Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Review #97: Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane

Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: HarperCollins
(Galley copy compliments of the publisher. Thank you!)
On sale: November 2

My Thoughts:

Have I told you all how much I dig Dennis Lehane? Scratch that. LOVE Dennis Lehane? I have been a fan of his since I read Mystic River many years ago. Luckily, I have read all of his books that have been turned into movies BEFORE I saw them in the theater. It's a must.
His writing is so powerful and descriptive. It is necessary that you form your own ideas of the characters and settings before Hollywood does it for you. Don't get me wrong...there is little to complain about when you get Sean Penn as one of the leads in Mystic River and Leonardo Dicaprio as the lead in Shutter Island. They chose well.
Casey Affleck as Patrick Kenzie in Gone, Baby, Gone, however?

But I digress.

Dennis Lehane's new novel takes place twelve years after the events of Gone, Baby, Gone, (Loved the movie. Loved the book. Didn't quite love the choice of actors for the leads). It features private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro. They are now married, have a daughter and trying very hard to make ends meet. With Angie in school, Patrick is forced to work as much as he can to provide for his family.
Working freelance as an investigator doesn't pay enough and Patrick struggles with keeping his cool to finish the jobs. After being turned down for a permanent position because of his knack for judging his clients too much, he is approached by a person from his past.

The past can be a tricky thing.

Twelve years ago he rescued Amanda McCready from her kidnappers and brought her back home. Seemingly a noble, heroic thing, right? Well, those "kidnappers" were the loving, caring, older couple, Jack and Tricia Doyle. And her home? A cracked out, drunk, single mom Helene.
Patrick has had to accept that what he did was the right thing to do, even though many at that time felt the exact opposite. The event broke up his relationship with Angie for over a year and put a mark on his chest he couldn't wash off.

In the middle of it all was Beatrice McCready, the aunt of Amanda. Fierce and protective towards her, she brought Patrick on all those years ago and now she needs his help again. Turns out Amanda has gone missing again. Sixteen years old, wickedly smart and not afraid to run, Amanda has lived a life beyond her years.
She has seen the worst and doesn't believe in the best.

Patrick is ready to walk away but Angie is itching to get back in the game and make it all right. Being a stay at home mom and part-time student isn't giving Angie the edge that she got while doing investigating. She convinces Patrick to take the case and goes along for the ride.

What follows is a slick, twisted slope into the world of Russian gangsters, fraud, drugs,vengeance and redemption. I love the characters of Kenzie and Gennaro. Patrick is strange, moody, big hearted, practical, cynical, madly in love with Angie and great at what he does. He knows his turf. He knows his boundaries...sometimes.
He knows how to get a reaction out of people.
Though you don't see as much of Angie in this one, you still feel her throughout; her strength, her wit, her humor, her edge, and her undeniable connection and partnership with Patrick.

The events that take place are crazy to imagine but undeniably compulsively readable.

Rating: 5 stars/ 6 stars
I recommend it! I was excited to see it in my mailbox. It fit my mood perfectly. This is not a cozy mystery at all, though it's not as gritty as you may think. Patrick's character is so well seasoned in the seedy business of private investigating, that you easily roll with it all.
And sometimes you are rolling into bad, bad news, my friends but doing it with really good back up.
Recommended!! Start with Gone, Baby, Gone first to get a feel of what these characters went through together. It will help in understanding the way they interact now.

Book Club Note:
This isn't for everyone and probably wouldn't generate much discussion. It's enjoyed best by yourself, with a beer and your feet up...perhaps with the Red Sox playing in the background.

Boy, do I miss Boston.*

Author website:

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child

* I used to live in Boston during my 20s and I can not say enough good things about that city. Coolest damn place ever.


Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I have no idea why I haven't read Dennis Lehane yet!! Must get this book...!!

Melissa said...

I've never read Gone, Baby, Gone, but I really need to read it. Do I have to read that one first before this one?

great review!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Great review Michelle! I liked it too, but not as much as some of his other books. LOVE BOSTON too!

Jenny said...

I've actually never read a Lehane book but have really been wanting to! I saw Gone Baby Gone before I realized it was a book and really liked that too... brought up some very interesting questions!

Marce said...

Boston is my sweetie and I's escape place, love it. We enjoy staying in Back Bay near Newbury Street.

I have only read Shutter Island but would like to try another by DennisL.

Tales of Whimsy said...

Great review! I'm not sure about this one but I LOVED your review :)

Gina said...

Agreed on the read before you see it...though the only book of this particualr author's that I've read is SHUTTER ISLAND. Definitely enjoyed the book...the movie, well it was okay, but the ending...egad! Why or why do they feel the need to twist things more than they already are?! Sounds like this one delves into the past a bit but also offers much action....can't say it's quite for me, but I can certainly see the draw. Thanks for sharing!

"There was a barber and his wife,
And he was beautiful,
A proper artist with a knife,
But they transported him for life.
And he was beautiful..."
--Sweeney Todd

Julie said...

I had not read any of Lehane's work before this one, although Mystic River was a fave movie of mine (heck, I didn't even know the movie was based on a book, or I'd have read the book first). After reading this one, the next day I stepped into a local indie bookstore and picked up another title of his! I thought this book was fun, so I had to read more!

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

A Musing Mother said...

The dialogue in this book is what hooked me. It made me laugh out loud. Hilarious.