AUTHOR | DENNIS LEHANE
PUBLISHER | WILLIAM MORROW
RELEASE | 11.2.10
In Gone Baby Gone, private detective Patrick Kenzie tore 4-year-old Amanda McCready away from would-be loving parents, returning her to a neglectful skank mom. Her “kidnapper” uncle went to prison. Now, 12 years later, Amanda has vanished again. Patrick takes the case, of course. He’ll get to hear about the shitty childhood he helped make happen.
Lehane can grind his characters nicely between regret and fate, but here, his attention wanders. We meet a drunk-driving trust-funder, a fitness guru who drove his daughter away for baby fat, and other easy targets for our spittle. In one interview, Patrick rolls his eyes at high school girls for over-using “like.” Original critique may not be his strength.
When a Mordovian gangster named Yefim bursts into the plot, calling Patrick “my main man” in that Eastern-Bloc way, it’s love at first banter. Later chapters swing between personal history hash-outs and debates on whether pointing out a Mexican during a Mexican stand-off is racist. A ridiculous shoot-em-up tries to break out of Moonlight Mile—if only Lehane had trashed the sequel and let it.