Sacred: A Novel

by Dennis Lehane

Hardcover, 1997

Call number




William Morrow (1997), Edition: 1st, 320 pages


The Boston private eyes, Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, are hired by a dying billionaire to find his missing daughter who has been grieving the murder of her mother. The trail leads them to a religious cult in Florida and more murders.

Media reviews

El multimillonario Trever Stone, antes de morir, contrata los servicios de los experimentados detectives Patrick Kenzie y Angela Gennaro para que averigüen el paradero de su hija Desiree, que lleva tres semanas desaparecida, así como la desaparición del primer detective que el multimillonario contrató para localizarla, Jay Becker, mentor de Patrick. Acostumbrados a sobrevivir en las sórdidas calles de Boston, los detectives viajan hasta los embriagadores atardeceres de Florida siguiendo una pista poco fiable, que les conducirá a una tierra corrupta y abonada de mentiras. Avanzar en la investigación es penetrar en un territorio donde nada es sagrado. No hay espacio para el error: confiar en la persona equivocada o dar un paso en falso significa la muerte.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Joycepa
3rd in the Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro series.

By unorthodox means, Gennaro and Kenzie are hired by an incredibly wealthy and powerful but dying businessman to find his daughter who, stricken with grief by several deaths within a short period of time, has disappeared. Disappeared as well is the private detective—Kenzie’s mentor—who was originally hired to find her.

So begins the 3rd installment in the series. The trail leads the pair to Florida and back to Boston again, in a complicated plot full of twists and turns until the denouement which is just as full of surprises as the story itself.

The pace never lets up. The writing is superb—taut but with plenty of humorous banter between Gennaro and Kenzie to bring them and keep them real. Lehane can write about Kenzie’s emotional state with ease. Both protagonists, as this series progresses, evolve themselves, ever interesting. Their relationship, unlike so many others in a series, is never stable long enough to get boring. As usual, Lehane’s ability to depict the working class streets and other sections of Boston is excellent. Even the Florida locale seems real but is never as in-you-face as the Boston scenes. Nothing, however, can detract from the action in the story, the suspense, the always imminent sense of danger, of disaster lurking just around the corner.

Sacred advances the series another order of magnitude. After finishing this book, you can’t wait to get your hands on the next, to keep up with the lives and adventures of Kenzie and Gennaro, who, by this time, seem like rather alarming friends, but friends nevertheless.

Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member LastCall
This story is a little more over the top and tongue in cheek but as always the central relationship is riveting. Its nice to see them finally and “officially€? together.

I used the “starâ€? system to rank the books in the series in the order that I liked them. In a non comparative sense I would give all of the books at least a solid 4 star ranking.… (more)
LibraryThing member Darla
Definitely hard-boiled & gritty. Nice twists. Even a bit of romance. And the hero respects, admires, & treats his partner like an equal. Gotta love that.
LibraryThing member Reader1066
I think this might be my least favorite of the series. It’s a good book, and it’s a necessary read if you want to move on, but I don’t feel like Lehane used this book to explore the deep issues that came up in the first two books. Although, he does create a pair of extremely greedy and clever villains in this one. I wonder if Lehane was giving Kenzie and Gennaro a bit of a break after the last book.… (more)
LibraryThing member jacki
quick read, nothing extraordinary but enjoyable. A bit tiresome by the end.
LibraryThing member Jim53
Patrick and Angie, exhausted in many ways from their previous adventure, are not taking any more cases. Through unorthodox means, a wealthy, dying recluse engages them to find his missing daughter. They discover that Patrick's mentor was looking for her and has disappeared too, and they agree to take on the case.

