Note: SPOILERS for Gone, Baby, Gone below
It’s not definitive but this novel has an air of finality about it and seems likely to be the last of the Kenzie-Gennaro series. After ten years absence its good to have them back for a final bow, bringing some measure of conclusion both to their own story and that of Amanda McCready, the girl they sought to find in the fourth novel of the series “Gone Baby Gone”.
In this novel Patrick is contacted once again by Beatrice McCready who asks him to find her niece Amanda, who has gone missing again. Feeling a large measure of responsiblity for the devastation he previously brought to both Bea and Amanda’s lives he agrees. So once more he and Angie are drawn back into contact with the violence of Boston’s underworld, including a frightening crew of Eastern European gangsters.
The Kenzie-Gennaro series has always been very dark, but generally less bleak than other parts of Lehane’s work, such as Mystic River and Shutter Island. This is not least because of the warmth of the relationships between Patrick, Angie and their best friend Bubba. “Gone Baby Gone”, perhaps the most downbeat of the Kenzie-Gennaro books, is also probably the best novel of this fine series. But this book, like the rest of the series has much to recommend it: a humorous and engaging authorial voice, a gripping plot, and a strong sense of menace. The themes of redemption, situational versus societal morality and moral compromise though present here are probably less emphasised in this book in comparison with previous in the series and this may disappoint some readers. Nevertheless if this is to be the swansong of the characters I was happy with the way they leave the stage.