Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Moonlight Mile, by Dennis Lehane

Lehane, Dennis. Moonlight Mile. New York: William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2010. 324 pages. ISBN 9780061836923.

For those of you who were fans of Dennis Lehane's Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro detective series, Moonlight Mile brings them back to wrap up one of his earliest plots, in Gone, Baby, Gone. Twelve years ago, Patrick was hired to find the kidnapped daughter of a local meth addict. Patrick's decision to return Amanda to her mother has haunted him ever since. In the meantime, the little girl has grown into a super smart and capable sixteen year old, still living with her hopeless mother and her mother's drug dealer boyfriend. Now we find that Amanda has gone missing again, and Patrick agrees to try to find her, leading him into a world of Russian mobsters and identity theft.

Patrick and Angela have married and have a four year old of their own. All of his decisions are made against the context of his new life and role as a father. He's trying to land a job with benefits so that he can better support his new family as Angela pursues a master's degree. He doesn't have a lot of wriggle room financially, and it's important for him to wrap up this investigation so that he can take on a full time job with a corporate security firm.

I found Moonlight Mile as compelling as the first five books in the series (published 1994-1999). As Patrick rethinks all of his decisions in Gone, Baby, Gone, readers can see how marriage and fatherhood have changed him, but without changing his core values. Of course, there's a lot of high-tension action and great dialogue. Gone, Baby, Gone was made into a movie by and starring Ben Affleck. It would be great to see more of the Kenzie/Gennaro books made into movies, including Moonlight Mile. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys detective and crime fiction.

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