As in the previous two volumes, nothing is as simple as it sounds; this volume is a lesson in questioning all our assumptions. The problem and its resolution are unveiled slowly as our heroes figure out what the heck is going on. In general there is less violence than in the first two Kenzie/Gennaro novels, less focus on Patricks family history, and more focus on the relationship between the two principals. A very enjoyable read, which I found hard to put down and stayed up late to finish.… (more)
LibraryThing member catsalive
I really enjoyed this. It's fast-paced, with good dialogue & interesting characters, even the baddies. I had trouble putting it down and I'm looking forward to reading more of Patrick Kenzie & Angela Gennaro.
LibraryThing member bookworm12
This is the third book in Lehane's Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro series. The two detectives are hired to find the missing daughter of a dying millionaire and stumble upon the strange company, Grief Relief, Inc. The simple case gets more complicated with each turn as a fellow private eye goes missing and Kenzie and Gennaro travel to Florida to pursue a lead.

This book fell a bit flat for me. I've loved a lot of Lehane's other stuff, but this one didn't catch me in the same way. The detectives still had great chemistry and there is a wonderful humor in Lehane's writing, but it's not quite up to par with his other books. If you want to try out the author I would highly recommend Mystic River and Shutter Island, both are great reads.
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LibraryThing member ben_a
Another not-so-great page-turner from Lehane. He is very readable -- I finished the book in two days -- but he employs a degree of melodrama that's distasteful. His characters and the situations are cinematic in the negative sense. This would be fine in a genre less anchored to realism, but in a gritty crime novel, its a flaw that becomes fatal.

That said, it's a fine book for a plane or a beach. And I completely endorse his rant against modern architecture.
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LibraryThing member silenceiseverything
I think Sacred might be Dennis Lehane's most fun novel. Granted I haven't read all of them yet, but from the ones I have read, Sacred definitely takes the cake as most fun. It wasn't as dark as A Drink Before the War or Darkness, Take My Hand, but the characters more than made up for that.

The mystery was sort of lackluster. I was interested in what was going on, but this mystery might've been my least favorite of this series. Still, it was twisted and bizarre. Plus, you never see any of the twists coming (and in other mysteries, I totally do). However, the list of suspects in Sacred was just incredible. And the baddies were seriously twisted (so much that it really just bears repeating). The good thing about Dennis Lehane's mysteries is that in spite of some lacklusterness (totally not a word, by the way), they're still pageturners and you don't want to stop reading until you finish every last word. That's really what a mystery needs.

Now, on to the reason I love this series. I absolutely adore the characters. I love Patrick and Angie and I love Patrick and Angie TOGETHER. That has to be in all caps because I'm really not a big romance fan. And usually books go south for me if they put characters together for the sake of having romance in a book (even if the book doesn't necessarily need it). Does Sacred need romance? Probably not. But I do really enjoy Patrick and Angie's chemistry so I'm glad that it's in there. I love and adore their witty banter. It never fails to make laugh. Their banter in this book was completely off the charts (and not in that annoying bad way). Not only was their banter hilarious, but so was the banter they have with the baddies, their other "not completely concerned with moralities" crew, and just random people in airports. Seriously, I'm a huge fan of the banter in this series. And since it was all sorts of on in Sacred, it definitely is the most fun book I've read so far when it comes to this series (and Lehane).

So, I recommend Sacred. But do yourself a favor and read the other two in the series first because Sacred really spoils the crap out of you if you haven't read them. It tends to recap the most important parts of the previous two (and that did get semi-annoying). But if you're a mystery buff (as I am), you'll enjoy those two a bit more than this one. But still, pretty good mystery novel and I really can't wait to pick up the next one.
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LibraryThing member Bookmarque
This one made me laugh out loud. More than once. In a good way. Yeah, it’s a detective novel and there are preposterous things in it – like the perfect understandings between strangers and hairsbreadth escapes, but that’s what it’s supposed to be. Angie and Patrick are a team and share responsibility for casework, bloodshed and screw-ups. It’s nice to see.

Of course Desiree is not what she seems. Neither is Trevor. The old man wants her dead, not found. Because she tried to kill him. She killed her mother in the faked car-jacking instead. In the end, they are left tied by the ankles to chairs in a huge room in Trevor’s mansion where the first to put their fieldstripped semi-automatic together, gets to shoot the other. Pretty funny. They both get a shot home and are found dead.

