Sasha's Reviews > Gone, Baby, Gone

Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane
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's review
Dec 28, 2011

really liked it
Read from December 28 to 30, 2011

** spoiler alert ** Set in Boston, Massachusetts, Gone, Baby, Gone reintroduces us to private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, and right away you get the impression that they’re war veterans. Not the kind who come back from Iraq, of course, but veterans of the street war that has been waging between the “good guys” and the “bad guys” of Boston, a distinction that has become more and more blurred the longer Kenzie and Gennaro keep themselves involved.

This is the Boston you sample in hushed undertones, but never quite want to see for yourself; the Boston that you hear about on the ten o’clock local news if you’re there, or never hear about at all if you’re not; the Boston that you get a glimpse of if you’re ever unfortunate enough to find yourself in Southie or Dorchester at nightfall as an outsider. And, quite frankly, a Boston I never got to see as a kid growing up in Lynn, and I hope that it doesn’t exist. I do. I know it’s an author’s fictional rendering of Boston, but still, I have no doubt that this Boston is steeped in truth, and that chills me to the bone.

This entire book left me numb. I don’t think I really realized this while reading it, but afterwards I just sort of turned off my Nook and stared out into space for a while, unable to process. The subject matter, for one, is enough to make me lose sleep. You don’t harm children. You just don’t. They deserve to be protected and loved, and most of the adults in this book appalled me with their actions in one way or another regarding the children in this book. And the antagonists in this book, some of them at least, are the most disgusting, cruel excuses for humans I’ll ever read about. So to read an entire book about the disappearance of a young girl and the endless possibilities as to what could have happened to her made me feel as if I were part of a bad dream.

The moral dilemma that the book raises as its close did a number on me as well. It left me with lots of questions, the kind that had no real answers except for the opinion of each individual. The law and what is right sometimes coincide, and other times they don’t. This was one of those times where it definitely did not and it makes you want to whisper “It’s not fair” to whoever may be listening. Or maybe the better words would be “It’s not right” – the law is fair, I suppose… but it’s not always right. And I wish for the sake of the little girl in the book that it were.

This is the best book in the series. This is the worst book in the series. If you read it, you will understand what I mean.
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