This is the second installment in the Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro series by Dennis Lehane. It feels like the second in the series. Not as good as the first one ("A Drink Before the War") which sets the tone for the books to follow and not as strong as the later one I've read ("Gone, Baby, Gone"). In the first one Lehane gets to introduce his characters and surroundings, in the second one he has to start to figure out what he's going to do with them. Patrick and Angie felt flat compared to "Gone, Baby, Gone" and the book was extremely violent. Still there are flashes of what will come with the personal relationships, the Dorchester area and the writing that grips you and keeps you reading.
Parts of the book are really ugly and gross. I can't imagine coming in contact with the type of violence and depravity described in the book. P. said he wished I would not read murder mysteries. Why not? I'm an adult. I know this is fiction. It's an escape. Granted, unlike a romance it's not an escape into a dream world or a better place. These books show the ugliness in the world. Why would you want to spend your free time reading them? Because I enjoy them. Even in the midst of the fear and violence the characters share a bond. They work together. They have strong friendships. They use their brains. Frankly, after a day at my job I'm jealous of the teamwork. Plus I like a good whodunit that keeps me guessing. So will continue to read these books even though they can be scary because they give me a charge.