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Publisher's Summary

What if a total stranger was watching your every move? What if he read your mail, listened in on your phone calls, knew what you spoke of only to your most trusted confidants? What if he learned Your routines? Your weaknesses? And, most important, what if he discovered those things you love and cling to . . . and then he stripped you of them? And sat back to watch while you self-destructed?

Boston private investigator Patrick Kenzie is about to anger such a man.

When Patrick first meets Karen Nichols, she strikes him as the kind of woman who irons her socks—an innocent from a protected upbringing, untouched by tragedy. But six months later Karen commits suicide by leaping from one of Boston's most cherished monuments. Patrick finds himself wondering what can alter someone so drastically, so quickly, that suicide seems her only option. Yet what begins as idle curiosity soon becomes obsessive as Patrick suspects that the tragic events that befell Karen during the last months of her life - an "accident" that destroyed her fiance; the loss of her job, her apartment, and eventually her mind - may not have been as random as they first appeared.

Enlisting the aid of his ex-partner and ex-flame, Angela Gennaro, as well as that of his friend, the lethally unbalanced Bubba Rogowski, Patrick enters into a treacherous game of cat-and-mouse with a man who, instead of merely killing his victims, prefers to make them wish they were dead. Through the final weeks of a stifling summer, Patrick, Angie, and Bubba wage psychological warfare with this brilliant, depraved sociopath - a war that will bring them face-to-face with the sordid secrets of an affluent family, a brutal Mafioso, a cabal of twisted kidnappers, and a perilous encounter in the misty dark of a cranberry bog.

As the stakes grow higher and more personal, they find they might be fighting a losing battle against an enemy the law can't touch, who is always one step ahead of them, who is gradually learning their weaknesses, their loves, and is determined to tear their worlds apart.

©1999 Dennis Lehane (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 09-05-15

Better than Burke B-4 He Preached!

Once upon a time James Lee Burke was the poet of crime fiction. Then he turned Dave Robicheaux into a blunt polemicist for his own politics. Still, those early Burke books were like reading melodies. Well, Dennis Lehane has that power to poetry without the propaganda. And in an entirely different way, Jonathan Davis rivals the legendary Mark Hammer as a story teller.

Look, "Prayers For Rain" ain't great literature, but it is hot mystery writing. And Kenzie and Gennaro are one of the memorable partnerships. Okay... this is a bloody book, Lehane does that, along with dimming the story lights to a darkness that's almost spooky.

But once again, after more than a year away from this ensemble, it was like coming home. I'll get another one in the series and the only advice I've got for you is to start at the beginning to avoid spoilers that might ruin your enjoyment in watching these people grow as the epic unfolds.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Finally--more Lehane

Dennis Lehane is a favorite of mine and I am thrilled to see Audible adding a couple of his titles. Please add more. While there is an order to the Angie-Patrick books, they're great in or out of that order.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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A Dark, Depthless Diversion

I enjoyed this one. While the mixture of Kenzie and Gennaro and their dialogue seemed genuine and action suspenseful, the plot and the characters surrounding it were too stereotypical and implausible.

A dark diversion without depth.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • lyl
  • nashville, tn, United States
  • 10-24-11

Lehane never lets you down,

If you want a thriller. with some depth to it, then Dennis Lehane is your man. Charactors are 3 dimentional, plots are interesting and the narrator is perfect. And if you like this author, try Tana French.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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I cant get enough of these books!

If you love mystery stories then you'll love this book. You have to start with the first of the series though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Too wordy, too implausible

What would have made Prayers for Rain better?

Long passages about the shag carpet, the cranberry bog, the sunset, the car engine etc. were annoying - it slowed the pace to a crawl in some places and you just wanted to scream - get back to the story all ready! <br/><br/>Also, the bad guy was really bad and the good guy had so very many opportunities to deal with him before he finally did. While Lehane always had one or another character carefully explain why they let the bad guy go when they could have had him, it never really rang true to me. The guy is bad, you've got him easy, just take him out already. Of course, that would have made for a very short story, but letting him go over and over again felt contrived.

What about Jonathan Davis’s performance did you like?

The narrator was excellent. Among the best.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 01-28-17

Dennis Lehane and Jonathan Davis...

...are an outstanding author and narrator pair. A Drink Before the War is my favorite novel in the Kenzie and Gennaro series, but most earn 5 stars. Prayers for Rain is an outstanding crime novel with strengths in action, suspense and character development. Audible listener Ted of Lancastrr PA in his Audible review does a fabulous job of comparing Lehane to James Lee Burke. I agree that Lehane is better even than the earlier Burke before he went totally political propagandist with his Dave Robicheaux series. Even with the great Will Patton narrating, I have a difficult time tolerating more recent Burke novels.

The books in this series ideally should be listened to in order.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Great read, brave good guys really bad, bad guys

I loved this book, it was well read and the story has lots of twists and turns. The hero's are flawed and brave, just the way I like them and the baddies are intelligently evil and deserve everything they get. My favorite Lehane book although "Gone Baby Gone" runs a close second

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A superb reading..t-.t-t-that's all folks....

As usual Jonathan Davis gives a superb performance but surely this is late Lahane, or at least late Kinsey/Gennaro...the story lacks cohesion as proven by the last chapter...the two main characters now weak and strident...the only shining light, Bubba, a sociopath...if anyone wrote of a woman the way Lehane writes of Bubba (thru Kenzie's eyes), I would think that they'd be lovers in the next book. If Gone Baby Gone found some strength in the discussion of who has the right to kill and an extremelweakness in its antiquated and simplistic discussion of an almighty, I suggest that this book has only weakness. The denouement became laughable when Patrick (don't call me Pat) Kenzie was able to outrace a bullet from a high powered automatic across the room from his beloved and save her from the total loss of her brains (taking a bullet through his chest) while Bubba, the killing machine, standing a few feet from the killer, was unable to get off a single bullet during this miraculous Kenzie feat...I guess so much for Bubba's killer instincts. But what really puzzled me was why, after Kenzie and Gennaro go through hell together and have lain down to do what they inevitably do in bed together, when the next morning Kenzie makes a simple and entirely logical suggestion that has the potential to, and in fact does lead to the resolution of the puzzle driving the story, does Lehane have Gennaro give Kenzie a rasher of s___ -- maybe Kenzie's attraction to Bubba is affecting his performance with dear Angie...or perhaps this strident dialogue si really Lehane's deeper feeling about women...I'm guessing that by the way he writes of them as sexual objects, this is it. Ok, on to the next...back at you later.

8 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Ellen
  • Cleveland Heights, OH, United States
  • 08-30-17

So happy to discover LeHane!

Loved this book. Kept my interest throughout. If I had to pick a favorite character, it would be Bubba. Loved the surprising bits of his personality that would be exposed as the story progressed, which would not have been as impactful if not for his physical appearance and seemingly low intelligence.