I am surprised that Jay was killed off. I didn’t expect that. I think he would have been useful in later books. The detective firm that he worked for was destroyed (and one of the partners killed) by Trevor and so there would have been no business’ covenant to break if Jay went into the business on his own. Oh well. Patrick has other buddies who can come to his rescue. Like Bubba and his acetylene torch. Now THAT was a funny scene.
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LibraryThing member grheault
Descriptions of Boston are vivid as usual, but this particular narrative failed to grab me. Review of action from prior book seemed awkward. DNF, but this is not a slam to the author, just an indication that I hadn't the patience to hang on past three chapters.
LibraryThing member allthesedarnbooks
Another great Kenzie and Gennaro mystery! Probably my favorite so far; I finished it in one night.
LibraryThing member drneutron
As with the other volumes in Lehane's Kenzie and Gennaro series, Sacred is wonderfully written. The plot's as dense as usual and the growth of the characters is well done. Lehane's prose is a colorful and engaging as in the previous novels. All in all, a fine addition to the series.
LibraryThing member ecw0647
Angie and Patrick have more or less given up detective work after a shootout that left them physically and mentally scarred when they are kidnapped by Trevor Stone, an immensely wealthy man, dying of cancer, who wants them to find his daughter Desiree who has disappeared along with Patrick’s mentor, Jay Becker, another Boston detective.

As with most good stories, the ostensible is rarely part of the outcome. This one truly has a plot built on shifting sands. Take nothing for granted.

I liked the sarcasm and occasional wit. I’m always far more impressed with authors whose characters work out a solution that doesn’t involve knocking someone on the head. Show me some intelligence and cleverness and I’ll be a fan. This third in the series has some typical over-the-top violence, but I liked the nifty cerebral elements, particularly the way they solved the dilemma in the end.
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LibraryThing member LisaMaria_C
This novel fits smugly in the hard boiled detective genre, which as a rule I despise. Celebrated stylists such as Mosley, Burke and Chandler for various reasons have left me cold, their books unfinished or leaving me determined never to read another, and yet I keep reading Lehane's Kenzie and Genaro. This third in the series has them investigating the disappearance of a billionaire's beautiful daughter. The reviewer who calls this formulaic with silly action scenes is right. In particular there's this scene on a bridge that is way too Hollywood action scene, with trauma inflicted on human beings that shouldn't allow them to walk away. And we're supposed to credit that because some punk works for the IRS he can freeze accounts and screw up your credit cards by himself at will within a few hours. The plot points of this one is conventional, even cliched noir, and plot-wise this third book is the weakest in the series so far.

Yet I enjoyed this novel and intend to read more in the series. Why? Not two pages in there's an exchange between Patrick Kenzie and Angie Genaro that caused me to smile wildly and encapsulates the reasons I keep reading this series:

"How can you not like Star Trek?" Angie said.
"Easy. I watch it, it annoys me, I turn it off"
"Even Next Generation?"
"What's that?" I said.
"When you were born," she said, "I bet your father held you up to your mother and said, 'Look, hon, you just gave birth to a beautiful crabby old man.'"

That's why I keep reading. Because I enjoy myself along the way. Because unlike the usual hard-boiled private detective, Patrick isn't some lone gunman but has a partner--a woman he loves, respects and depends upon who is a kick-ass heroine who always has his back, and because Patrick is enough of a smart aleck to amuse but not so much to annoy me. Because I love Kenzie and Gennaro separately and together.
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LibraryThing member tymfos
The high quality of this series continues. This time, Kenzie & Gennaro are looking for the missing daughter of a billionaire -- and for the private investigator who disappeared while on her trail. In this story, nothing and no one is as it appears, and it's best not to trust anyone. This book was almost impossible to put down, as the plot twisted and turned toward its conclusion. In some regards, the ending was a little over-the-top; but I can't think of an ending that would fit the story (and the characters involved) better.

