Reviews for Gone, Baby, Gone
Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 August 1998
Lehane's fourth Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro mystery will further enhance the author's growing reputation. Kenzie and Gennaro reluctantly agree to search for Amanda McCready, who has been missing for more than a year, thus dramatically reducing the chances of finding her alive. The maverick PI duo immediately smells trouble, both from the child's druggie mother and from the uncooperative Boston police, who aren't eager to be shown up. The case quickly proves every bit as horrifying as Kenzie and Gennaro expected: parental neglect, police corruption, and a drug deal gone bad have combined to make one innocent five-year-old the pawn in a high-stakes power struggle. Lehane combines the intensity of Andrew Vachss, who also writes unflinchingly about child-abuse and abandonment cases, with the charismatic appeal of his protagonists, a working-class Nick and Nora who walk the meanest of streets. The wrenching portrait of a bent cop whose instincts are admirable but whose actions are appalling only adds to the emotional impact of this grim, utterly unsentimental blue-collar tragedy. ((Reviewed August 1998)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews
Kirkus Reviews 1998 July #2
A hundred and fifty Boston cops are looking for four-year-old Amanda McCready, but her Aunt Beatrice and Uncle Lionel don't think that's enough, and they want Dorchester shamus Patrick Kenzie and his live-in partner Angela Gennaro (Sacred, 1997, etc.) to make it 152. Patrick's not hot for the case, particularly after he meets Amanda's mother Helene, who's one shiftless piece of work she parked Amanda alone while she went out drinking with a pair of friends. And once they've thrown in with the McCreadys, they find that Helene is only the sideshow to a ripely disgusting big top of drug dealers, pederasts, psycho-sadists, convicts who keep ruling their fiefdoms from inside the big house, and a crack police unit Crimes Against Children whose zealous officers don't give an inch to the bad guys in the way of toughness, violence, or lack of scruples. Noticing a couple of details that escaped all those cops on the loose enables Patrick to contact Amanda's kidnappers and set up a ransom drop, but it all goes horribly wrong as does his attempt to recover a second child snatched several months later, in a case that reveals the truth to Patrick at the cost of his love life, his illusions about parenthood and the law, and his ability to sleep nights. Darkly and extravagantly imagined, full of harrowing action sequences and shamelessly emotional highs and lows nobody else would have dared to invent. Copyright 1998 Reviews
Library Journal Reviews 1998 April
Shamus Award winner Lehane is on a roll: President Clinton picked his last book, Sacred (LJ 6/15/87), for vacation reading, and he has just directed his first film. Here, Boston PIs Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro hunt for a little girl who disappeared a year before they were hired. Copyright 1998 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal Reviews 1998 July #1
Four-year-old Amanda McCready has disappeared without a trace, and after several days, the police have no leads. Boston PIs Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro reluctantly take the case, knowing that the odds are that Amanda is already dead. Their investigation is complicated by Amanda's mother, Helene, who seems more interested in drinking at the local bar than in finding her daughter. After a second child disappears, Kenzie and Gennaro are drawn into a dark nexus of pedophiles, drug dealers, and a shady police unit with a hidden agenda. Ultimately, the detectives must make a decision that could destroy both their personal and professional relationship. Lehane, a Shamus Award winner for A Drink Before the War (LJ 11/1/94), has written a tense, edge-of-your-seat story about a world that is astoundingly cruel and unbearably violent to its most innocent members. This fourth Kenzie-Gennaro pairing will appeal to readers who like their mysteries coated with a heavy dose of realism and their endings left untidied. Recommended for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/98.] Karen Anderson, Arizona State Univ. West Lib., Phoenix Copyright 1998 Library Journal Reviews
Library Journal Reviews 2008 January #1
Dennis Lehane vividly re-creates the gritty and corrupt underworld of Boston's Dorchester neighborhood in Gone Baby Gone. The fourth outing for the private detective team of Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro revolves around the kidnapping of four-year-old Amanda McCready. As the PIs search for the girl, they become mired in the violent world of gangs, child sexual abuse, and the sludge of inner-city crime. Ben Affleck, who both directed the movie and cowrote the screenplay, filmed in Boston, underscoring the power of Lehane's setting. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 1998 June #2
Vanished, in this complex and unsettling fourth case for PIs Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro (after Sacred, 1997) is four-year-old Amanda McCready, taken one night from her apartment in Dorchester, a working-class section of Boston, where her mother had left her alone. Kenzie and Gennaro, hired by the child's aunt and uncle, join in an unlikely alliance with Remy Broussard and Nick Raftopoulos, known as Poole, the two cops with the department's Crimes Against Children squad who are assigned to the case. In tracing the history of Amanda's neglectful mother, whose past involved her with a drug lord and his minions, the foursome quickly find themselves tangling with Boston's crime underworld and involved in what appears to be a coup among criminals. Lehane develops plenty of tension between various pairs of parties: the good guys looking for Amanda and the bad guys who may know where she is; the two PIs and the two cops; various police and federal agencies; opposing camps in the underworld; and Patrick and Angie, who are lovers as well as business partners. All is delivered with abundant violence e.g., bloated and mutilated corpses; gangland executions; shoot-outs with weapons of prodigious firepower; descriptions of sexual abuse of small children; threats of rape and murder that serves to make Amanda's likely fate all the more chilling. Lehane tackles corruption in many forms as he brings his complicated plot to its satisfying resolution, at the same time leaving readers to ponder moral questions about social and individual responsibility long after the last page is turned. Author tour. (Aug.) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews