Moonlight Mile

Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane

After shelving Kenzie and Gennaro for eleven years, Lehane returned to his signature characters in 2010 with the series’ sixth novel, Moonlight Mile.  A lot has happened since we last left the detectives.  Patrick and Angie have since tied the knot and brought life into the world in their four year old daughter, Gabby.  Feeling the pinch of the recession, Patrick is stuck freelancing for a big investigation firm, hoping to woo them enough to be hired on fulltime while Angie is taking classes working toward a degree.

Patrick is approached by Beatrice McCready, the estranged aunt of the once missing Amanda McCready – the same Amanda that Patrick and Angie worked hard to track down twelve years ago (1998s Gone, Baby, Gone).  Bea tells Patrick that Amanda, now 16, has gone missing a second time and once again requests Patrick’s assistance in finding her.  While initially reluctant, Patrick views this as his shot at redemption as he looks to ease the guilt over the results of the last time she went missing.

Revisiting Kenzie & Gennaro’s most famous case was likely the right move on Lehane’s part in resurrecting the series.  I can’t speak for everyone, but I know I was curious as to what happened to little Amanda McCready and in Moonlight Mile, Lehane is determined to put her through the ringer one last time.  While the plot isn’t quite as complex as Gone, Baby, Gone, Lehane keeps things interesting by introducing a plethora of bit characters that populate some memorable scenes.  Russian gangsters Pavel and Yefim stole every scene they were in – so much so that I’d read the hell out of a book featuring just those two.  Lehane somehow made Amanda’s mother Helene even more despicable this time around and Patrick & Angie’s encounter with a fitness guru yields some laughs, if only due to the man’s missing moral compass.

If this is where Lehane chooses to end the series, it’s difficult to come up with any complaints.  While life doesn’t often give us happy endings, it’s nice to know that once in awhile, the truly good people out there do get what they deserve in the end.

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