Friday, February 11, 2011
After pretty much loving A Given Day, Shutter Island, and Mystic River, I decided that this is as close to fan girl as I was going to get with an author. I love his gritty, blue-collar Boston thing he's got going on, he's good for some in-your-face foul language, and he throws a nice twist or two in there to keep you on your toes. Unfortunately, I'd never read "Gone Baby Gone" because my library doesn't have it on audio, and of course, here comes a sequel, all squeaky and shiny and new, tempting me to read out of order. My solution was to watch the movie, just to get the flavor of the characters we are dealing with. I'll try to be as unspoilery as possible, but a few tidbits of "Gone Baby Gone" are going to be revealed, so be warned. I will, however, protect the integrity of "Moonlight Mile".
Synopsis: It's been twelve years since the abduction and recovery of Amanda McCready, and the ethical dilemmas of that situation haunt Patrick Kenzie to this day. Still, life has moved on. Patrick and Angie worked out their differences and are now married with a little girl. They are struggling to make ends meet, and desperately wish for a normal stable life in which to raise their child.
Then their past comes to haunt them. Amanda's Aunt Beatrice calls Patrick for help...Amanda is missing again. Despite Amanda's home life, she is the brightest and most promising in her class...Harvard-bound. It seems unlikely she has run away on her own. Even though this is not a case that is going to pay the bills, Patrick and Angie decide that this might be the chance to make good on all the mistakes that may have been made twelve years ago.
My thoughts: Even without the benefit of getting to know the literary characters of Patrick and Angie, I liked them, and was genuinely excited to find out how they were doing after all this time. I found that they had matured nicely, but both still had that wild edge that loves the thrill of danger. I was also nostalgic about Amanda, that poor poor child with that horrible mother (who is still just as bad as ever). Lehane easily jumps right back into the storyline without a hitch, providing all that stuff I love...all that edgy, hard-ass fast talk, working class neighborhoods, and the squalor and depravity of the underbelly. He also blessed the story with some really colorful characters. I almost felt guilty for loving the Russian hitmen, but I couldn't help myself.
I also appreciated Lehane's examination of social issues, particular with abused children. Is is our right, as a by-stander, to guess what kind of a life a child might have, and act on our own accord to ensure they get the love and protection they need? Or do we let the government handle it and turn our heads, knowing it might not be the best alternative?
But somewhere down the path, believability and plausibility took a hike. The Big Explanation (you know, the one near the end that resolves all the questions), and to a certain extent The Lehane Twist, were waaaaay out there. I just couldn't buy what he was selling. I'm itching to go into details, but that would blow the whole thing for you. Suffice it to say that no matter how Lehane justified himself, I still found myself just shaking my head.
I guess my bottom line is that I enjoyed this quick listen, and I love what Lehane brings to the table, but this isn't the best of him. It is worth the effort, though, just to catch up with Patrick and Angie, and adore some Russian mobsters.
A word about the audio production: I squealed with delight when I discovered that this audio was narrated by the most wonderful Jonathan Davis. Unwittingly, I think I have listened to more of Jonathan Davis than any other narrator out there. He is ONE CLASS ACT. He does accents like Meryl Streep, he offers nuances, he offers emotion, all effortlessly. He is a delight to listen to.
3 out of 5 stars