Lehane displays his usual descriptive virtuosity, giving a rich, spot-on sense of place and atmosphere without overdoing it. I especially enjoy the sections set in Boston because I know that city pretty well, and Lehane captures its essence flawlessly.
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LibraryThing member JOSE.
Not the best of the series in my opinion. The writing is not as good. The story is rather uninteresting and the social criticism that we found in A Drink Before The War is not there. The characters are not deep enough neither, so it doesn't draw you in as much as Darkness, Take My Hand. All in all, a pretty shallow and passable read.… (more)
LibraryThing member jimmaclachlan
Lehane just keeps giving us a better story every time. Everything I've said in the reviews of the first two books applies; great characters, setting & plot. The action is better, too. (The scenes are written better.) The plot was as twisty as could be & made for a wonderful ride, especially the ending.

I can't wait to read the next.… (more)
LibraryThing member bontley
Flawed and cliched. Weak.
LibraryThing member ChrisNorbury
Another winner from Dennis Lehane. Kenzie and Gennaro have become two of my all time favorite literary characters, mainly because they are so tough yet so vulnerable, so flawed yet so much like the kind of best friends you'd like to have. Lehane's story telling is superb, and his plot is convoluted, yet easy to follow, and tension is present on nearly every page. If you haven't read him and you are a fan of mystery/thriller/suspense, read Lehane.… (more)
LibraryThing member AliceAnna
Yet another great book by Lehane. I wasn't sure Angie would survive the machinations of the black widow spider in this one. I thought it quite possible that Bubbba would save the day, but that wasn't the case. Patrick and Angie had to dig themselves out of this one (pun intended). The idea of justice at all costs pervades this novel as much or more than the others. Very dark, very violent, yet very good.… (more)
LibraryThing member christinejoseph
Boston — FLA — twists + turns — people not honorable or who they seem

Sacred is a dark and dangerous updating of Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep, as dying billionaire Trevor Stone hires Kenzie and Gennaro to find his daughter, Desiree. Patrick's mentor, a wonderfully devious detective named Jay Becker, has already disappeared in St. Petersburg, Florida, while working the case, so the two head there to pick up a trail. Desiree, of course, is nothing like the sweet and simple beauty described by her father, and even Chandler would have been amazed by the plot twists that Lehane manages to keep coming.… (more)
LibraryThing member mojacobs
Too formulaic, too improbable plot, too sillly action scenes - a disappointment. I'm not going to buy any more Kenzie and Gennaro books.
LibraryThing member gypsysmom
It’s been a long time since I read anything by Dennis Lehane although I know I have liked the books I have read. He just seems to have dropped off my radar in recent years. This book has been languishing on my TBR pile for many years but I recently picked it up. Immediately I was captivated by the witty repartee. Then I was intrigued by the mystery and I hardly came up for air for two days.
Patrick Kenzie and his partner Angie Gennaro are PIs based in Boston. They haven’t been working for a while because of their previous case which left both of them particularly Angie shocked and depressed. Then they notice someone tailing them. Patrick being the smart ass he is goes over to confront his tail. He really is off his game because he gets assaulted and drugged (as does Angela). It’s all good though because they get offered a lucrative job of finding a missing person by rich business magnate Trevor Stone. Stone’s wife was killed in a car-jacking; Trevor was injured and then was diagnosed with terminal cancer and their daughter Desiree got involved with a grief counsellor. Then Desiree disappeared and Trevor hired another investigator to find her. Jay Becker had been Patrick’s mentor and Patrick knew he could find almost anyone. Except Jay has now gone missing and Trevor still needs to find his daughter. He chose Kenzie and Gennaro for the job and when he couldn’t get them by telephone or letter he kidnapped them. Gives you some idea of the ruthlessness of Mr. Stone but as the story develops the kidnapping seems like small potatoes. The case takes them to Florida where even pallid Patrick gets a tan. They also get the idea that nothing in the case is as it seems. As Angie says “Up is down; black is white.” Trust Kenzie and Gennaro to get to the bottom of things despite attempts on their life bad weather and dishonourable people.
This was just the thing to remind me how much I enjoy a suspenseful thriller written by a great writer.
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