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Gone, Baby, Gone Paperback – 22 Oct 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (22 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553818813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553818819
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 3.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

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 old high school friends, Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, why they have to convince another mutual chum, dealer Bubba Rugowski, that Cheese didn't try to have him killed. "You 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 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 still live in the same working-class Dorchester neighbourhood of Boston, Massachusetts, where they grew up, have gone to visit drug dealer Cheese in prison because they think he's involved the kidnapping of 4-year-old Amanda McCready. Without sentimentalising 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 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 love affair between Kenzie and Gennaro--interrupted by her marriage to his friend--is another perfectly controlled element that grows and changes as we watch. Surrounded by dead, abused and missing children, Kenzie mourns and rages; Gennaro longs for one of her own. 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 are: 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.


"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" (Publishers Weekly)

"Gone, Baby Gone is a tough, true powerful story written by a stunningly good novelist, one of our very best" (James Patterson)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Straightforward TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
I made the mistake of starting to read this book before I had realised that it's part of a series featuring the two central characters Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, two private detectives who work together. I'd highly recommend starting with A Drink Before The War first if you're new to the series like I was, as Lehane has them discuss elements of the previous novels, and there are a few spoilers revealed along the way in 'Gone Baby, Gone' that I'd have preferred not to have known - I intend to read the rest of them in order, as I've enjoyed this instalment very much.

The characters that populate the Boston neighbourhood that forms the backdrop of the book are largely written - at first sight they seem to be almost caricatures - but as the plot opens up, it becomes apparent that many of them have been continually present since the first novel, and their depiction turns out to be a lot more detailed than I had realised. It's nice to be familiar with regular characters in books, to see how they develop as new books come out.

Lehane was on the writing team for the third series of The Wire, and it shows - there are twists and turns to the plot which will keep you guessing right to the end, and fool you into thinking that you've worked it all out when in fact you weren't even in the right ball-park. I started off this story very conscious of the fact that all detective novels have the same basic outline, more or less: the detectives get involved with a crime that they have to solve, there's usually a suspect who turns out not to have done it, they have to confront various personal demons along the way, and so on and so forth, blah blah blah. Not here though, thankfully.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Mar. 2002
Format: Paperback
Gennaro and Kenzie are yet again on a multi-faceted trail involving some of the most disturbing sides of humanity. This time we are on the trail of a missing child, lost drug money; all disappearing in to thin air. Although there are references to other books - the forward pace of the storyline is maintained throughout. I love Bubba (wouldn't want to be on his wrong side though!) and Lehane manages to weave deep emotions throughout; in fact, this one made me cry. If you've never read Lehane before, buy this one, read it, and they buy the rest. You won't regret it.
Hope he doesn't take too long writing the next one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Aidan J. McQuade on 18 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The fourth, and arguably the best, of the Kenzie-Gennaro novels. (Certainly the best known due to Ben Affleck's very fine cinema version of the story). Patrick and Angie, much against their better judgement, are drawn into the hunt for a missing girl, Amanda McCready, by Amanda's aunt Beatrice.

This is a book in two parts. The first two thirds of the book are a compelling procedural as Angie and Patrick are reluctantly accepted as adjuncts to the police investigation into Amanda's disapperance. In the final third Patrick and Angie finally, and to their utter dismay, manage to unravel the layers of deceit that surround the case.

In many ways this is the most horrific of the Kenzie-Gennaro series because its subject is the shockingly commonplace matter of child abuse and violence against children. Even the warmth of the relationships between Patrick, Angie and their friend Bubba is insufficient to stave off the bleakness for either the reader or the characters themselves. It is an angry book as well as being a hugely morally complex one, peppered with some fine humour (I particularly enjoy Patrick's occasional vitriolic asides on movies and music) and some finely drawn sequences of violence.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By chinhealer VINE VOICE on 16 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback
As with all of Lehane's novels that I've read so far, I raced through this at lightning speed. His writing is as addictive as any I've ever come across. It's impassioned, thoughtful, violent, sassy... it's compelling stuff. And I'm writing this even though I knew - generally - what was going to happen since I had already seen Ben Affleck's flawed, but gripping movie of the book. I thought the movie was one of the most powerful I'd seen in a long time despite its ultimate unbelievability. I think, rather than the direction, it was Casey Affleck's spellbinding performance that really made it look good. And it is his vivid bringing- to-life of the character of Kenzie that, above all else, is truly worthy of the book. In many ways, the movie is inferior. Had it stuck closer to the book, it may have been close to a masterpiece. In the book, as in all of this series so far, Angie is a vibrant presence. Unfortunately, the actress playing her in the film is a bit of a wet fish. Also, the ultimate revelations surrounding the mystery of Amanda McCready's disappearance are a lot more credible in the book. Less ham-fisted.
I have yet to read Prayers For Rain, Mystic River and Coronado. But so far, I'd say Gone Baby Gone is Lehane's finest achievement. It plucks the heartstrings in a profound way. It will entertain the hell out of you. Amidst the very sombre subject matter, it will have you laughing out loud. Lehane has found a great formula and a great voice. His tales are not quite as documentary-like as he may wish us to believe. In their own way, they are fantastical and some distance removed from real life. But there is great artistry involved in what he does and the moral questions he poses are not easily resolved. This is great pop-literature for grown-ups.
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