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.
©1997 Dennis Lehane (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers
"There is scarcely any passion without struggle." Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays
I've rather enjoyed other novels by Mr. Lehane, intriguing and provocative with varying degrees of the realism necessary for suspending disbelief.
This novel, which I hope is an aberration, shows none of the grittiness, suspense or tension between the sexes present in his prior novels. Rather, in "Sacred," Lehane feeds you a successive line of disconnected bulls**t, and asks you to buy the ranch, to boot. Though, if you successfully make it past the many mounds of it, you need not wash the caca from your boots; the most forgettable suspense novels in recent years is, at the least, self-cleaning.
This isn't quite as good as some of the earlier Lehane's in this series. The story is a little more improbable, and the social commentary not quite as sharp as the earlier stories. You certainly still care about the main characters, and the bad people are really bad. The conclusion was ingenious, and it worked.
It starts off with a thinly veiled parody of scientology, but you will never anticipate the plot twists Lehane has in store for you. Lehane is a gifted writer who just happens to write mystery/thrillers. I judge my audible purchases by the ones that force me to take detours from my driving destination in order to listen a bit more. Or force me to stay on the treadmill a few minutes longer. This one did that. Repeatedly. Davis does an excellent job with the narration. Highly recommended.
Ears picking up the slack so my eyes can work.
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.
Its a fascinating tale that would begin on may 5th, 1989 in Mease Dunedin hospital and from there the legacy grew. I am adult now.
Another instant classic by Dennis Lehane filled with corruption. And the lapse in moral judgment. Picking up where darkness take my hand left off.
Lehane is a fantastic story teller. Kept me guessing the whole time. I've listened to the first three in three weeks. On to #4...
I am moving from number 1 in the series to the end re Patrick and Angela. Dennis Lehane
captures Boston and creates riveting mysteries. Johnathan Davis is the voice for these books. The combination entices you to overshoot your destination just so you can keep on listening.
Jonathan Davis' pefromance
Spent some more time with it
Maybe-the screenplay may be better
I think Mr. Lehane is among the very best authors out there today -and a personal favorite of mine. However, this book was uninspired. I am looking forward to his next.
I'm a little torn reviewing this book, because I really like Kenzie and Gennaro and have enjoyed many other of Lehane's novels featuring them......however the actual plot and the other characters are not that great in this installment. I did like the Scientology-like "counselling" institute, but much of the rest of the story was pretty predictable, and the secondary characters and villains were rather flat and predictable. Lehane's style is still good and I enjoyed the narration, so in that way this is a compelling -- but ultimately lightweight -- audiobook. Not up to the level of many of Lehane's other novels, like Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, and A Drink Before the War.
I am a 67 year old psychologist. I have been married for 28 years, with two sons who are 27 and 24. I love listening to the books.
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.
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