A Drink Before The War (Kenzie and Gennaro #1) by Dennis LeHane

Book Description:

Published: September 15, 2003

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Kenzie and Gennaro are private investigators in the blue-collar neighborhoods and ghettos of South Boston-they know it as only natives can. Working out of an old church belfry, Kenzie and Gennaro take on a seemingly simple assignment for a prominent politician: to uncover the whereabouts of Jenna Angeline, a black cleaning woman who has allegedly stolen confidential state documents.
Finding Jenna, however, is easy compared to staying alive once they’ve got her. The investigation escalates, implicating members of Jenna’s family and rival gang leaders while uncovering extortion, assassination, and child prostitution extending from bombed-out ghetto streets to the highest levels of government.

Review –

I was lucky enough to find the audio version of this, the first in the Kenzie and Gennaro series on OverDrive and it was fantastic.

A Drink Before The War is the story of Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, private investigators who have been hired by a politician to find some missing documents believed to have been stolen by a cleaning lady. Their job is to find the cleaning lady (who has gone missing), recover the documents and return them to the politician. Although it sounds like a pretty cut-and-dried case, things start getting complicated when the cleaning lady is located and she lets the PIs in on a secret that starts up one of the bloodiest gang wars that the Boston area has ever seen.

Before they know it, Patrick and Angie are right in the middle of the action, and both of the rival gangs want them dead. To complicate matters, Patrick is still trying to come to terms with the ghost of his abusive father, and Angie goes home every night to a husband who has a tendency to leave her with black eyes and bloody lips. Over the course of the novel, Patrick and Angie must find a way to defeat their personal demons while desperately searching for a way out of the death sentence they seem to be facing.

A Drink Before the War is a  well-paced thriller that not only features an excellent and thought-provoking plot, but also interesting and deep characters. It’s no wonder that Lehane has gone on to write more novels featuring Patrick and Angie. They are certainly two of the best protagonists featured in a current mystery series.

Loved it and will continue to read this series.

 

The Stonecutter (Fjallbacka #3) by Camilla Lackberg

Book Description:

Published: May 1, 2012

The remote resort town of Fjällbacka has seen its share of tragedy, though perhaps none worse than that of the little girl found in a fisherman’s net. But this was no accidental drowning . . .

Local detective Patrik Hedström has just become a father. It’s his grim task to discover who could be behind the murder of a child both he and his partner Erica knew well. What he does not know is how this case will reach into the dark heart of Fjällbacka, spanning generations, ripping aside its idyllic façade, perhaps forever.
Review –

This is an amazing story dating back to 1923 and a poor stonecutter, who really has a minor (in my estimation) role in the story, but it is true to say that without him there would have been NO story.

The story shows how a lack of kindness to children and repeated punishment and neglect can turn them into hateful evil adults and that’s what happens here.

There are surprise twists around every corner and keeps you turning the pages or listening with a closer ear (as in my case). This book is translated from the Swedish and the narrator is wonderful at correctly pronouncing the names of the characters and the places of the region.

Wonderful mystery and a very pleasant read.

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Losing Hope (Hopeless #2) by Colleen Hoover

Book Description:

Published: July 8, 2013

In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.

Review –

This is Holder’s story. 

We see a lot of his past – it’s heart breaking and devastating but we live it with him. I went through everything with him. I felt his anger, his loss, his fears. When he fucked up, I cringed. When he was happy, my heart overflowed.

There were scenes that gave me  chills – from head to toe.  There were moments where I just closed my eyes and sat there sobbing, letting the emotions sink in, you know how I love tear-jerkers.

While so much of this book is just completely new, even the scenes that are the same as in Hopeless feel SO special when you read them because 1) they are just awesome scenes to relive period, and 2) the slightly different angle on them gives them just enough of a twist to make you fall in love with them all over again.

This book has it all -pain, devastation, love, loss, hope and closure.

Great series.

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Blaze by Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman

From Publishers Weekly

Clayton Blaze Blazedell Jr.’s chance for a normal life ended when his father repeatedly threw him down a flight of stairs. After finishing his adolescence in an orphanage, the large man with a striking dent in his forehead plays sidekick to George, a social deviant with a knack for cons. However, when George is killed, Blaze must come up with a con of his own. With George’s ghost to guide him, Blaze just might pull it off. Stephen King’s last novel under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman has all the classic markings of the auteur, but is marred even before it starts by King’s introduction, where he almost apologizes for publishing the book. Having narrated several King books already, McLarty already knows the author’s syntax. His raspy but gentle narration provides a familiar and comforting voice for King fans. His rasp lightens up when delivering the slow-witted Blaze, but then deepens for George’s scratchy voice. His old-timer Maine accents also produce a smile, when not evoking mental images of grizzled old semitoothed men.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Review-
This, I believe, is the first book I’ve read by Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman, so I don’t have anything to compare it to.  I will put that on my TO DO LIST – Read another “Richard Bachman” book.
This was the second time that I have listened to this book.  I enjoyed it the first time but this time not so much. It seemed boring and slow.  The story line is good, very much like OF MICE AND MEN, only in this story the more dominate character is dead and talks to Blaze in his head.  I’m glad I listened to it again because now I know I don’t want to eve4r listen to it again.  I will either give it away or sell it on Ebay.