- Complete Monster:
- A Drink Before the War: Marion Socia was a two-bit pimp just years ago before he took over Dorchester's drug trade. Using drugs to brainwash kids into being his soldiers, Socia showed no remorse in putting a hit out on his own son Roland when the boy broke from Socia to form his own gang. Socia has his own wife murdered when she steals valuable photos from him: namely photos that show Socia pimping out Roland (then preteen, if not prepubescent) to a local politician. When the gang war goes badly, Socia attempts to get the photos so that he can blackmail Roland. When the heroes Angie and Patrick are against Socia, the police have them listen to a video of Socia viciously torturing a boy who got brave enough to wear a wire by cutting him and taking out his eye. Despite coming from the poorest, most brutal part of Dorchester, Socia has no excuse for his actions. At his heart, he is nothing but a monster feeding on the misery of others.
- Darkness, Take My Hand: Gerry Glynn is an egomaniacal Serial Killer with a god complex, who discovered how much he loved killing after murdering his wife for pointlessly blaming her for their son's death by brain aneurysm. Realizing how much he enjoyed the experience, Glynn cast off all love and human morality he may have once possessed while believing that killing was more fun if he targeted the undeserving. Glynn tortured, crucified, blinded and mutilated his victims over the years while training other killers in his work, forming a twisted parody of the Holy Trinity with Glynn as the "father" who sent his disciples to kill innocents, as well as to target Patrick and Angie when they were on the case. When exposed, Glynn attempted to force Patrick to confront him publicly by holding a young mother and a newborn baby at gunpoint with a bomb strapped to himself, fully willing to kill them if things did not go his way.
- Magnificent Bitch: Amanda McCready in "Moonlight Mile". And she's sixteen.
- Nightmare Fuel:
- Devin's audio recording of one of his informants being tortured to death by Marion Socia in "A Drink Before the War".
- A great deal of "Darkness, Take My Hand", but the description of the remains of Jason Warren is probably the worst. (It's Nightmare Fuel in-universe as well; Patrick describes how the first cops on the scene ended up quitting the force soon after.)
- One-Scene Wonder: Kirill Borzakov and his wife Violeta, the Ax-Crazy Big Bad Duumvirate of "Moonlight Mile".
- Tear Jerker:
- Phil's death.
- Patrick neglecting to respond to a message from Karen Nichols in Prayers for Rain only to find that she later jumped from a skyscraper.
- The Woobie: Karen Nichols in Prayers for Rain.
- Lionel and Beatrice McCready- he's a recovering alcoholic who's had to be a Parental Substitute to his niece because his sister is a neglectful, self-pitying drug addict and he ends up in prison after he kidnaps her to spirit her away to a better home; she loses her husband to prison and her son in a DUI, and is forbidden by law from talking to her niece despite caring about her welfare far more than her biological mother does.
YMMV / Kenzie and Gennaro Series