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Gone Baby Gone [Mass Market Paperback]

Dennis Lehane
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 2 1999 Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro Novels (Book 4)

The tough neighborhood of Dorchester is no place for the innocent or the weak. A territory defined by hard heads and even harder luck, its streets are littered with the detritus of broken families, hearts, dreams. Now, one of its youngest is missing. Private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro don't want the case. But after pleas from the child's aunt, they open an investigation that will ultimately risk everything -- their relationship, their sanity, and even their lives -- to find a little girl-lost.

Frequently Bought Together

Gone Baby Gone + Darkness Take My Hand + Sacred: A Novel
Price For All Three: CDN$ 33.27

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  • Darkness Take My Hand CDN$ 11.69
  • Sacred: A Novel CDN$ 11.69

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Product Description

From Amazon

Cheese Olamon, "a six-foot-two, four-hundred-and-thirty-pound yellow-haired Scandinavian who'd somehow arrived at the misconception he was black," is telling his old grammar school friends Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro why they have to convince another mutual chum, the gun dealer Bubba Rugowski, that Cheese didn't try to have him killed. "You let Bubba know I'm clean when it comes to what happened to him. You want me alive. Okay? Without me, that girl will be gone. Gone-gone. You understand? Gone, baby, gone." Of all the chilling, completely credible scenes of sadness, destruction, and betrayal in Dennis Lehane's fourth and very possibly best book about Kenzie and Gennaro, this moment stands out because it captures in a few pages the essence of Lehane's success.

Private detectives Kenzie and Gennaro, who live in the same working-class Dorchester neighborhood of Boston where they grew up, have gone to visit drug dealer Cheese in prison because they think he's involved in the kidnapping of 4-year-old Amanda McCready. Without sentimentalizing the grotesque figure of Cheese, Lehane tells us enough about his past to make us understand why he and the two detectives might share enough trust to possibly save a child's life when all the best efforts of traditional law enforcement have failed. By putting Kenzie and Gennaro just to one side of the law (but not totally outside; they have several cop friends, a very important part of the story), Lehane adds depth and edge to traditional genre relationships. The lifelong love affair between Kenzie and Gennaro--interrupted by her marriage to his best friend--is another perfectly controlled element that grows and changes as we watch. Surrounded by dead, abused, and missing children, Kenzie mourns and rages while Gennaro longs for one of her own. So the choices made by both of them in the final pages of this absolutely gripping story have the inevitability of life and the dazzling beauty of art.

