Dying billionaire Trevor Stone hires private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaroto find his missing daughter. Grief-stricken over the death of her mother and the impending death of her father, Desiree Stone has been missing for three weeks. So has the first investigator Stone hired to find her: Jay Becker, Patrick's mentor.
Patrick and Angie are led down a trail of half-truths and corruption into a world in which a therapeutic organization may be fronting for a dangerous and seductive cult, a high-tech private investigation firm may be covering up lethal crimes, and a stolen cache of millions in illegal funds may be tied to both disappearances and a tanker full of heroin. Nothing is what it seems as the detectives travel from the windblown streets of Boston to the rum-punch sunsets of Florida's Gulf Coast. And the more Patrick and Angie discover, the more they realize that on this case any wrong step will certainly be their last . . .
Snappy dialogue, explosive action scenes, and original characters have become Dennis Lehane's trademarks. With Sacred, Lehane confirms his status as today's hottest young author of first-rate mysteries that are also smartly written literary novels.
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Once again, too much of a good thing.
The relationship between Patrick and Angie is very well written. They have become almost like real characters in my life, which is evidence of good writing. Their dialogue is witty and the feeling between them is deep and complicated. The problem with the book is something I have said before about Mr. Lehane: he just doesn't know when to stop. The second half of the book is gigantic padding, with gore and viciously murdered bodies flying around everywhere. The plot twists become so outrageously overwritten as to become cartooonish. What starts out as a clever idea, the cult-like church which preys on young people with trust funds, is pushed so far beyond the limit that the whole thing devolves into utterly unreal "murder-for-hire" stuff which has been done to death. A book half the length of this one would have been far, far, far, far....you get the point.
Anticipating the next question, I feel that the narrative skills of Jonathan Davis are so good that in some ways it doesn't matter that the book is weighed down by tired cliches. His voice is rich and very easy on the ears, as it were. He is funny (all right, Mr. Lehane is funny, too) and deadly serious and true to all of the material. Next to Edoardo Ballerini (high praise, indeed, coming from me), he is the best narrator around. Maybe Victor Bevine, the narrator of Timothy Hallinan's books, is just a little bit better.
I just answered this question. I like just about everything he does. The book would be much less enjoyable if read by a narrator of lesser skills. I will look for other books that Mr. Davis has narrated.
That is too complicated a question to be answered easily. One of Mr. Lehane's books, The Drop, was recently made into an extraordinarily watchable movie. It was the last work that James Gandolfini ever did, and knowing this makes his performance even richer than it is. Plus, the lead actor is Tom Hardy, who is, again, IMHO, one of the best actors around today. Go see him in any other movie you can find him in. You'll be delighted and amazed with his virtuosity as an actor, and his ability to climb into various characters. At this, he is almost as good as Cate Blanchett, which is saying a whole lot, believe me. I think that she is the best actor alive today.
One of the best things about The Drop is that it is half the length of Mr. Lehane's other books. I didn't know this when I saw the movie, but it proves without a doubt that, in some areas of life, less is indeed more. Brevity is the soul of wit, as some famous guy once said.
- Richard Delman "I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get."
A pure page-turner
- Benny Profane "RKM"