Grant's Reviews > A Drink Before the War

A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane
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's review
Sep 12, 14

bookshelves: kenzie-gennaro, crime-thrillers, action
Read in March, 2009

Absolutely stellar first novel. Great introduction into the series and really introduces us to a pair of protagonists the reader can truly invest in. It starts off with all the speed and power of a nuclear bomb, and maintains the pace until the very end. Lehane has done something magical with Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro; he's given them a sense of compassion and humanity, a stark contrast to the ugliness and inhumanity that surrounds them on all fronts. Nevertheless, this book is a strange little creature in that it's both immensely thought-provoking while also completely entertaining. There are face-offs, shoot-outs, car chases, and nail-biting confrontations all intermixed with a story that really makes one ruminate on the hopelessness of situations, society's perceptions of right and wrong, and the depravity of mankind--thematic elements that Lehane continues to examine throughout the rest of the Kenzie/Gennaro series. While the plot may not be air-tight, the realistic depiction of Kenzie and Gennaro, the heart and soul of the story, really set this novel (and series) apart from the rest in an often-times cluttered genre.
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