I enjoyed this book. It seems that Lehane was just warming up for the books yet to come in this series. I had to quit reading the series because they good too gritty, too shockingly violent and graphic, and too nasty for me. This one gives a taste of what is to come, but is still bearable. Lehane has talent; he just took it in a direction that will please many--just not me.
The first in the Kenzie/Gennaro series, this book was good. I like the relationship between the main characters and the action is non-stop. However, this book gets a little too bogged down in racial tension and politics. A good story, but relied to much on shock factor. Plus, the idea of tough character Angie Gennaro being abused regularly by her husband is a little far-fetched. Otherwise, a good read for those who like PI/cop stories that are gritty and true-to-life.
This is the first book with the characters of Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, written by Dennis Lehane who also wrote Mystic River. This is an action packed crime story about justice, right and wrong and human suffering. A hard to put down book and I can't wait to read the other stories in this series.
A mystery featuring private detectives isn't exactly unchartered territory. A tough detective who likes to crack wise with the help of a violent sidekick isn't exactly original either. Considering this well worn territory,it is surprisingly just how fresh and original Patrick and Angela are. A Drink Before War, like the novels to follow, stands out not for its basic premise, but for its outstanding execution. The main characters are likable. The plot is dark but a pleasure to read. What really makes Lehane stand out though, is the way in which he tackles significant moral issues. This is even more clear with later titles like Gone Baby Gone, but in this action packed opener to the series he takes a powerful look at race relations in America. If you haven't read Lehane yet I highly recommend you start here.
"A Drink Before the War" is the first of Lehane's Kenzie/Gennaro detective stories. It's interesting and involving - especially in the set up of the main characters. Lehane is able to give insight into both without bogging down the story - interestingly, it all relates with each other, which makes the storyline more involving. The book deals heavily with race relations, but in an honest way - you can tell he is writing "real" characters, instead of preaching his point through them in an unrealistic way. A good read - definitely recommended.