BOOK REVIEW: Darkness, Take My Hand (Kenzie & Gennaro #2) by Dennis LehaneDarkness, Take My Hand (Kenzie & Gennaro #2)
by Dennis Lehane
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The master of the new "noir," Dennis Lehane magnificently evokes the dignity and savagery of working-class Boston in this terrifying tale of darkness and redemption.

Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro's latest client is a prominent Boston psychiatrist running scared from a vengeful Irish mob. The private investigators know something about cold-blooded retribution. Born and bred on the mean streets of blue-collar Dorchester, they've seen the darkness that lives in the hearts of the unfortunate. But an evil for which even they are unprepared is about to strike as secrets long-dormant erupt, setting off a chain of violent murders that will stain everything--including the truth.


“Eviscerate them, Patrick. Kill them all.”

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I can’t say that I went into this book series knowing what I was going to be reading. I also can’t say that it was what I would expect it to be. Thought provoking, beautiful writing is a high point in this series, and I’m ashamed to admit I was shocked that that was the case. From page one of book one, I have been enamored with the depth of these stories and the amazing writing that pulls you in whether you want to be sucked in or not….but maybe my largest praise goes to how Lehane gets base emotions out of me that rarely are touched in crime/thriller novels: Protectiveness, heart-break….fear.
I felt something clench in the center of my chest and then just as suddenly unclench and fill with a gust of chilled air which seemed to hollow out my insides like the flick of a spade.


Yeah, I’ll admit it: This book, no matter what I tell people, scared the living shit out of me. And, the funny thing is, Anna warned me. See, this story was centered around a serial killer. Now…I don’t know about you, but I am obsessed with this plot in books and was ecstatic to find out that the second story was not only an investigation….but a stalker-serial killer type story…ummm yes please? It’s no secret I am in love with these intense, pulse-pounding books. And I thought I had it handled….but I was wrong.
“He can’t kill us both. No one’s that good. If he gets to you before me”-she leaned back a bit so her eyes could meet mine-“I’ll paint this house with his blood. Every last inch of it.”

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Anna said that this one got deep in your head, that she had nightmares where someone was following her…and I thought, eh, I don’t think it’s that creepy. But, keep in mind, I was reading in such small increments during the week (damn my week day curse!!) and in the daytime that I had no clue-none. And just as I told her this, my perception changed. I got into bed and something miraculous happened-I actually had time to read!!!!! But with the lights off, the tv flickering in the background, and a stalker watching through the window (in the book, but hey, I swear it was me-I SWEAR….even though the blinds were drawn…), my world was obliterated.

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My breath hitched as I read, every flicker of the tv was a shock to my system, and I couldn’t help looking over the side of the bed and into the closet-repeatedly. And it’s so simple. SO, SO simple. And the worst thing in the world is when you are finally scared again by a book (for me lol)…It’s like all these stories you’ve repressed into the recesses of your memory come back in a massive montage of horror, cruising past my periphery at the speed of light. I keep seeing all these books popping up in my head that I had long since forgotten-and I wanted to keep it that way. It’s all in my subconscious-I just find it so odd how the brain works. Mine is more fucked up than most, though, mind you.
I guess my impulse had something to do with growing older, with looking back and seeing very few innocent violences committed against the young, in knowing that every tiny pain scars and chips away at what is pure and infinitely breakable in a child.
Or maybe I was just in a bad mood.

It’s so funny that once you draw out that base fear, all your worst terrors come to life…all of a sudden you can’t breathe and you can’t sleep and the covers have to be covering every inch of your body and you can’t lay on your side or let your hand go past the side ledge of the bed or-oh yeah, that’s just me lol. The human mind is a crazy thing. And that’s the ability of an amazing author. They have the ability to write a story that slips under you skin, seeps deep into your pores, to make their story the one that stays in your mind long after you’ve finished reading for the day or night….it’s a lingering touch you can’t seem to shake-and that’s just how I felt. I, inexplicably, couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d been touched by something wholly evil and vile.

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“It’ll eat us eventually,” Angie said. “The violence.”
“I always thought we were stronger than it.”
“You were wrong. It infests you after a while.”
“You talking about me or you?”
“Both of us.”

But that’s enough about how bat shit crazy I am….I wana talk about the characters, now. But I’m guna do it in reverse, I think. Bubba is first up. I don’t know if it’s because a couple of my friends are in love with him so it brought out all the best thoughts of him or if I’d have came to the same conclusion myself, but, no matter the cause, he cracks me up.


Being the object of another’s hate is relative. If the person who hates you is an advertising exec whose Infiniti you cut off in traffic, you’re probably not going to worry much. If Bubba hates you, though, putting a couple of continents between the two of you is not a bad idea.

Loyal? Check. Friendly? Check-well, only to Angie and Patrick. Crazy? Check-Check. Need a deadly piece of artillery? He can help you. Need to take someone out? He’d love to. So, all in all, I’d say Bubba is pretty badass….and crazy, don’t forget crazy.
Well, I was sick of their violence and their hate and my own codes of decency, which may have cost people their lives in the last month. Sick to fucking death of it all.

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And then Angie. Ahhh Angie. I certainly loved her way more in this one, I have to admit-and I even loved the developments of Phil, too. But I can’t linger on him. Now, while I did love Angie in this one, I still can’t see why Patrick is head over heels for her-or so the story boasts from time to time. I’m still waiting on that, really. Why? I mean, near the end, I saw it, but all throughout the book and last book? Nah. But what they do have, that I believe, is a beautiful friendship, and that’s what this story is about-love, loyalty, and keeping those you cherish most close-Doing everything in your power to keep them safe. And I love that-for now.
When I was a boy, I loved my father, and he just kept hurting me. He wouldn’t stop. No matter how much I wept, no matter how much I pleaded, no matter how hard I tried to figure out what he wanted, what I could do to be worthy of his love instead of victim of his rage.

Drum roll please?? Patrick. Ahhhh Patrick. He finally got me in this one!!! Allllll the feels! From his tortured glimpses into his terribly sad past, the abuse from the hand of his father, and his desperation to keep all those he loves safe, Patrick touched me deeply. I even got some ‘broken voice’ parts….umm favorite!!! And I loved-in the beginning, that is-that he was in another relationship in this one. I think it helped keep him happy, sane. It was an adorable touch (you’ll see why) and added to the intensity near the end-in more ways than one. But, and you’ll find this out as well, what happens when you have more people you love? There are more targets to take out. Just sayin’. Yeah yeah…I know. Broken record.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything like this.
When I tried to speak, my voice was shaky and hoarse and the words were strangled in my throat. My eyes felt wet and my heart felt as if it were bleeding.

So, anywho, those are my crazy thoughts. I truly wish I could go back in time and slap myself-why in the ever loving you-know-what did I start this one on a Monday???? I’m notorious for ruining the best books because I read them during the week when they deserve time and attention….and I basically spit on them by saying, yeah, you’re not good enough for a weekend read! But that’s not it-I just could’t wait to start book two! These people get under your skin, and even if you get a teensy bit bored, you never realize how great they truly are until you’re separated-But I just couldn’t wait, and I payed dearly for it. It’s a blessing and a curse, being so obsessed with books. Luckily, though, I got my head out of my ass for the last 40% and finished all at once. So, what I’m saying is, read it…but give it the time it deserves. I didn’t…but I’m dumb like that.


“How do you live with yourself, Patrick?”


Oh dear, oh dear. I do so love a serial killer thriller with a tortured male lead…

And this was spectaculaaaarrr.

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Eeps! Review to come!

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