In A Drink Before the War (1994), Boston P.I.s. Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are hired by a senator to find an African-American cleaning lady he suspects of stealing sensitive documents from his office. When she’s gunned down by an Uzi, Kenzie and Gennaro realize that the congressman’s been lying about who the woman was and what she knew. Lehane’s sharp writing and private investigators that are hard-boiled without being hard-hearted are the distinguishing factors of this award-winning detective series. A gallows humor permeates the book, creating an unforgettable tone in this impressive debut.
From the November 15, 1994 Booklist review:
“Lehane offers slick, hip, sparkling dialogue that’s as good as it gets, a plot that rockets along at warp speed, and the wonderfully original, in-your-face crime-solving duo of Kenzie and Dimassi.”