Top critical review
A new meaning to Cormier's "I Am the Cheese"
on September 26, 2002
There were some very good parts to this book. I found much of the dialogue very amusing, which is refreshing for mystery novels which tend to be so bogged down with cliches that are taken too seriously and immature writing that tries so hard to get a laugh but fails entirely. Lehane is witty. However, I don't like his characters. I found them to be rather one-dimensional, Angie being the worst. It would have been better without the female protagonist; it would have been better to lean toward sexism, than put her in there. All the characters seemed to come across as caricatures, right down to their names, but characters in these kind of mystery novels generally tend to be underdeveloped, perhaps because so many are thrown in there, and before you really get to know one, you're learning about another. As for the main characters, it's a series, so I guess I should read the other books before I pass a judgment. Apparently, from what I heard about Lehane's Mystic River, the characters were rather good in that novel. Perhaps I read his one book that didn't really showcase his character development skills.
My favorite part of the book was the ending. It just struck me. I disagree with those who say that it was out of character for Patrick Kenzie to make the final choice he did at the end. Also, it shows that his main objective throughout the book was not doing what was right, but rather, bringing Amanda home, despite how he felt about the way he went about it. Overall, a good book. It's just that Amanda had more personality than the rest, and she was only in 1/20th of the book.