Saturday, January 8, 2011

Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane

Moonlight Mile
Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane

The blurb:
Amanda McCready was four years old when she vanished from a Boston apartment in 1997.  Desperate pleas for help from the child's aunt led savvy, tough-nosed investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro to take on the case.  The pair risked everything to find the young girl -- only to have Kenzie orchestrate her return to a neglectful mother and a broken home.

Now Amanda is sixteen -- and gone again.  A stellar student, brilliant but aloof, she is now destined to escape her upbringing.  Yet Amanda's aunti s once more knocking on Kenzie's door, fearing the worst for the little girl who has blossomed into a striking, bright young woman who hasn't been seen in two weeks.

Haunted by the past, Kenzie and Gennaro revisit the case that troubled them the most, following a twelve-year trail of secrets and lies down the darker alleys of Boston's gritty, blue-collar streets. Assuring themselves that this time will be different, they vow to make good on their promise to find Amanda and see that she is safe.  But their determination to do the right thing holds dark implications Kenzie and Gennaro aren't prepared for. . . consequences that could cost them not only Amanda's life but their own.

I'd seen several movies based on Dennis Lehane's books.  His Boston based work had always been of particular interest to me, but Moonlight Mile  is the first novel that I'd read.  The movies emphasize the action, detective work, and give a strong sense of location. But in reading Moonlight Mile, I got a better sense of the humor and characters that inhabit his writing. 

Moonlight Mile has the suspense, uncertainty and quick pace that I'd come to expect from his movies, but Kenzie and Gennaro are richer characters in Moonlight Mile than they'd appeared to me in Gone, Baby, Gone.   As we follow Kenzie's investigation into the second disappearance of Amanda McCready, we see the compromises that they've had to make over the years as well as their essential strengths, the things that have kept them the sort of heroes that we enjoy reading about.
Moonlight Mile is a funny, fast-paced, and satisfying detective suspense novel.  I am looking forward to the next Dennis Lehane "Boston" novel.

ISBN-10: 0061836923 - Hardcover $26.99
Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (November 2, 2010), 336 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author:
Dennis Lehane's novels include the New York Times bestsellers The Given Day: A Novel, Prayers for Rain, Gone, Baby, Gone: A Novel, Mystic River,  and Shutter Island, as well as Coronado  a collection of short stories and a play.  He and his wife, Angie, divide their time between Boston and the Gulf Coast of Florida.

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