Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro #1: A Drink Before the War by Dennis LehaneMystery/Crime Thriller
This was my first Dennis Lehane novel, but it certainly won't be my last.
It's one of my very favorite kinds of mysteries with a smart aleck detective with disarming charm who alternately woos and infuriates the romantic interest. While I do love those lighter-hearted capers, this one has a bit more meat, a bit more heat, and a bit more gravity.
Patrick and Angie run a detective firm in Boston. They are in love with one another, but too stubborn to admit it. Plus, there's the annoying fact of Angie's jealous and abusive husband. The two are hired by a politician, eager to claim some paperwork that was stolen by a maid. As the two delve deeper into the case, they soon discover a crime that infects the whole city in a horrible race war. It's tragic to see how long ago this book was written and to see how it absolutely still mirrors the problems society has with this issue today.
This is a crime novel that will stand out from the rest because of the seriousness of the topic, but one that will capture you with its sweet charm and hope for a better future. I've already bought the next one in the series and can't wait to read it.