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Prayers for Rain [Paperback]

Dennis Lehane
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 July 2000
In a dangerous battle of wits Kenzie and Gennaro track down a killer whose insidious murder weapon isn't a gun or a knife but instead the merciless psychological manipulation of his victims until despair finally drives his targets to kill themselves.

Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group); New edition edition (1 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553812211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553812213
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.8 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 797,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dennis Lehane grew up in the Dorchester section of Boston's inner-city. Before becoming a full-time writer, he worked as a counsellor with mentally handicapped and abused children, waited tables, parked cars, drove limos, worked in bookstores, and loaded tractor-trailers. His one regret is that no one ever gave him a chance to tend bar. He has an MFA from Florida International University, and is the writer-in-residence at Eckerd College in St Petersburg, Florida, where he runs the Writers in Paradise Writers' Conference. He and his wife divide their time between St. Petersburg and Boston. For more information on Dennis Lehane and his novels, visit his website:

Product Description

Amazon Review

Prayers for Rain is Dennis Lehane's fifth instalment in his intricately plotted, beautifully written and much under-acknowledged Boston mystery series. Lehane's books reflect our morally complex times, when the borders between right and wrong are somewhat blurry.

Private investigator Patrick Kenzie is in the middle of a personal crisis--he's lost his passion for the profession and is tired of people with their "predictable vices, their predictable needs and wants and dormant desires." Angie Gennaro, his occasional sweetheart, lifelong friend and fellow investigator has quit the business. She's still deeply resentful about Patrick's handling of the Amanda McCready case, the focus of Gone, Baby, Gone. Without Angie, private investigating has lost its fizz.

The suicide of a former client, Karen Nichols, gives Kenzie his investigative itch back. Six months earlier, Kenzie tracked down a stalker who had been harassing Nichols and put an end to his heinous hobby. But Nichols needed more help than this PI could ever have imagined. "She'd been drowning and I'd been busy." The successful, middle-class young woman had been sinking into a sea of drugs, alcohol and prostitution, hitting the bottom when she jumped from the Boston Custom House. Her death consumes Kenzie--he is convinced that someone pulled her into the vortex, although her nearest and dearest simply call her weak.

Kenzie teams up with his explosive, loving, gun-toting friend Bubba Rogowski, and, after a boozy reunion, Angie Gennaro joins them. This fearless threesome must surely be the most original team in contemporary crime fiction. Good at the core--but seriously screwed up by various demons from their pasts--tact and decorum is hardly their style. They work their way across Boston, doing whatever it takes to question Nichols's family and acquaintances. By unveiling the real Nichols, tragic family secrets, betrayals and conspiracies are also unmasked.

If you haven't experienced Dennis Lehane's world before, be prepared for an invigorating new reading experience. --Naomi Gesinger --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


"With sharp dialogue, inventively gruesome violence and the darkest of dark humor, Lehane's fifth novel proves again that he's the hippest heir of Hammett and Chandler" (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

"A masterpiece. Stunning. Brilliant. Mesmerizing. Satisfying. All that and so much more... Steal this book if that's the only way you can get your hands on it" (Deadly Pleasures)

"Lehane's gritty psychothrillers have carved a distinctive patch on the map of contemporary crime writing... One of the most electrifying thriller writers" (Guardian)

"The well-oiled plot mechanics, edge-of-the-knife dialogue and explosive bursts of violence are polished and primed in this hard-boiled shocker" (The New York Times Book Review) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good story which is full of pace 17 Aug 2001
This was a bit hard to put down, quite frankly, and I finished it in two sessions.

Parts of the plot are pretty improbable, but the story moves very well with characters who are easy to warm to. Good doses of wit too, here and there.

In short, Lehane has done little wrong, in my view, with this very good thriller.

