Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane

GoneBabygoneCover

Screen shot 2013-04-17 at 3.47.53 PM I’ve long been a fan of Dennis Lehane’s novels featuring engaging duo Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro. Gone, Baby, Gone is the fourth book in the series, and is far and away my favorite. I hadn’t planned on writing about it this week, but with Boston on my mind, it seemed like the perfect time to pay it homage because there’s no one out there who can capture the mood and movement of Boston better than Dennis Lehane.

This isn’t a feel good book, know that from the start. It deals with tough issues-kidnapping and child abuse-and the ending isn’t what you’d call uplifting. It begins with Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro (private investigators with a long personal history) being asked to look into the disappearance of four-year-old Amanda McCready. Amanda’s whole existence has been dominated by a mother who is careless at best and downright neglectful at worst.

One night, after Amanda is left alone in their apartment, she goes missing. Her disappearance sends the PI’s through a series of run-ins with cops, drug lords, the justice department and pedophiles. Mixed up in all of this is a whole lot of missing drug money, and no one seems to know who has it.

Amanda is presuScreen shot 2013-04-17 at 3.47.38 PMmed dead until Patrick runs into her devastated mother months later and new questions arise. When Patrick and Angie reopen their investigation, they discover that the whole kidnapping had been planned in order to get Amanda away from her mother’s care. But who has Amanda now, and why? The ending is full of twists that I, at least, didn’t see coming. It will make you question who the good guys are in this story and wonder what is more important: being right, or being righteous?

A word of caution: if you don’t want the other books in the series spoiled, you’ll want to read those first.

Is there a book that made the setting so real for you that you felt like you were there?

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Interested in reading Gone, Baby, Gone? Add it to your Goodreads, find it at your local library or one of the retailers below.

In print: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Powell’s

E-book: Kindle | Nook

5 Responses

  1. For me–Nora Robert’s Irish trilogies (Irish Born/Gallaghers) and her Chesapeake Bay Quartet both had the power to plant me in the Irish soil or along the New England ocean front. And, of course, Anne’s Land of Prince Edward Island! *Calls travel agent*

    1. My sister Sara is a huge fan of Nora Roberts. I read a stand-alone one of hers set in New Orleans ages ago and I wasn’t impressed. Do you think her series are better than her stand-alone works? Should I give her another shot? What do you think?

  2. Thanks for the great review. I’ve read Dennis Lehane and love his writing but haven’t read Gone Baby Gone yet. I’ll add it to my TBR pile. I’ve read two book (series) recently that put me right in the middle of the story: Sophie Littlefield’s Stella Hardesty books (A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY, A BAD DAY FOR SORRY and A BAD DAY FOR MERCY) which wrap you up in that small Missouri town where everyone knows each other and the vernacular is particular and awesome. The next is the L.E. Harner collaboration book series Altered States, set in New Orleans. The cadence and speech patterns are so spot on and the descriptions of the French Quarter made me homesick. I recommend both series.

  3. I really appreciate you telling me I need to read the others in the series first to avoid spoilers! I hate when reviewers leave out that information, as I like predicting what’s going to happen to my beloved characters first and then seeing what happens, with the end not being a foregone conclusion in my mind from the start.

    I saw the movie version of this years ago because I adore Ben Affleck and as I remember, he did a fantastic job. I didn’t realize there was a book version until the credits rolled and it was too late! But I think now enough time has passed that I can go read the book with a fresh eye, unprejudiced by the movie. (It made me incredibly sad at the time, so it’s not a movie that I’ve ever re-watched.)

    I’ve always meant to read Dennis Lehane’s work but never quite got around to it. I live only a 2 hour drive (the last 30min being in the city) from Boston, and I go there at least twice a month for doctor’s appointments…and hopefully more often than that during baseball season! (Go Red Sox!!) I’ve heard lots of people rave about how well his work captures the city of Boston but I’ve kind of been afraid to read it and be let down.

    Your review has reminded me to move him back to the top of my TBR pile. Once I finish the Outlander and A Song Of Ice & Fire series, he’ll be next on my list. Or maybe I’ll sandwich him in between to refresh my palatte between epic series, who knows?!

    #BostonStrong

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