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by Dennis Lehane
William Morrow & Co., June 1997
288 pages
ISBN: 0380726297

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

SACRED begins conventionally enough, if you consider being drugged and kidnapped conventional. Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro have not accepted another case since the ending of the last one, The office is closed, Patrick has unplugged the answering machine and rarely opens his mail. So the only way that Trevor Stone can get to them is by having his henchmen drug them and bring them to his Marblehead Neck mansion.

An unsuccessful carjacking led to the death of Stone's wife. Stone had been shot three times, and during the operation to remove the bullets, cancer of the jaw had been found, and it had metastasized. He was given 6 months to live. Then 32 days previously, his daughter Desiree disappeared. He hired ex-FBI agent, PI Jay Becker, now with Hamlyn and Kohl, the top Boston PI firm, to find her. Becker, who was Kenzie's rabbi, has also disappeared. Angie, whose ex-husband had been killed 5 months before, feels for the dying man, and they accept the case, offered to them because their reputation of being honest and relentless. The $50,000 Stone pays them also has something to do with it.

They study Becker's written reports and trace his route in following the footsteps of Desiree Stone, Trevor's missing daughter. This ultimately leads them to "Grief Release" a fake counselling service that is closely allied with a religious cult. Both have large mansions on Marlborough Street in the posh Back Bay section of Boston. They follow her trail to Florida, and more fireworks ensue.

This is a worthy successor to Darkness Take My Hand and A Drink Before the War. The darkness is alleviated by touches of humor and the affection for old friends, evident in the other two books.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, July 2002

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