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CR3 #81: Moonlight Mile (Kenzie & Gennaro #6) by Dennis Lehane

Twelve years ago, Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro got involved in tracking down Amanda McCready, a missing child from the tough Boston neighborhood of Dorchester. The case was a moral quandary, and nearly destroyed their relationship. Both of them still have doubts about how the girl's problems were solved, and whether returning her to her substance addled mother was the right decision. Now, time has passed, Patrick and Angie are married with a daughter of their own, they've both grown dissatisfied with the private eye business, and Amanda is missing again. Patrick sets out to find her, perhaps to quiet his long restless conscience.

The plot on this is good and interesting, though rather far-fetched. My problems had more to do with the characters. Although the characters of Patrick and Angie were more or less believable, everyone else was a cartoon. Amanda was too smart, the adults around her too stupid. The eastern European gangsters were stereotypes. It's almost as if Lehane were revisiting his old characters not because he wanted to or felt particularly inspired, but because he thought that's what his fans want--a book to tie up the series and leave Patrick and Angie to live happily ever after. The writing was funny and clever, and for the most part I enjoyed it. However, it felt like there was no soul there--the previous books are so firmly set in time and place, full of the little details that evoke those special parts of Boston, and this one was adrift. It could have taken place anywhere.

On the whole, not a bad book, and one to check out for those who have followed the series. However, there's no point in reading it unless you have at least read Gone, Baby, Gone.


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