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A Drink Before the War | [Dennis Lehane]

A Drink Before the War

With novels like Mystic River and Shutter Island, Dennis Lehane has dramatically altered the landscape of the crime thriller—while boldly overstepping the boundaries that have long separated mystery from literature. Now two of his sensational early novels have been combined in a single volume—two gritty and mesmerizing masterworks of suspense featuring the private eye duo of Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro.
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Publisher's Summary

With novels like Mystic River and Shutter Island, Dennis Lehane has dramatically altered the landscape of the crime thriller—while boldly overstepping the boundaries that have long separated mystery from literature. Now two of his sensational early novels have been combined in a single volume—two gritty and mesmerizing masterworks of suspense featuring the private eye duo of Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro—brilliantly showcasing the unique voice and dark, exhilarating vision of a crime fiction phenomenon.

©1994 Dennis Lehane (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (537 )
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Performance
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  •  
    W. Perry Hall 02-19-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Highly Enjoyable Potboiler on Beantown Backstreets"

    Excellent, suspenseful beginning to the series. Lehane was able to create magic mojo between partners Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro from the start, for a super 1-2 Irish-Italian P.I. punch, taking it to the Boston streets, dodging bullets, brawn and barbs from 2 black street gangs and some powerful politicians.

    This is a close 2d in the series to #4 "Gone Girl." I have criticized a couple of the other (particularly, #3) in the series as being too implausible and feeling forced. While the plot in #1 could be seen by some as far-fetched, it all seemed real and true to me.

    A highly enjoyable potboiler on the backstreets of Beantown.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bubba Gazinski NJ, United States 03-05-12
    Bubba Gazinski NJ, United States 03-05-12 Member Since 2015

    bg

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    "Great book - great narration"
    What did you love best about A Drink Before the War?

    The narrator and the story. You get to know the characters, and the protagonists are likeable even if a bit flawed due to the calamities of life -> much of the underlying theme of the book is about the way things are and how they effect us. Great suspense and story.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes. Lost of twists and turns. And not a bit of


    Have you listened to any of Jonathan Davis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Not yet.


    Any additional comments?

    My negatives were that it preached a bit much about the unfairness of racism. The points were well made - just overdone and a little out of context. This didn't get in the way of my enjoyment too much.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 07-20-13
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 07-20-13 Member Since 2010

    Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Note Perfect... Haunting and Angie's HOT!"

    I was given an audio disc of Dennis Lahane's "Prayers For Rain" where I met Angela Gennaro and Patrick Kenzie. Note the order. Patrick is the story teller, but slowly and subtly Lehane pulls Angie to the top of this ensemble cast. "Prayers" gave me an appetite to start the series from the beginning... And it's important and rewarding to read this powerful series from that beginning with "A Drink Before the War". The characters change (note I don't write, "grow"} as Lehane imagines their interaction with the darkness which coats them... like a dank back-Boston alley at three in the morning.

    Lehane's a great writer and Jonathan Davis a great actor. Their collaboration's a note perfect study of existential issues... the great conundrums. What's life's mission? Agnostics? Ideological drives? Race? Gender? Greed? Love? The main characters, and many of the minor ones are complex. And like a good teacher, Lehane leaves us with more questions than answers... but a methodology for examining them... which is the essence of critical thought.

    But HEY! All of that deep stuff's easily navigated inside of the Lehane puzzle stories. Stores which may or may not be the reason that I've now read this entire series... Oh that and the fact that Angie Gennaro's reluctant gunslinging might maker her the sexiest PI working today's mystery world.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JLM Oakland, CA, United States 03-12-15
    JLM Oakland, CA, United States 03-12-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Well written!"

    I really enjoyed this book a lot. Really well crafted story, compelling character development, interesting and unique. I got it on a sale, but it would be well worth a credit. I had never read anything by him and I immediately went looking for the next Lehane book to read!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.C.D. 02-24-15
    J.C.D. 02-24-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A GREAT MYSTERY WITH A BOSTON BACKGROUND"
    What made the experience of listening to A Drink Before the War the most enjoyable?

