Patrick and Angie have led rough careers as private investigators and after the events in Sacred, they’ve decided to pull back a little. When we catch up with them in Gone Baby Gone, they’ve all but sworn off cases that could lead to violence, death and destruction. Unfortunately for them, when young Amanda McCready goes missing, Amanda’s grieving Aunt and Uncle are persistent in their requests for the detectives’ help.
Patrick and Angie aren’t sure they’ll be able to offer much up in the way of help. The Boston PD have been working around the clock trying to find Amanda and with her face plastered all over the city, every citizen will have their eyes peeled. There’s also the matter of the girl’s mother, Helene. To put it simply, she’s a burnout. She spends all her time glued to the TV, strung-out on drugs and alcohol. In fact, her negligence was the direct cause of Amanda’s disappearance. Patrick and Angie team up with Crimes Against Children (CAC) officials Remy Broussard and Nick Poole. The foursome work together to turn Boston upside down.
If you thought Darkness, Take My Hand was a tough read, Gone Baby Gone will rip your heart out. Patrick and Angie are put through the proverbial thresher, their lives and relationships come under unbelievable strain as they desperately try to recover the missing girl. While the body count isn’t on the level of the first few novels, the tension is tight and unrelenting.
If anything, Lehane can write a hell of a page-turner. Gone Baby Gone is a visceral read that I wouldn’t recommend for those with a weak stomach or who deal well with child abuse in fiction. But I would argue it’s an important read, if only that it questions morality and what it means to “do the right thing”.