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Prayers for Rain [Hardcover]

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

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Book Description

1 Dec 1999

Boston private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro's relationship has hit the skids - their long-standing professional commitment and growing romance have disintegrated due to seemingly irreparable personal differences. But despite these problems, Prayers for Rain brings them together again to close down a predator whose modus operandi seems to put him beyond the law. This killer's insidious murder weapon is within his victims' minds: no smoking gun, no bloody knife, just merciless manipulation until despair drives his targets to kill themselves.

As Patrick and Angie attempt to identify and save his next victim, this sinister force turns on them and thus begins a dangerous battle of wits: a tormenting, life-threatening game of psychological warfare in which simple survival seems a mixed blessing - because not even the winner will emerge unscathed.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (1 Dec 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068815333X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688153335
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 15.9 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,726 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 the 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 the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
"The first time I met Karen Nichols, she struck me as the kind of woman who ironed her socks." Read the first page
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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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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A-team meets Neil Simon. 1 Mar 2001
By JennyB
This book is like putting the A-team, Phillip Marlowe, Tarantino and Neil Simon in a blender and seeing what comes out. But it manages to transcend the normal action hero mould of book with some of the sharpest and wittiest dialogue since MASH (or as witty as MASH seemed then). The only problem with first person narratives is that you never get to know what anyone else is thinking, even though Lehane's sharp dialogue gives strong hints. But this does mean that the book has to be dialogue led, and so some characters (such as the motel owner) talk much more than they normally would (in most detective books and films, motel owners just grunt and tell detectives nothing. Or they stab them just as they reach the top of the stairs!). So five stars for the dialogue and pace, but one star off for the action-hero stuff (which at times comes across as too A-teamy and OTT) and the dialogue base making some people talk much more than they would in real life. But for light, quick reading and snappy pace and dialogue, one of the best of the field.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner... 6 Jun 2000
By A Customer
I wish I'd read Gone, Baby Gone before this one. There's a few references back and if you want the full effect of the previous novel, be sure to read them in order. But...I really enjoyed this book. Lehane is a master at peeling back the layers and exposing what is underneath with tantalizing precision. Patrick and Angie are great to watch together and their tongues are as sharp as ever. I can recommend this one without reservation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love Dennis Lehane
Published 28 days 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 2 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 8 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 9 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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