Cynthia's Reviews > Moonlight Mile

Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane
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's review
Nov 01, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: goodreads-first-reads
Read in April, 2011

I received this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program. One of the things that I love about this program is that it enables me to read authors I would not otherwise consider and I've been introduced to some excellent writing thanks to Goodreads. I picked another winner with Moonlight Mile.

There is nothing about this book I don't like. From the very first few pages, I was hooked. Remember now, this book is my introduction to Dennis Lehane. I know nothing about the past of Patrick Kenzie and his wife, Angie. Sometimes that can make for a very uncomfortable read. Not here. The back story necessary to follow the action is woven into the current situation with such an easy and efficient manner that I had no difficulties keeping up with the past.

Private investigator Patrick Kenzie worries about how his family will meet their financial obligations when he does not get a permanent position with the company that hires him to find ways to save their clients money. He needs steady work. His wife is working on a master's degree in sociology and is nearly finished. He rebuffs her offer to put her studies on the back burner and help out. He considers his options. He worries a bit more.

He gets a call at 3am from someone in his past. "Find her again. You owe me." He wonders if he dreamed it the next morning. And then he runs into her on his way to the subway. Beatrice McCready. Twelve years earlier, Patrick had found her 4-year-old niece who, it turned out, had been kidnapped by Lionel McCready, Beatrice's husband. With the help of some rogue cops, he had removed Amanda from an abusive and neglectful mother and given her to a couple who loved her and gave her the stability that all children need. He returned her to that mother and those involved in her kidnapping went to prison. He knows he did the right thing, but he also knows that the right thing is not necessarily the best thing.

Fast forward to the present. Amanda has disappeared again. But this time, Mama says she's at home and no one wants to do any checking. Beatrice knows that something has happened because Amanda simply stopped calling and that's not like her. So she asks Patrick to find her again. He knows he should walk away but he can't. And he begins his search.

The book is action packed but maintains its humanity. Everyone plays the cards that life has dealt. There are no supermen or women in this book. The characters are totally believable, even those who are completely off the wall. The dialogue is smart and witty. There are multiple surprises and some interesting twists along the way. It was a very satisfying read.

I look forward to going back in time and meeting Patrick and Angie 'way back then.' I have no doubt that they will have lost their urbane charm and charisma. Mr. Lehane has a new fan!


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