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Old 08-17-04, 07:33 AM   #1
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Any Dennis Lehane fans?

Dennis Lehane, for those who aren't familiar with him, is the author of Mystic River. Personally, M.R. was a movie I didn't think much of at first. But for some reason, days after my first viewing, I couldn't get the story out of my head. Sure enough, upon second viewing, it became a personal favorite.

So, I decided to check out Lehane's other works. I started with A Drink Before The War, which is the first in a series of books following Private Investigator Patrick Kenzie. I found it a decent read, with some good suspense. Definately a quick, enjoyable read, but not exceptional.

A few days ago, I started reading Darkness, Take My Hand, the second installment in the Kenzie series. I have not been able to put this book down. With 100 pages left to go, I can definately see this one being made into a movie as well.

Any other fans out there? I've heard that Shutter Island (not part of the Kenzie series) is a good one also.
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Old 08-17-04, 08:43 AM   #2
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I've only read Mystic River thus far. I have Shutter Island in my to-read pile and plan on getting to it eventually. I haven't read any of the Kenzie series, but plan on doing so sometime.
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Old 08-17-04, 04:00 PM   #3
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I'vs read all the Lehane books. The Kenzie series gets better. Bubba Rogowski is a hoot. I hope the success of Mystic River does not put an end to the series. Shutter Island was very different. I did not enjoy it as much as his other books, but it was enjoyable. Another favorite of mine in this genre, is Crais' Elvis Cole series. Give L. A. Requiem a try.
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Old 08-17-04, 09:28 PM   #4
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I'm a big fan too. I've read all Lehane's books and am eagerly awaiting his next - whenever that is.

I first heard about Lehane years ago. If I recall correctly, he was said to be a favorite author of President Clinton. I purchased both "A Drink Before the War" and "Darkness, Take My Hand". I found "A Drink Before the War" to be okay but not up to the hype. After the initial let down it took me some time to develop the urge to read "Darkness, Take My Hand" but once I cracked the spine there was no turning back. Lehane's writing was much improved in "Darkness, Take My Hand". Over time I devoured the rest of the series "Sacred", "Gone, Baby, Gone", and "Prayers for Rain". Though it doesn't seem to be a popular opinion including with Lehane himself, I think the series gets progressively better with each title. Many seemed not to keen on "Sacred" but I liked it and it was a nice change of pace after "Darkness, Take My Hand".

"Mystic River" was solid but a little too much of a downer. I liked "Shutter Island" better, however the Kenzie/Gennaro series is much preferred by me. Unfortunately, I don't expect we'll see anything new in the series anytime soon.

Robert Crais' Cole series is also a favorite though I'd recommend starting at the beginning; "L.A. Requiem" is - I think - the eighth in the series. The next Elvis Cole is due in Feb. 2005.

If you like Crais' work, I'd also recommend Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar series. I've sort of cooled on Coben since he got away from the series and started writing stand-alones.

And while I'm at it, you can't do much better than to pick up a book by Michael Connelly. If you're looking more for action than detective, Stephen Hunter's Swagger series are also recommended especially the "trilogy" consisiting of "Point of Impact", "Dirty White Boys" and "Black Light".
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Old 08-18-04, 04:37 PM   #5
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flixtime,
You're probably right about Kenzie/Gennaro, but I hope he comes back to them once in a while. You're probably right about starting at the beginning with Crais; I just wanted to know more about Pike and LA Requiem fit the bill. I'm also a fan of Connelly. I read The Poet a few years ago, and have been hooked since. Thanks for the suggestions on Hunter and Coben; I'll check them out. Have you tried Pelecanos?
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Old 08-18-04, 05:08 PM   #6
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"The Poet" was the book that hooked me too. Thankfully, it was a stand-alone so I was able to read the Bosch series in order. I've heard good things about Pelecanos and I've read the first Strange/Quinn book "Right as Rain"; I've got a couple more in the series on my shelf but I haven't had much time for reading the past year or so. I've got a lot of catching up to do.

If you enjoy the Stephen Hunter titles I mentioned then you can go on to "Time to Hunt". The 3 most recent titles - "Hot Springs", "Pale Horse Coming", and "Havana" - feature a different character who is the father of the protagonist in "Time to Hunt" and 2 of the 3 earlier books I mentioned. I still think "Point of Impact" and "Dirty White Boys" are his best works. You can actually read either "Point of Impact" or "Dirty White Boys" first as they feature different characters. However, "Black Light" must be read after both as it is sort of a capstone to both tales. Hunter is actually one writer who I wish would get away from the series books as they've been milked for all they are worth.

