This is one of my paperbacks that I bought at the west branch back in April of 2008. I read and finished it the first time in July, 2008.
This novel was released in 1994 and is the first in the Patrick Angie Gennaro Detective Series.
The book is set in Boston- mainly Dorchester. Pat is the son of a famous fireman. This man physically (he burned Patrick on the stomach with an iron to teach him that a kitchen fire could be deadly) abused Pat and he is a damaged individual because of this. Angie is married to Phil. All three of them were friends growing up, but now Phil physically abuses Angie and Pat is in love with her. These dynamics play a large role in all the books of the series.
Pat and Angie's office is located in a bell tower of a catholic church.
This novel concerns the theft of property from a politician by a cleaning woman. This woman is married to one of the biggest gang leaders of the city, and his son is the leader of the other biggest gang.
Socia- elder gang leader
Roland- his son
Jenna- Mother of Roland and wife of Socia. She is brutally shot down and murdered near the Boston Commons. Patrick shots the shooter and this is photographed and makes him famous.
Patrick discovers that the 'property' is actually photographs of a prominent and powerful politician having sex with a young boy. The boy is the gang leader and his father, the other gang leader, is the pimp. If this information would be made public, all three men would lose everything.
Patrick and Angie shot and kill Roland. The premise is that some people can change and some can't. Either they change or you kill them- no compromise can exist.
I have never read a book where the title is so clever and the scene in which it occurs is unforgettable. Devin, head of a police gang unit, invites Pat and Angie for a drink in a white bar in a black neighborhood. 'The War' is the inevitable gang-war between Socia and Roland's gangs.
Angie, Pat, and Devin, an officer in a police gang unit, meet in a bar. There is a customer standing on the bar in front of the TV watching a football game and counting the number of black players on the Notre Dame football team. He refers to them as 'niggers'. When the tirate ends, Devin calls him over and sucker-punches him in the face and breaks his nose, and says, "A nigger friend of mine asked me to give you that. He knew you'd understand". Although Devin is a complete alcoholic, he is an excellent cop and does have a black partner.
Anything by Lehane is worth a look, and I found another book that's part of the series in my collection and I play to get to it soon.