There's enough room for a sequel here, so it will be interesting to see if he does follow through.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Lehane is a genius" 5 Jun 2001
By A Customer
I was looking for a book to take away on holiday with me and for some strange reason I chose a book by an author I'd never heard of, and I'm glad I did. I found this book turned the pages itself. I finished it on the first night much to my disappointment as I still had 2weeks left. I have since read all of the Kenzie/Gennero series and I hope Lehane decides to write more. I found the way in which the Lehane takes on the role as Kenzie to be amazing. In some books you see every one perspective which can spoil the plot some what but Lehanes way of writing and attention to detail makes you believe that you are Kenzie. The only thing that spoiled the series for me was the fact that I didn't read them in order, which on a couple of occasions spoiled the plot but never, spoilt a very enjoyable read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book ! 7 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This is the latest in Dennis Lehane's Boston detective series and in my opinion it's the best so far. While each book could be read on it's own you get a better feel for the characters if you read them in order, so in Prayers For Rain you already know a lot about them but new layers are still being revealed. Bubba in particular becomes more rounded and is approaching Joe Pike status (the gun-wielding partner in Robert Crais's equally excellent Elvis Cole books). From Patrick and Angie, more of the the same wise-cracking back-chat, and I wouldn't want it any other way. If you like your crime fiction dark and scary (they do have a habit of running into the worst kind of psychopath...yeah, okay there probably isn't a good type), and permeated with sharp and slightly twisted humour, then these books are definitely for you. If don't know what you're missing!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars another brilliant lehane novel 19 Nov 1999
By A Customer
dennis lehane has done it again. a compelling narrative with the usual dark tormented soul stuff but what really makes his novels is the characters. it's enough to make you forgive the use of first person narrative the villainy seems to step up book by book as well. not as dark as sacred, prayers for rain is still full of the violence and passion we've come to expect. and thank god angie gennaro's back.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dennis Lehane is getting better 25 Sep 2000
If you have read Lehane's previous books you will love Prayers for Rain. The dialogue is sharp and funny at sometimes. As usual Lehane takes you to places you have never been before. So far he is the best writer I came across writting about PI, he beats the like of Parker, Crais etc. The only shame is that he does not writes more frequently.
John, London
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "We need stuff. Illegal stuff." 8 Oct 2008
(4.5 stars) Never one to be deterred by legal "technicalities" when he solves his cases, Patrick Kenzie, a Boston private detective, is up to his eyeballs in his own problems when Karen Nichols asks him to stop a stalker. Kenzie and his long-time partner/sometimes lover Angie Gennaro have worked together in four previous Dennis Lehane novels, but they have now split, and Kenzie is at loose ends. After solving Karen's problem, he ignores a later phone call, then reads six months later that she has jumped to her death. Thinking that she must have had a new problem that he was too "busy" to investigate, he wonders if he might have contributed to her death and feels honor bound to find out why she jumped.

As Kenzie investigates Karen's background and family, he turns up what may be the most dysfunctional family situation ever created. But he also discovers that Karen led a totally different life at the time of her death than the seemingly innocent and vulnerable life she led just six months before. Her mother and stepfather are unfazed by her death--and no one misses her or mourns her--except Kenzie, who is more curious than mournful. Teaming up once again with Angie, who helped him with an early aspect of the case, he continues his investigation, eventually calling upon Bubba Rogowski, another old friend, for help. Rogowski, a Vietnam War vet with "lobster tails" of scars on his chest and hidden shrapnel within, has even bigger scars and "shrapnel" within his psyche.

As Kenzie uncovers Karen's long-time psychiatric problems and their origin within her family, the suspense ratchets up. Karen's little half-sister died at the age of four, and her brother stepbrother Wesley has had no contact with the family for ten years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Darkness, Take My Hand, I had my Christmas wish list fulfilled when I received Prayers for Rain in my stocking! Again Dennis Lehane has excelled himself with a fast paced, enthralling and exciting tale. It was great to see him slowly draw Angie back into Patrick's life. He conveys their complicated and intricate history together beautifully without detracting from the main plot. The whole tale kept me guessing to the end as to who was involved in Karen's death. You'll find yourself surprised!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love Dennis Lehane
Published 1 month ago by FAERYQUEEN
4.0 out of 5 stars good read and keeps you guessing
Dennis Lehane always writes a good read and keeps the plot ticking along. Characters are interesting even if they all appear to be the most dangerous in the world.
Published 3 months ago by Mr. Wsb Woodall
4.0 out of 5 stars Prayers for rain
I thought this NOVEL to be the standard one would expect from Dennis Lehane. He is such a brilliant writer and story teller that I always become totally engrossed and find it... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Shen
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book as usual
As usual, Dennis Lehane puts out quality story telling with a good plot. not as intense or as complete as the other Kensie/Gennaro thrillers, but still excellent.
Published 10 months ago by Mr. Michael D. Lemery
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
As a few other reviewers have commented, this is a page turner. I fell in love with Mr Lehane's style of writing after a couple of pages - the line "She was the kind of woman who... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Tinkertoo
5.0 out of 5 stars No1 Fan of Dennis Lehane
Another excellent book - could not put it down - did not want to get off train!! Great pace and very easy to read. Received in good order. Thank you.
Published 14 months ago by Loretta Montalent
5.0 out of 5 stars Dennis Lehane
Can't recommend Lehane's books highly enough-superb! It's no surprise some of his novels have been filmed, and I've not been disappointed with any I've read.
Published 18 months ago by I. Parlane
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
McKenzie and Gennaro are characters who seem to get better and better in each book, a great read again by Lehane!!
Published 21 months ago by Nathan
4.0 out of 5 stars Picking over the remains and picking up the pieces
Some SPOILERS for "Gone Baby, Gone" below

This, the fifth of the Kenzie-Gennaro series, sees Patrick and Angie estranged, their personal relationship and professional... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Aidan J. McQuade
4.0 out of 5 stars Kenzie's Killer Instinct
An early Dennis Lehane, surprisingly a sequel to the even better 'Gone Baby Gone' (read my review), this is another Kenzie/Gennaro special. Read more
Published on 15 Aug 2012 by The Outsider
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