Harlan Coben's Bolitar series is basically an East Coast version of Crais' series. Myron Bolitar = Elvis Cole, Win Lockwood = Joe Pike, etc.

Keith Ablow is another more recent author who is worth checking out. Also recommended Joe R. Lansdale's standalones "The Bottoms", and "A Fine Dark Line" (he also has a series), as well as Thomas Cook's standalone "Breakheart Hill".
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Old 08-19-04, 12:27 AM   #7
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I'm a huge fan of Lehane. I have read all of his books. I love the Kenzie/Gennaro series, but I personally think that Prayers For Rain would make a good stopping point. But, what do I know.
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Old 03-23-05, 11:09 AM   #8
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According to Variety, Ben Affleck will make his directorial debut at the helm of Lehane's novel Gone, Baby Gone. For those who have read all five books in the series, do you agree with the choice? Of the first three, I'd pick Darkness, Take My Hand as the best, by far.

I actually just finished Sacred yesterday. In my opinion, it was definitiely the weakest of the first three Kenzie series books, but it was still a fun read.

I picked up Pelecanos' King Suckerman. Apparently he and Lehane are good friends, so I thought I'd give him a shot.
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Old 03-23-05, 11:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy_Harn
According to Variety, Ben Affleck will make his directorial debut at the helm of Lehane's novel Gone, Baby Gone. For those who have read all five books in the series, do you agree with the choice?
Interesting. I haven't read it yet, but hearing this will motivate me to put it near the front of my to-read pile.
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Old 03-23-05, 12:55 PM   #10
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I've listened to Mystic River (before I knew about the movie) and Shutter Island on audio CD. I really liked Mystic River and was jazzed to learn a movie was being made of it. Shutter Island was okay - I liked it better before the twist.

BTW, both of these are read by David Strathairn - he does a great job.
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Old 03-23-05, 06:35 PM   #11
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A few weeks back I had read that Lehanes next project will be a story set during the Boston police strike in 1919. His gut feeling was that this would be a trio or quartet of books, and that he was going to take his time so as to put out a really good story. It doesn't sound like he will be going back to Kenzie/Gennaro anytime soon.

I also wonder if he isn't revamping his rather boring website, as I haven't been able to access it for a couple weeks. Hopefully when it is back up he will have some more info on his future works.
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Old 03-24-05, 12:33 PM   #12
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I heard Dennis discuss what he's working on now at a conference last fall. It sounded...different. In addition to the Boston stuff, it features a plotline in Oklahoma, also a period story, set in the African-American community there.

He's also made it known that he's very unlikely to ever return to the Kenzie/Gennaro series.
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Old 03-29-05, 01:25 PM   #13
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Since author Robert Crais has been mentioned in this thread, I thought this was as good a place as any to post the following "book bargain".

Buy.com is currently offering "free shipping (with no minimum purchase) on all in-stock books". They have a few bestseller hardcover titles at 50% off that might be of interest to those following this thread (there are others titles in addition to those listed):

Robert Crais - "The Forgotten Man"
James Patterson - "Honeymoon"
John Grisham - "The Broker"
Dan Brown - "The Da Vinci Code"
Robert Parker - "Cold Service"
Daniel Silva - "Prince of Fire"
Michael Crichton - "State of Fear"

Buy.com does charge sales tax if you live in California, Maryland, or Massachusetts but for others I think it is a really good deal. Plus, if you've never ordered from them before I think there is a $5 off $50 coupon floating around too. Hope you guys can make use of this.
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Old 09-05-06, 08:18 AM   #14
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Lehane's book of short stories Coronado recently came out. Has anyone read this yet?

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Old 09-24-06, 09:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Lehane's book of short stories Coronado recently came out. Has anyone read this yet?

[/IMG]
I just finished it. I can't really recommend it. The short stories were all pretty uneventful. The two act play "Coronado" at the end of the book was interesting enough, but not enough so to carry the rest of the book.
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Old 06-20-09, 05:12 PM   #16
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Re: Any Dennis Lehane fans?

I think it would be a cool project if Lehane wrote a book that brought all the characters from all the novels he wrote (all the characters that lived, that is). For example, you have Patrick Kenzie in a bar, and in walks Jimmy Marcus, and they exchange words.

