Thursday, June 16, 2011

CR Review #19: Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane

Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane

I've always been a big fan of Dennis Lehane. Years ago, I devoured his Patrick Kenzie series of private investigator books. As a Bostonian, I enjoyed and appreciated Lehane's attention to detail and the way that he brought the city of Boston to life as its own character. One of the books in this series was Gone, Baby, Gone, which became a movie directed by Ben Affleck and starring Amy Ryan as a completely dysfunctional, trainwreck of a mother who discovers that her only child has been kidnapped. In the original novel, private detectives Patrick Kenzie and his girlfriend Angie Genarro are hired to find 4-year-old Amanda McCready and bring her home to her mother. Gripping, depressing, surprising…Gone, Baby, Gone was a great mystery.

Moonlight Mile is the sequel…Twelve years after Patrick and Angie find Amanda, they find out that she has gone missing again. But things have changed: Patrick and Angie are married and have a young child. They find that they've been out of "the game" for quite a while and may not be 100% ready (physically, mentally, and financially) to jump back in to the dangerous world that Amanda and her mother Helene live in.

I enjoyed getting back into the lives of these characters, and was happy to read about them again. I liked that the characters had aged appropriately…grey hair, aches and pains, worries about health insurance and high cholesterol, and felt that the decisions they made -- both good and bad -- reflected well on how the characters had aged and changed as a married couple and as parents.

I much prefer these Kenzie/Gennaro mysteries to some of Lehane's other work (Mystic River and Shutter Island, I'm looking at you). Plus, as a graduate of Holy Cross, I'm always happy to read any book that starts off with a few good Boston College jokes.

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