Saturday, January 09, 2010
Uncle Ben's Book Blog: Sacred, by Dennis Lehane
Some of you may have seen the movie Mystic River. Dennis Lehane wrote the novel on which the movie was based. That was a stand-alone novel. Sacred is part of a private eye series featuring the detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro. In a certain sense, this book is standard issue detective fiction. What sets the book apart from many others in the genre is the quality of Lehane's writing. He sets tone. He sets character. He sets place. And the world comes alive. You read Lehane in part to find out out who did what. But perhaps in larger part, you read Lehane for the pleasure of the journey.
Now this is gritty stuff, and not something I would recommend to the faint of heart. But if you like a tale well-told, and occasionally indulge in genre fiction, you could do a lot worse than Lehane, and rarely do better.
By the way, another movie based on a Dennis Lehane novel is due out this year. Shutter Room is directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Leonardo DiCaprio. The book is exceedingly creepy, and I suspect Scorsese will do it justice.