The first book of Lehane's I read was Mysic River, and not because there was a movie coming out - my father-in-law found the book on the train, and brought it home for me because he knew I liked to read. I said thanks, and had the book for awhile before I decided to give it a try....long story short, I was hooked. Before long, the movie came out, and enjoyed it immensely. Then I picked up Gone Baby Gone, and knew I had found my new author. Online, I found the first two Kenzie-Gennaro novels in one volume. Then, yesterday, I bought all the other Kenzie-Gennaro novels, and will read them one-by-one (re-reading "Gone" once it's turn comes)..... after I'm done with them, I'll read the non-Kenzie-Gennaro books (like Shutter Island).
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Old 07-10-09, 08:06 AM   #17
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Re: Any Dennis Lehane fans?

I've read Shutter Island, Prayers For Rain, and am now reading Darkness, Take My Hand (I know that I am not reading the Kenzie series in order, but I don't have all of them readily available). I am definitely starting to become a fan of his, as I've really liked what I've read (with the exception of the ending of Shutter Island). It's too bad that the Kenzie series appears to be over, since I am really enjoying those works in particular.
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Old 07-12-09, 02:01 PM   #18
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Re: Any Dennis Lehane fans?

Lehane said a while back that his next book would be another Kenzie/Gennaro.
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Old 07-12-09, 07:15 PM   #19
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Re: Any Dennis Lehane fans?

Really? The last I heard from his was this from EW last year:

''I'd say it's highly unlikely that I'll ever write another one,'' says the best-selling author of five Patrick Kenzie detective mysteries, including Gone Baby Gone, which was made into a movie last year by Ben Affleck. ''I was never comfortable with them anyway. I'd be writing these friggin' whodunits,'' he laughs, getting excited, ''and I could care less. I wanna tell everybody on page 2, he killed so-and-so, he done it! If you look at my books in that regard and I'll be 100 percent honest about my flaws you can see how I was whipping out the kitchen sink just to obscure s---, like the identity of the serial killer or whatever, and that's why the books got so labyrinthian in the last 100 pages.''

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20227050,00.html
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Old 07-12-09, 07:28 PM   #20
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Re: Any Dennis Lehane fans?

A couple months after that -- November maybe -- he announced at a mystery writers conference that his next book would be a Kenzie/Gennaro novel. (When we might see such a novel.... Well, that's a different story.)

I'm not entirely sure how accurate that EW piece was.
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Old 07-21-09, 08:44 PM   #21
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Re: Any Dennis Lehane fans?

Do I need to read A Drink Before The War before Darkness, Take My Hand? Should they be read in order?
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Old 07-21-09, 11:34 PM   #22
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Re: Any Dennis Lehane fans?

I read Mystic River a couple of years ago. I just started reading Shutter Island. I'm starting to become a fan of him.
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Old 07-22-09, 07:37 AM   #23
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Re: Any Dennis Lehane fans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by witty alias View Post
Do I need to read A Drink Before The War before Darkness, Take My Hand? Should they be read in order?
I would. My first was Gone Baby Gone, and it had references to the older books that I didn't know about. So after Gone,, I started from the beginning.

Personally, out of all the Patrick Kenzie novels, I thought Gone was the best of the bunch. A close second would be A Drink Before The War.

What I don't get, and what turned me off about the last book, Prayers For Rain, is that it had no past references to the characters from the book that came before it ("Gone"), aside from one mention of "Doyle." I was hoping Amanda McCready made an appearance,
Spoiler:
since Patrick was essentially "responsible" for her now (since he decided her fate).


I figure everyone saw the movie already, but I spoilerized it anyhoo based on movieking's suggestion.
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Old 07-22-09, 07:53 AM   #24
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Re: Any Dennis Lehane fans?

I am reading Gone Baby Gone, which is the hird of the series that I've read, all out of order as I mentioned above. Obviously they should be read in order, but I don't think that it is a huge deal. I still have to get A Drink Before The War and Sacred.

And Buttmunker, you should spoiler that last sentence, since it gives away information on the ending to Gone Baby Gone.
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Old 07-24-09, 01:34 PM   #25
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Re: Any Dennis Lehane fans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttmunker View Post
What I don't get, and what turned me off about the last book, Sacred, is that it had no past references to the characters from the book that came before it ("Gone"), aside from one mention of "Doyle."

Prayers for Rain is the final book, not Sacred (which is #3, written prior to GBG).
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Charles Guiteau, in a letter to General William Sherman in 1881.

Last edited by Tommy_Harn; 07-24-09 at 01:36 PM. Reason: Missed some punctuation. Not that its any of your business.
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