    This book, the first in the Patrick Kenzie and Angela Genaro mysteries, is fast paced, down to earth and thoroughly entertaining. The pair of private investigators are offered a lucrative assignment to find some missing documents. Murder, gang wars and various forms of violence swathe Dorchester. A great story with a Boston background.


    What other book might you compare A Drink Before the War to and why?

    There were many shades of Robert Parker's Spencer novels in this book.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Patrick Kenzie buying cases of beer for the teenagers.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Angela Genaro finally confronting her abusive husband. "I think I just got a divorce."


    Any additional comments?

    Great story - well narrated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenny 02-18-15
    Jenny 02-18-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Could not wait to pick it up again!"

    Great cop story. Real page turner. Great narration. Great story. Can't wait for the next one! Going to use my credit now.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Hultman 02-16-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Edge of seat"

    Loved the story, and the narrator, the author wove a gripping story while tackling some of our greatest social problems

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen 02-07-15
    Karen 02-07-15

    Sassy dialogue, humor, and a great reader are important to me.

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    ""And Justice For All""
    What made the experience of listening to A Drink Before the War the most enjoyable?

    author's wit and humor comes across due to Jonathan Davis's delivery.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Dennis Lehane? Why or why not?

    I have all of this series in my wish list due to J.Davis reading them. I love the connection between Angie and Patrick so I may not buy in released order. On the fence and I am depending on the book reviews as to the next to purchase. I like the summery for #6, but the reviewers are not happy that the wonderful J.Davis was requested to do a true Bostonian accent not used on this book. J.D. deep voice does not need to be in accented form! Not sure if this author is for me. I love the Karin Slaughter Will Trent series, but alas can not listen to them as the first couple for me were way too dark and scary. I am going to buy this author one read at a time, when I usually buy the entire series all at once. If the stories turn too dark, then no on this wonderful author.


    What about Jonathan Davis’s performance did you like?

    I purchased this book due to J.D. reading it. I found this talented reader on Sandra Brown's Mean Streak and have become a great fan. Mr. Davis reading voice and pace are still the best in Mean Streak. I have been downloading new authors that J.D. reads trying to find as good a listen as Mean Streak,Note: Mystery/Romance,. J.D. makes our P.I. Partners outstanding in this book. Bubba and Detectives are very good as well. Lots of fun to hear them talking.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you audible for listing book #1 on sale for $4.95. These sales are wonderful to get listeners into a new author or reader. How can we go wrong for the price!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradley P. Valentine 02-02-15

    Ears picking up the slack so my eyes can work.

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    "Lehane doesn’t skip character for plot strategies"
    Any additional comments?

    I’m a big supporter of Dennis Lehane. He isn’t my favorite author. He’s a more than solid writer with this fine series behind him and a hand full of novels that are even better. I think his best is still ahead of him. For me, as it was for him and a lot of readers, it mostly began here. This novel. The plot isn’t the draw here. Mysteries are a dime a dozen and they’re boring. Even when you haven’t figured them out, it’s annoying to be aware of how hard they’re trying simply to spring an illusion on you. What sets Lehane apart from so many other writers is not just the tactile feeling from the world he creates, but the characters. We know that already. Nothing new in me saying that. However it’s the specialness in the bond between Angie and Patrick that makes me buy the Audible version of this book, which I already read like seven years ago. I’ll probably guy the whole Audible series because I’m a collector, a completist, a dash of sucker, and most of all a supporter of Lehane. And I miss Angie and Patrick.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gypsy999 09-15-13
    gypsy999 09-15-13 Member Since 2012

    gypsy999

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    "Good but Over-Embellished"

    The narration was definitely well-done {although not a great Boston accent}. A decent book, but a little over-embellished with trivial details that do not move the story along. Slow pacing the first half to develop the characters. There are bits that are gruesome, so be aware if you are squeamish.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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