This book is about a Boston detective named Patrick Kenzie who investigates a child kidnapping. As the case proceeds, he starts to believe that the kidnapping may not have been about money or drugs but may be a result of a custody battle. He then becomes convinced that the judge in the case has been getting threats from a woman with a criminal history. It became evident that this woman is a very determined person who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

A Drink Before the War by Dennis LehaneThis book seemed more like a James Patterson novel than Lehane’s other books. Some authors of more popular mystery novels such as Patterson write long and sometimes redundant detective novels. Lehane seems to be able to give the reader all the necessary information without making it too boring. With this book, he also shows his talent for getting inside people’s heads. This becomes especially clear when describing the criminal’s perspective on things during parts of the novel. All in all, I would say that this was an extremely interesting read with an unexpected ending much unlike most mysteries where you can guess what is going to happen by about halfway through the book.

HARSH AND CHILLING … AN ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIC STORY.”

-Boston Sunday Globe

“WHAT A FIRST NOVEL! SMART, HIP AND MOVING.”

-James W. Hall

“OLD BOSTON POLITICOS AND YOUNG UZI-TOTING WARLORDS … LEHANE HANDLES IT ALL WIHT A VETERAN’S APLOMB. THE VIOLENCE OF HIS STORY IS BALANCED BY THE GRACE OF HIS PROSE AND THE MORALITY OF HIS CHARACTERS.”

-Orlando Sentinel

“LEHANE OFFERS SLICK, HIP, SPARKLING DIALOGUE THAT’S AS GOOD AS IT GETS, A PLOT THAT ROCKETS ALONG AT WARP SPEED, AND THE WONDERFULLY ORIGINAL, IN-YOUR-FACE CRIME-SOLVING DUO OF KENZIE AND GENARRO.”

-Booklist

“THE SURE PACING, HUMOR, AND CLEAR SENSE OF PLACE ARE UNUSUALLY STRONG FOR A DEBUT NOVEL. LEHANE’S DEPICTIONS OF WORKING-CLASS DORCHESTER AND THE GREAT DIVIDE BETWEEN ITS IRISH-AMERICAN AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN INHABITANTS ARE SO ON-TARGET THE READER COULD PRACTICALLY USE THEM AS A MAP AND DRIVE RIGHT INTO TOWN.”

-Kirkus Reviews