MOONLIGHT MILE by Dennis Lehane

Book Quote:

“Her self-possession was, quite frankly, a bit scary. It certainly didn’t fill me with feelings of warmth.  And yet, I liked her.   I liked that the world had given her a raw deal and she’d dealt with it by playing the world’s game right up to the point where she raised her middle finger to it and walked away from the whole sham.”

Book Review:

Review by Eleanor Bukowsky  (JUL 25, 2011)

In 1998, private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro were hired to find a missing four-year-old girl named Amanda McCready. Even though she was raised by an unfit mother, Amanda has miraculously grown into a self-possessed, mature, and highly intelligent sixteen-year-old. However, suddenly Amanda disappears, and her Aunt Beatrice begs Patrick to find her again. He does not jump at the offer, partly because he has enough on his plate. Patrick and Angie, who are married and the doting parents of a precocious little girl, are deeply in debt. Angie isn’t working and Patrick desperately needs full-time employment with health benefits. However, the one position he has a chance of landing is with a company whose executives value the bottom line above morality; Patrick has done jobs for them that left him feeling tarnished.

Moonlight Mile is an exciting, funny, and fast-paced novel. The dialogue is energetic and sassy, the plot is ingenious, and Lehane’s snappy prose has never been better. When Patrick sees how much Beatrice has aged, he thinks to himself, “These days, fifty might be the new forty but in her case it was the new sixty.” The beleaguered Beatrice uses emotional blackmail to sway Patrick, claiming that he owes Amanda big time because of the mistakes he made that ruined her life. He disagrees, but circumstances change, and Patrick decides to take the case.

The author takes us on a thrill-ride in which Patrick goes toe to toe with vicious Russian hoodlums, psychotic drug dealers, and the arrogant and obnoxious father of Sophie, Amanda’s seventeen-year-old friend. There are other off-beat characters, such as Bubba, Patrick’s buddy who is “built like a bank vault door and had not even a passing acquaintance with fear.” In spite of Bubba’s support, Patrick soon finds himself in over his head. He knows that if he pursues this matter to its conclusion, it could prove costly. However, once he is committed, he is all in. The McCready case, which has already drained Patrick psychologically, pushes him even further to the edge and forces him to take stock of the man he has become. Moonlight Mile has more than its share of profanity and violence, but there is also a great deal of satirical humor to enliven the proceedings. This is an absorbing and satisfying mystery in which Lehane examines the meaning of parenthood, marital love, self-respect, integrity, and justice.

AMAZON READER RATING: stars-3-5from 313 readers
PUBLISHER: Harper; Reprint edition (July 26, 2011)
REVIEWER: Eleanor Bukowsky
EXTRAS: Reading Guide and Excerpt
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July 25, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: NE & New York, Reading Guide, Sleuths Series, Thriller/Spy/Caper, y Award Winning Author

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