Book Review: Darkness Take My Hand
This week, we turn to the gritty Boston world of Kenzie and Gennaro. Dennis Lehane's writing seems to hit home on every level. However, what makes his work resonate is his characters. They bring color to the world that is seemingly being painted black. The brilliant follow-up to A Drink Before the War ups the stakes in every way.
After the events of the first novel, our heroes take on what appears to be a routine missing person case. After a seemingly peaceful resolution, things begin to take a dark turn. Dark secrets are brought to the surface, and Patrick Kenzie is linked to a vicious killer who now has allies finishing work left unfinished from twenty years prior. Kenzie and Gennaro try to achieve some personal life balance when everything starts to crumble around them. Familiar supporting characters return, and the setting begins to take even more shape for the reader next chapter in the series.
A Drink Before the War gets your toes in the water, but Darkness Take My Hand pushes you into the deep end. The book takes everything fantastic about the first novel of the series and amplifies it by ten. Some series became trite and played out when they try to top previous installments, but this was a natural progression. Both our central characters need the test they get in this novel. Despite the strong plot, these novels are rooted in the development of our protagonists. I would recommend the book to anyone looking for a great suspense novel and a riveting character study.
Dennis Lehane masterfully delivers another gem. Working-class Boston couldn't be painted with a more descriptive brush. Anyone who loves a great suspense story will enjoy this novel, but in the end, it is so much more than that. This novel shows a big step for Lehane that would eventually fully develop in his brilliant standalone Mystic River.