Book Review

Review: Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane

Moonlight Mile - Dennis Lehane
Moonlight Mile – Dennis Lehane

Moonlight Mile is the first Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro suspense novel in more than a decade from the acclaimed, New York Times bestselling master of the new noir, Dennis Lehane. An explosive tale of vengeance and redemption—the brilliant sequel to Gone, Baby, Gone—Moonlight Mile returns Lehane’s unforgettable and deeply human detective duo to the mean streets of blue collar Boston to investigate the second disappearance of Amanda McCready, now sixteen years old. After his remarkable success with Mystic River, Shutter Island, and The Given Day, the celebrated author whom the Washington Post praises as, “one of those brave new detective stylists who is not afraid of fooling around with the genre’s traditions,” returns to his roots—and the result, as always, is electrifying.

SPOILER ALERT – If you haven’t read the previous books in the Kenzie-Gennaro series yet, you may want to skip this review and the prior, Prayers For Rain, as both contain spoilers.

Lehane is kind of a monster, making us wait eleven years for this story but it was completely worth it, I swear. Although action-packed and compelling, it’s not the nail-biter we’re become used to from Kenzie and Gennaro. This book is enjoyable because it doesn’t have an axe over the MC’s necks at every point like some of the others and it also gives us what most of us wanted all along: Patrick and Angie are now happily married with a family of their own. And, possibly most shocking of all, they remain that way with no devastating ending this time.

Years have passed and the duo’s struggling financially since Angie has gone back to school. They don’t discuss the case that almost destroyed them but their own young daughter is a constant reminder of how fragile our children are and how much they need loving parents to protect them from the world.

Amanda McCready is now sixteen years old and has vanished for a second time. Her aunt, Beatrice McCready, who initially implored Patrick and Angie to help find her long ago, ended up hating the two when they did in fact solve the case. Amanda’s uncle (Bea’s husband) had given her to another family. In perhaps the ultimate example of the road to hell being paved with good intentions, Lionel McCready had joined forces with corrupt cops to save Amanda from Helene’s disastrous lifestyle. Angie wanted to leave her there, Patrick disagreed and called the police. Amanda was given back to Helene, Lionel and others went to prison and still others paid with their lives. Bea’s son grew up without a father and Amanda was stuck with Helene anyway so she finds Patrick to tell him he owes it to her to find Amanda again.

Patrick concedes and goes off to find Amanda yet again, discovering along the way that despite the odds, Amanda has grown up to be a wonderful person. He tangles with the Russian mob and other bad actors, putting his own family in harms’ way. Since this is already full of spoilers, I’ll admit that we finally get a happy ending for Patrick and Angie and Amanda, too.

Moonlight Mile makes it clear this is the end of the beloved series but since Lehane refuses to keep writing the series, he gives us the next best thing by wrapping up all the old loose ends and giving the MC’s we love a happy life.

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