hard-boiled detective/noir fiction category, and several reviews applied those labels to this novel.

One of the characteristics of noir fiction is a flawed protagonist. Patrick Kenzie is certainly that, so, yeah, noir. Now I don't know where this is written down, but to me a central characteristic of hard-boiled detective fiction is the dispassionate, literal presentation of facts: "She reached for her gun. I shot her. 'Yo
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Andy
So, I am on the mystery kick, and it has definitely taken hold of me. I heard about Lehane from a colleague, gave him a try with the first book in the Kenzie & Gennaro series, really liked it, and then continued on with the second, which I believe to be much better than the first one. The story is solid, the characters are wonderfully built, and the resolution is completely satisfying.

The story here in Darkness, Take My Hand is complex and has a lot of levels of story to it. The way the sto
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Tim
Don't let the warm, familiar start fool you. The friendships that are built by the early chapters are there only to be torn apart by one of the meanest, cruelest villains you will ever read. There are plenty of dirty and dark secrets to be discovered in this tight Boston community, and you will watch on, enthralled, as each discovery takes its toll - a psychological battering as bad as any physical violence the story metes out. All of this, the violence, the terror, the deception, is orchestrate ...more
Duane
Darkness, Take My Hand by Dennis Lehane is the second novel in the Kenzie and Gennaro private-eye series and an unbelievable leap forward in all ways imaginable for this gifted writer. Lehane knows how to write great characters and has a finely-tuned ear for crisp, flowing dialogue. I love the Kenzie/Gennaro dynamic. This is a book filled with more plot twists than you would think possible, but it all runs smoothly together in one big mish-mash of the perfect crime novel.
Tatiana
I hadn't read a Kenzie and Gennaro mystery in awhile, but the series is exactly as I remember it: scary as hell and just as addictive. It can be gruesome, and so can real life. What's scariest, though, is the human element. This isn't a superhero story; the evil isn't a robot or supernatural being. Everybody is equal flesh and bone, and everybody is capable of anything--though for different motives. Moral ambiguity at its finest.

The theme of this installment was unsuspecting offspring paying fo
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Andre
It is easy to see Dennis Lehane's growth as an author while reading Darkness, Take My Hand. All of the characters are much more fully developed than in A Drink Before the War. Their relationships with each other have grown. One of the pitfalls of many series is that the authors develop one or two relationships as the series progresses, but all relationships change over time. Lehane did a masterful job of developing and changing all of the relationships between Patrick, Angie, Bubba, Devin, and O ...more
Sean
Oct 03, 2009 Sean rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody
Easily one of the best and scariest mystery novels ever written.

Those of you who know me —or my writing— are aware of my intimate relationship with hyperbole. I love saying "This is one of the best ____ ever" or "One of the greatest _____ of all time." This time, I really, really mean it. You can choose to take what I say with a grain of salt, that's entirely your choice, but I am 100% serious, 0% hyperbolic when I tell you that Dennis Lehane's Darkness, Take My Hand is among the best detective
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Sue
Fantastic book, really really well written. There were scenes when I just couldn't put it down, then I'd get a breath, and then it would start all over again! Things unfolded clearly, and I enjoyed how the childhood memories were slowly unravelled and worked into the plot. There are only two reasons I gave this four stars instead of five: all things are nicely wrapped up in the end, but one resolution made me sad. I wanted to slap a character and scream how selfish she was. So that's not really ...more
Megan
I skipped straight to this book in the Kenzie/Gennaro series. A few of the plot elements reminded me of Mystic River, the only other Lehane book I'd read so far, and I think some names were recycled (it's been a while since I read MR, so I'm not sure).

I'm not over serial killer crime fiction, and so I found the plot of this one super engaging if sometimes painfully predictable. (Yes. Leave the fresh-faced rookie cop as the only one guarding two people who've been threatened by a team of serial k
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Craig
Darkness, Take My Hand is at once a more ambitious book than its predecessor, A Drink Before the War, and one that is more flawed. The plot's developments are devastating, the characters achieve dimensions far beyond the first novel, and the writing is uniformly crisp across the board, though Lehane makes Kenzie less of a cynical wisecracker in the mold of Marlowe and focuses more on his darker sides, leaving the book with fewer of the very clever asides that marked much of Drink Before the War. ...more
Tom Gase
One of my favorite authors has come through again. It seems now as if I'm reading a Dennis Lehane novel now about every three months at least and it might become even more frequent now as the last three I've read were all 5-star books and one of them is probably in my top 15-20 books of all time (The Given Day).
This book is the second in the Patrick Kenzie, Angie Gennaro series (they made a movie out of the fourth book, Gone Baby Gone). I have to say this one was a lot darker than the second bo
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Dennis Lehane (born Aug 4th, 1966) is an American author. He has written several novels, including the New York Times bestseller Mystic River, which was later made into an Academy Award winning film, also called Mystic River, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon (Lehane can be briefly seen waving from a car in the parade scene at the end of the film). The ...more
More about Dennis Lehane...

Other Books in the Series

Kenzie & Gennaro (6 books)
  • A Drink Before the War (Kenzie & Gennaro, #1)
  • Sacred (Kenzie & Gennaro, #3)
  • Gone, Baby, Gone (Kenzie & Gennaro, #4)
  • Prayers for Rain (Kenzie & Gennaro, #5)
  • Moonlight Mile (Kenzie & Gennaro,#6)
Shutter Island Mystic River A Drink Before the War (Kenzie & Gennaro, #1) Gone, Baby, Gone (Kenzie & Gennaro, #4) The Given Day (Coughlin #1)

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“But I often think we talk way too much in this society, that we consider verbalization a panacea that it very often is not, and that we turn a blind eye to the sort of morbid self-absorption that becomes a predictable by-product of it.” 13 likes
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