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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Widely misunderstood and under appreciated
Here’s the thing. I don’t think SACRED is intended to be the same kind of installment as the other Patrick and Angie novels. This one is more laid back. The mystery angle is kind of pushed to the back-burner, treated as the McGuffin it is, and we get a little more of what really makes ths series worth reading. That is to say Patrick and Angie. It’s clear to me that Lehane by now is getting tired of building a better mouse trap, if you know what I mean. Writing a mystery with a “gotcha” ending and everything else is like building a machine. It’s mechanical and ultimately little more than a magic trick that has to get boring when you’re doing it year in and year out. At this point Lehane was on this third Patrick and Angie book. You can feel him just wanting to do away with conventions and write about PEOPLE. Frankly I would have dug that. I think a lot of us would. Also I’m from Tampa, and it was awesome reading these beloved characters occupy the same place as me. I rarely get that because Tampa isn’t exactly L.A., New York or even Miami.
The books immediately following SACRED are GONE BABY GONE and MYSTIC RIVER, arguably Lehane’s two most famous novels and masterpieces. While Lehane perfects his “mousetraps,” he also allows a hell of a lot more room for his characters to exists beyond that. He always did, but this is another level. Sacred was kind of a transition, I think.
I love SACRED. It stands apart from the other Patrick and Angie novel, and I’m glad. It’s more relaxed. Breezier. The most like spending time with good friends before they’re put through the ringer in subsequent books.
Looking at reviews, SACRED is kind of a love it or hate it thing. I don’t get how fans of the series, true fans, could possibly hate it.
- Bradley P. Valentine
another good Dennis Lehane story, well read