Book Review: Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane

What happens when wrong feels right and right feels wrong? When situations that appear to be black and white turn out gray? What do you do then? These are the decisions that Private Investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro have to grapple with in Gone, Baby, Gone (Harper Fiction). Patrick Kenzie himself realizes that, “Facades, no matter how well built, usually come down.”

Both investigators meet Helen McCready who reaches out to the public to find her missing daughter Amanda. It turns out that Helen and her boyfriend, “Skinny Ray” stole money from a drug lord, leading the investigators to believe that Amanda was taken as a ransom for the money. Following this lead, the investigators are taken down a road full of; twist and turns, drug dealers, guns and violence, and men who prey on children. Nothing is as it seems, and what is morally right and what is best, do not find common ground.

Make no mistake, this is not your run of the mill crime novel. In true Lehane fashion, you will be kept on the edge of your seat guessing what will happen next until the dust is clear and the “whodunnit” question is served up on a platter just in time for dinner.

The suspense of this novel is great, although it somewhat dragged on near the end by trying out too many possibilities, and twist and turns that had me screaming, “alright already whodunnit.” Facades form the premise of this novel and keep you flipping the pages to uncover the truth in the same way that Kenzie and Gennaro do.

Quotes that struck me throughout the novel:

“What if someone pretends to be one thing because society deems he must, but in reality he’s something else because he deems he must?”

Sometimes we do the right thing but it wouldn’t hold up in court. It wouldn’t survive the scrutiny of”–he made quotation marks with his fingers–”society.”

For my next post I am going to analyze how Dennis Lehane in Gone Baby Gone deals with the last question.

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