Thursday, November 3, 2011

Reading Rainbow: Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane

Having just about completely caught up here, this is the last remaining Reading Rainbow entry in the backlog. Two movies and the baseball-related jam-up will have been remedied. 

Prayers for Rain is the fifth--and up until a year ago (when the series was surprisingly revisited in Moonlight Mile) the final--book in the Kenzie-Gennaro Series. Working solo after the fallout following the completion of the Amanda MacCready case (in Gone, Baby, Gone), Patrick Kenzie finds himself wrought with guilt after he fails to answer a call from a former client only to have that client turn up dead. As he looks into her demise, he sees that not only had he not actually solved her previous stalker case, but that she had actually been targeted by a sociopath deadset on destroying her. 

As Patrick delves further into the ruthless, calculated, and systematic dismantling of Karen Nichols's life, the man responsible for her demise turns his focus to Patrick. 

As is always the case, Lehane combines his snappy dialogue, taut pacing, and disturbing ability to create truly horrifying villains to great effect in Prayers for Rain. He also sets Patrick Kenzie afloat on a raft with only the deranged but reliable Bubba Rogowski at his side. It isn't until she is absolutely needed that Angie Gennaro comes back to help Patrick. While it is their dynamic that sets the series apart, their separation at the novel's open is vital and gives insight as to what each of them means to the other. From cover to cover, there is no slowing down. The action, suspense, and intrigue is unfurled at a fever pitch. With Lehane, this may be par for the course, but only because the bar has been set so high.

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