Dennis Lehane’s MOONLIGHT MILE

“You found her once. Find her again.”

MOONLIGHT MILE is the sequel to Dennis Lehane’s 1998 novel GONE, BABY, GONE and a return to his Patrick Kenzie PI series. I often get series fatigue with some of my favourite writers but it was an absolute pleasure to revisit Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro. I fell in love with the book from the get go and seamlessly re-entered the world of Patrick and Angie. In GONE, BABY, GONE Patrick Kenzie was asked to find missing 4-year-old Amanda McCready. He found her but was forced to make the toughest decision in his life. 12 years later, Amanda has gone missing again. Patrick must revisit his past and open doors he’s not sure he can close again.

Dennis Lehane once said he couldn’t write another Patrick Kenzie novel because he’d lost the character’s voice. Well boy has he’d found it again. Like bumping into a long, lost friend you quickly catch up with all the changes in Patrick’s life before being plopped onto the rollercoaster ride. I literally devoured this book and if it wasn’t for a severe lack of time I would love to go back and re-read the series again.

You don’t have to have read the Kenzie/Gennaro series before to enjoy MOONLIGHT MILE. Although either reading GONE, BABY, GONE or at least seeing the brilliant Ben Affleck film is a pre-requisite. It’s funny I was very sceptical when I first heard Ben Affleck was making the film but it is as good as if not better than Clint Eastwood’s MYSTIC RIVER. I always imagined Patrick Kenzie as tall, broad-shouldered and strong. I thought the guy who played Nick Sobotka in season two of The Wire (Ziggy’s cousin) would be the perfect actor to play him. When I heard that Casey Affleck had been cast as Patrick I literally groaned. But Casey Affleck made himself Patrick Kenzie. So much so that it was Casey Affleck’s Patrick who I saw in my head while I was reading MOONLIGHT MILE.

This is also Dennis Lehane’s second book post-THE WIRE (THE GIVEN DAY is one of my Top 10 all-time favourite reads). Lehane, George Pelecanos & Richard Price as novelists all brought so much to THE WIRE. It is one of the main reasons that series is so rich, detailed and original. But THE WIRE has made them even better novelists. Each book they have written post-THE WIRE has raised their writing another notch, which as a major fan I didn’t think possible. I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly is different about their books post-WIRE. It might just be their attitude to writing has changed or the fact that working as a writer on a television series is a collaborative process and in returning to the more solitary act of novel-writing they have more insight into their own writing. (thanks P.M.Newton) Whatever it is, reading books like MOONLIGHT MILE is a sheer joy and pleasure. The only problem was I read it too fast!

Welcome back Patrick Kenzie, it’s been too long

My video review is here

Read an Early Excerpt of Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane, the sequel to Gone, Baby, Gone

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