Alison's Reviews > Gone, Baby, Gone

Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane
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's review
Jun 08, 2008

really liked it
Recommended for: fans of crime fiction, fans of the movie
Read in June, 2008

I didn't think I would like this book. I didn't think I'd ever even give it a shot. The title alone let's you know what you're in for, even if you haven't seen the movie innocent little girl goes missing.

But for whatever reason, I picked this one up, and I was sucked in. I only truly paused once in a day for sleep. I was engrossed in this gritty story of two detectives, boyfriend/girlfriend who reluctantly agree to take on the case of Amanda McCready...a four-year old who is taken from her bed while her mom is ten blocks away drinking beer with low-lifes in a scuzzy Boston bar.

What's interesting about this story is that it's not a cheap, one-dimensional crime thriller. There's a story here--it's well thought out, and the writing is intelligent, the humor is dry. The characters are tormented and real.

Parenting "the right way" is a gray area--who should be allowed to parent, and who should be allowed to judge who's a good candidate or a bad one? What's necessary to be a "good parent"? Making good "life choices" honest desire...or is love enough? Are children really better off with their blood relatives? Ultimately, it's not up to us to say, although it may be difficult for us to understand or abide alongside imperfect situations.

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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Have you seen the movie? Pretty dark stuff. I couldn't get it off my mind after seeing it. I'm not sure I could read the book, but it's a great story.

message 2: by Alison (last edited Jun 08, 2008 08:44PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alison I loved this book. I read it in less than 24 hrs. I barely put the thing down. I was afraid that the kidnapping thing would get to me, but it was so captivating. I definetely want to see the movie now.

I have this love/hate thing with crime fiction. It scares me to death, but I keep being drawn to it. Nothing gratuitously gory or anything, just stuff that's well done. I like this author (Mystic River).


message 3: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer I think they should have left the girl with the cop. Call it idealistic, but I think she should have stayed there.
By the way-I have Claire's swimsuit coverup. I keep picturing her on that scooter and it makes me smile. Do you want me to mail it? I'll be glad to.

Alison Gosh..what a great trip. I'll be thinking of little moments from that trip for the rest of my life....(the "klection"). You can mail it if you want. I've still got Emerson's Dora dress, which may not even fit her now.

message 5: by Alison (last edited Jun 08, 2008 10:11PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars


I noticed quite a few differences in the translation of book to film (from reading about the film on wikipedia--not yet seen it). For example, as Ginnie said, the final scene with Kinzie and Amanda was a new touch.

Also, I found out after this reading (maybe already known to others) that Kinzie and Gennaro were the subject of 5 of Lehane's novels...this being the fourth..where she, you know...leaves him at the end...

The Kenzie-Gennaro novels
A Drink Before the War (1994)
Darkness, Take My Hand (1996)
Sacred (1997)
Gone, Baby, Gone (1998)
Prayers for Rain (1999)

message 6: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Ooh, I'd love to read some of those. i loved those 2 characters, and would love to know their history. The main storyline of Gone Baby Gone was not what was too dark for me. it was the subplots, the dirty world that exists everywhere and is rarely seen.

Alison was that way in the book. There was that other storyline, about the child kidnappers. The scene where they "raid" their house in the book was VERY disturbing. The whole idea of how dark the world can be....all the sick things that go on. Some people are exposed to that every day in their jobs...even nurses to a certain extent with the neglect, and the child abuse. Some people really bear that burden on a day to day basis.

I like those 2 characters, too. I hope to see this movie soon.

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