Friday, 26 September 2014

Moonlight Mile, by Dennis Lehane

(ish) stars 

While I’ve seen Mystic River, Shutter Island and Gone Baby Gone, I’ve not yet read any Dennis Lehane and so I thought it was probably high time I gave him a go. It turns out that having seen the latter would set me in good stead, as in Moonlight Mile I’d apparently picked up the follow-up to Gone Baby Gone. Not only that, I’d also apparently picked up the last in a series. 

Twelve years ago Patrick Kenzie helped return a missing four year-old to a neglectful mother and a hard life. Now a jaded sixteen, Amanda Macready has vanished once again. And once again Patrick is drawn into tracking her down.

Featuring great characters and smart, witty dialogue there was a lot I enjoyed about Moonlight Mile. I enjoyed the writing style and Lehane was great at giving a little depth to even the most peripheral of characters. Not only that, I loved that Patrick was a flawed man doing his best in a flawed world –the cases that we saw him work all had questionable outcomes, and none more so than the original case of Amanda Macready where doing the right thing meant also doing the wrong thing by pretty much everyone involved. 

However, with the introduction of Yefim and the Russian mob in the last quarter, what we gained in comic banter between he and Patrick didn’t make up for what we also gained in cliché. I’d already been starting to compare it unfavourably with Gone Baby Gone, which was the far more interesting case for me, and the stereotypical psychotic Russian crime boss really didn’t help its cause.

I’m sure I’ll come back to Dennis Lehane again – the writing was far too enjoyable for me not to. But next time I’ll probably do a bit more window-shopping before picking blindly.

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