Other Kenzie/Gennaro books available in paperback: Darkness, Take My Hand, A Drink Before the War, Sacred. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Each day in this country, twenty-three hundred children are reported missing. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting! Nov. 8 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a very well rounded novel. Dennis Lehane has gained alot of steam with each new book and I think this is my favorite of the Kenzie/Gennaro series. I wasn't quite as in love with it as Mystic River, mostly because of the extreme violence and gore it contains but the writing is very solid. The characters are very well fleshed out and real and I liked the bad guys as much as the good guys...and often it was hard to tell which was which! The key here is the moral dilemma this story unfolds and it's brilliant! The ending was perfect and while emotionally I'm in the same camp with Angie I totally understand Patrick's decision. Maybe the most terrifying thing about this book is the recognition of the horror of child abuse and neglect in our culture. It's not too difficult to imagine taking the law into your own hands after witnessing the moral deprivation described in this book regarding children...and thus the dilemma! It's really a great, thoughtful and disturbing read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not soon forgotten July 1 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Of the three Kenzie/Gennaro novels I have read, this was the most entertaining, if one can describe kidnapping of a child and abuse of kidnapped children by some of the most twisted people in our society "entertaining." Amanda McCready, a four year old, has been kidnapped and her aunt and uncle have sought out the dynamic duo to see if she can be found. They work out a tenuous and sometimes tense relationship with the detectives who are in charge of the investigation, yet little or no progress in finding the little girl occurs. At the half way point in the book, Patrick summarizes what they have accomplished (or not). "This was one of the most infuriating cases I'd ever worked. Absolutely nothing made sense. A four year old girl disappears. Investigation leads us to believe that the child was kidnapped by drug dealers who'd been ripped off by the mother. A ransom demand for the stolen money arrives from a woman who seems to work for the drug dealers. The ransom drop is an ambush. The drug dealers are killed. One of the drug dealers may or may not be an undercover operative for the federal government. The missing girl remains missing or at the bottom of a quarry."
As it turns out, the answers are hiding in plain sight, yet it takes time, lives and luck to eventually come up with them.
This is no Mystic River (few are) but, it is a good story, well told.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, funny and a moral dilemma Jan. 7 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In the last 30 day I've read all five of Lehane' Kinzie/Gennaro books, finishing Prayers for Rain last night. Lehane has created a terrific franchise in the mystery/thriller arena with his realistic and (more importantly) entertaining pair of detectives. You like these people he's created and believe their motives for what they choose to do as they trek through the plot. Clearly I've found a lot of compelling entertainment in these stories.
The first book in the series, A Drink Before the War, really [drew] me in, being in the same vein as the Elvis Cole series by Robert Crais which I also recommend. Both series are consistently well-written, a clear step (or two) above pop/trash/beach fiction, funny, intelligent stories where the plot make sense, and the characters seem frighteningly real. It turned out that the first Kinzie/Gennaro yarn was the lightest. Each one after has ratcheted up the twists and turns, but kept the personality of the characters growing and building. The stories definitely got blacker and bleaker in the depraved actions of the bad guys. By Prayers for Rain, the villain is a hardcore-fulltime psychopath, and Patrick and Angie are a-little-further-than-borderline vigilantes.
After racing through five of the books in so short a period, I am struck with a sense of vulnerability. If some bad dude makes it their career to mess with you, and if they have no normal limits to their behavior, you're just [out of luck]. How can a normal, follow the rules type of citizen even comprehend the introduction of aggression and violence into their regular lives? Unless you have friends to help you out like Kenzie and Gennaro you might as well move out of the country and hope you're never found. Read these, you'll like them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling, Honest Fourth Outing Oct. 13 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Reading about the scum of humanity that Lehane's Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro come up against is like watching a David Fincher movie. It's all grit staring you right in the face with unflinching honesty.The fourth book in the detective series has the duo searching for a missing child. In true Lehane fashion, there are more twists than a crazy straw, and the plot gets deeper and deeper and more horrifying as the truth comes out. Luckily there's the character of Bubba to add some needed comic relief to the story. A story that's hard to put down, and harder to shake when you finish it.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dennis Lehane, Gone, Baby, Gone (Morrow, 1998)
Lehane clocks in with the fourth novel in the Kenzie and Gennaro series with his most intricate plot and satisfying novel so far. In this one, Kenzie and Gennaro are bullied into taking the case of a missing four-year-old by the girl's aunt. The mother seems not to care much about her child's whereabouts when she's not in front of the TV cameras, preferring to watch television and drink beer with her best friend and next door neighbor. What's already an atypical missing persons case gets weirder and weirder as Kenzie and Gennaro, working with a couple of Boston cops named Poole and Broussard, peel off layer after layer that links the case to organized crime, drug dealing, a two-hundred-thousand dollar heist, and imprisoned renegade mob boss Cheese Olamon, a schoolyard acquaintance of Kenzie's.
While the moralizing of A Drink Before the War is back (though far more subdued here) and Lehane seems to buy into the urban myth of the ever-present Child Molester on Every Corner, such concerns for the intent of the author tend to fall by the wayside when a mystery is so intricately plotted. Red herrings fly thick and fast, the case twists and turns with startling frequency, no one is in any way happy, and ghosts of old cases the two have worked return to haunt them with regularity as they bump heads over and over again with higher-ups in the Boston and state police departments. It is the skill with which the mystery is plotted, and Lehane's affable writing style, that keeps this book from falling into the one-trick-pony trap of a Jonathan Kellerman or an Andrew Vachss. Lehane finally made a solid name for himself with the success of Mystic River two years ago; here's to hoping fans of that novel will come back and discover the Kenzie and Gennaro novels, some of the best neo-noir writing there is to be had today. ****
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Read Explores Heartbreaking Reality
When PIs Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are asked by the McCreadys to find their four-year-old niece, Patrick or Angie turn them down. Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2009 by Debra Purdy Kong
2.0 out of 5 stars A Painful Read
Having read "A Drink Before the War" and putting it down after the first few pages, I was hesitant to read this one. Read more
Published on Dec 26 2007 by J.E.L.
2.0 out of 5 stars The Emperor Has No Clothes
I have reached the point of mystification with Dennis Lehane.
After reading "Mystic River", I was very excited, thinking that I had found a great new American... Read more
Published on June 25 2004 by Marifrances
5.0 out of 5 stars Lehane is the master of this genre.
I stayed up last night and finished this book. It was like watching a very suspenseful movie. Not only is this a good murder/mystery, the character development is exceptional as... Read more
Published on June 22 2004 by Kel
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, suspenseful read
Dennis Lehane brings his usual blend of dark humor and suspense to this story of a missing child, an addict mother, and a drug drop gone wrong. Read more
Published on March 11 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Lehane's voice is just not interesting enough
Lehane's writing is good. That's what draws you in. But ultimately, like the movie Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone is unsatisfying. Read more
Published on Feb. 10 2004 by "ake465"
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good
I was given the book by a friend who knew I enjoyed reading local ficton. what a nice surprise to find it's actually a good book and one that kept me guessing until the very end. Read more
Published on Oct. 16 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read (or in my case, listen)
This was my second Lehane book on tape (unabridged of course) and I am still loving every minute. The characters in this book are fantastic. Read more
Published on July 10 2003 by Duke
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great book, yet predictable
Lehane follows up the boring "Sacred" with a thrilling, haunting novel about child abductions and the fine line between right and wrong. Read more
Published on Oct. 23 2002 by Bill Garrison
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