Review: Gone, Baby, Gone

Gone, Baby, Gone
Gone, Baby, Gone by Den­nis Lehane

My rat­ing: 5 of 5 stars

Gone, Baby, Gone is the fourth of Den­nis Lehane’s series with PIs Patrick Ken­zie and Angela Gen­nero. Fourth, and so far, arguably, the best.

While the sto­ry took me a good 50 pages to get into, once Patrick and Ang­ie take the case, that of a miss­ing child, the emo­tion­al stakes sky­rock­et for both read­er and char­ac­ters. And it just nev­er stops. There are more twists and turns to this plot than an dirt road wind­ing through a treach­er­ous ravine, but always the twists were log­i­cal, and always com­plete­ly believ­able. At one point, I set the book down, think­ing, “I have no idea how they’re going to make it out of this one.”

In Gone, Baby, Gone, our cen­tral char­ac­ters’ strengths are giv­en a gen­er­ous hand, but so too are their flaws. Mis­takes are made, good peo­ple fal­ter, bad peo­ple tri­umph, and the read­er is left try­ing to decide if jus­tice was done; if the truth was worth hold­ing up to the light. In fact, while he’s busy break­ing his char­ac­ters’ hearts, he’s break­ing ours as well. The sub­ject mat­ter, the endem­ic neglect and abuse of chil­dren in Amer­i­ca, hits every­one with the weight of a freight train, and none are left unscathed even if some are left stand­ing. Lehane asks hard ques­tions, and expects his read­er to at least think of pos­si­bil­i­ties.

Yes, it’s a mys­tery. Yes, it’s a thriller. And yes, Gone, Baby, Gone is so much more. Read it. You’ll be glad you did.

Lehane just keeps get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter. I am in awe.

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