A Drink Before The War by Dennis Lehane
New York : Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1994. First Edition; First Printing. Hardcover. 267 pages ; 25 cm. $22.95 dust jacket with water stain along the top and bottom edge of the dust jacket backside. Foxing to side page edges. Pages are age toned and unmarked. Binding is firm.
Summer in Boston. The week before Independence Day. A city steeped in history and racial strife. A city about to be ripped apart by an unspeakable scandal and a raging gang war. . .
Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are tough private investigators who know the blue-collar neighborhoods and ghettos of Boston's Dorchester section as only natives can. Working out of an old church belfry, Kenzie and Gennaro take on a seemingly simple assignment for a prominent politician: uncover the whereabouts of Jenna Angeline, a black cleaning woman who has allegedly stolen confidential Statehouse documents.
But finding Jenna proves easy compared to staying alive once they have. The investigation escalates, implicating members of Jenna's family and rival gang leaders, while uncovering extortion, assassination, and child prostitution extending from bombed-out ghetto streets to the highest levels of state government.
With edgy dialogue and a lyrical narrative pocked by explosions of violence, A Drink Before the War confronts a city in which institutionalized bigotry and corruption are often the norms, and the true nature of "racial incidents" is rarely clear. Dennis Lehane's remarkable debut is at once a pulsating crime thriller and a mirror of our world, one in which the worst human horrors are found closest to home, and the most vicious obscenities are committed in the name of love.
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