Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane. HarperTorch, 2001. (Originally published in 1998)
Gone, Baby, Gone is the third installment in Dennis Lehane's Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro series. This is the first of the series I've read so I can say with confidence that you don't have to read the previous titles in the series to understand or enjoy Gone, Baby, Gone. It's the story of a missing child. Amanda McCready has been missing for three days when private detectives Patrick and Angie come onto the case. They are reluctant to take it on, but the child's aunt won't take no for an answer. Patrick and Angie, who are also partners in life, quickly find themselves working with a pair of Boston police detectives and dealing with a less than terrific mother.
There are a number of twists and turns that make me loathe to say any more about the story. Suffice it to say, this story has wow factor. Lehane has constructed a tight plot that keeps you guessing but never has you disbelieving. In addition to being a great mystery, Gone, Baby, Gone is a powerful tale of choosing between right and wrong and the sometimes difficulty in deciding which is which. Lehane lightens the mood with wonderful and funny banter between his main characters, Patrick and Angie, and between them and the police detectives working the case.
I picked up Gone, Baby, Gone because of its relationship to the newest installment in this series, Moonlight Mile, which I received an advanced reading copy of. I'm glad I did. I may even go back and read the other titles featuring Patrick and Angie. I'm definitely going to be adding the film version of Gone, Baby, Gone to my Netflix queue. If you enjoy a good mystery, I definitely recommend Gone, Baby, Gone.
Watch for my review of Moonlight Mile on Thursday.