The follow-up to Dennis Lehane’s A Drink Before the War, Darkness, Take My Hand continues the story of Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro and their shoestring PI agency. Like the previous novel, it is a dark tale of South Boston and the corrupt, nihilistic characters who inhabit its underworld.
Unfortunately, where A Drink Before the War was dark and grim, Darkness, Take My Hand ups the gore factor and the sheer amount of human depravity and evil to an unpleasant level. It’s a fine line to walk in noir fiction, and Lehane steps way over it in this novel—reading it is like taking a bath in filth.
On the plus side, Lehane’s prose is finely honed and crafted.
Darkness, Take My Hand is definitely only for the hard-core noir fan.
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