Gone, Baby, Gone (Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series #4)

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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 ...

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Gone, Baby, Gone (Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series #4)

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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.
Library Journal
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
Jeri Wright
What I'm feeling at the end of a truly compelling read is a sense of darkness, and I'm not enjoying the feeling....Strong suspense, well-developed characters and believable relationships combine with a haunting style to make for an unforgettable novel....I would not call myself faint-hearted, but I can't help but wish this talent were accompanied by a vision less bleak.
The Mystery Reader.com
Kirkus Reviews
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380730353
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Series: Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane is the author of ten novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Gone, Baby, Gone; Mystic River; Shutter Island; The Given Day; Moonlight Mile; and Live by Night, as well as Coronado, a collection of short stories and a play. He and his wife, Angie, divide their time between Boston and the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Biography

Dennis Lehane knows Boston like the back of his hand. Born and raised in Beantown, he left to attend college and graduate school in Florida, but -- like a homing pigeon -- he returned soon thereafter. In order to support himself while he focused on his writing, he took a number of odd jobs that included counseling mentally handicapped and abused children, loading trucks, parking cars, working in bookstores, and waiting tables.

While he was still in college, he wrote the first draft of A Drink Before the War. Published in 1994, this Shamus Award winner introduced Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, private investigators who live and work in Dorchester, the same blue-collar Boston neighborhood Lehane grew up in. Since their compelling debut, Kenzie and Gennaro have gone on to star in a gritty crime noir series acclaimed by readers and critics alike.

The idea for his breakout novel , 2001's stand-alone thriller Mystic River, came to Lehane while he was still writing the Kenzie-Genarro installment Prayers for Rain. The story of three childhood friends who share a dark past, Mystic River is a murder mystery with powerful psychological overtones. An immediate sensation, the book achieved blockbuster status when Clint Eastwood turned it into an award-winning film in 2003. Then, in his 2007 directorial debut, Ben Affleck adapted Lehane's favorite Kenzie-Gennaro novel, Gone, Baby, Gone, for the big screen.

Lehane's career shows no signs of slowing down, Since the success of his Boston-based mysteries, he has broadened his oeuvre to include television screenplays and short stories -- one of which, "Until Gwen," was adopted into a successful, limited-run play.

Good To Know

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Lehane:

"My favorite job was parking cars."

"My favorite game is pool."

"I have an obsession with the color blue -- blue house, blue car, lots of blue shirts."

"I love good writing. Unequivocally. I think competition between writers is wonderful and healthy, but I never understood envy. When a peer writes a book that I know I couldn't have written, I feel the strangest elation because at this point I learn as much if not more from my peers as I do from the old masters."

"I unwind to Red Sox games and am a Patriots season ticket holder. The worst months of every year are February and March -- no baseball, no football, no point."

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    1. Hometown:
      Boston, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 4, 1965
    2. Place of Birth:
      Dorchester, Massachusetts
    1. Education:
      B.A., Eckerd College, 1988; M.F.A., Florida International University, 1993
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Each day in this country, twenty-three hundred children are reported missing.

Of those, a large portion are abducted by one parent estranged from the other, and over fifty percent of the time the child's whereabouts are never in question. The majority of these children are returned within a week.

Another portion of those twenty-three hundred children are runaways. Again, the majority of them are not gone long, and usually their whereabouts are either known immediately or easily ascertained--a friend's house is the most common destination.

Another category of missing children is the throwaway--those who are cast out of their homes or who run away, and the parents decide not to give chase. These are often the children who fill shelters and bus terminals, street comers in the red-light districts, and, ultimately, prisons.

Of the more than eight hundred thousand children reported missing nationally every year, only thirty-five hundred to four thousand fall into what the Department of Justice categorizes as Non-Family Abductions, or cases in which the police soon rule out family abductions, running away, parental ejection, or the child becoming lost or injured.

Of these cases, three hundred children disappear every year and never return.

No one--not parents, friends, law enforcement, childcare organizations, or centers for missing people--knows where these children go. Into graves, possibly; into cellars or the homes of pedophiles; into voids, perhaps, holes in the fabric of the universe where they will never be heard from again.

Wherever these three hundred go, they stay gone. For a moment or two they hauntstrangers who've heard of their cases, haunt their loved ones for far longer.

Without a body to leave behind, proof of their passing, they don't die. They keep us aware of the void.

And they stay gone.

"My sister," Lionel McCready said, as he paced our belfry office, "has had a very difficult life." Lionel was a big man with a slightly houndish sag to his face and wide shoulders that slanted down hard from his collarbone, as if something we couldn't see sat atop them. He had a shaggy, shy smile and a firm grip in a callused hand. He wore a brown UPS deliveryman's uniform and kneaded the brim of the matching brown baseball cap in his beefy hands. "Our mom was a--well, a boozer, frankly. And our dad left when we were both little kids. When you grow up that way, you--I guess you--maybe you got a lot of anger. It takes some time to get your head straight, figure out your way in life. It's not just Helene. I mean, I had some serious problems, took a hard bust in my twenties. I was no angel."

"Lionel," his wife said.

He held up a hand to her, as if he had to spit it out now or he'd never spit it out at all. "I was lucky. I met Beatrice, straightened my life out. What I'm saying, Mr. Kenzie, Miss Gennaro, is that if you're given time, a few breaks, you grow up. You shake that crap. My sister, she's still growing up, what I'm saying. Maybe. Because her life was hard and--"

"Lionel," his wife said, "stop making excuses for Helene." Beatrice McCready ran a hand through her short strawberry hair and said, "Honey, sit down. Please."

Lionel said, "I'm just trying to explain that Helene hasn't had an easy life."

"Neither have you," Beatrice said, "and you're a good father. "

"How many kids do you have?" Angie asked.

Beatrice smiled. "One. Matt. He's five. He's stayingwith my brother and his wife until we find Amanda."

Lionel seemed to perk up a bit at the mention of his son. "He's a great kid," he said, and seemed almost embarrassed by his pride.

"And Amanda?" I said.

"She's a terrific kid, too," Beatrice said. "And she's way too young to be out there on her own."

Amanda McCready had disappeared from this neighborhood three days ago. Since then, the entire city of Boston, it seemed, had become obsessed with her whereabouts. The police had put more men on the search than they had on the manhunt for John Salvi after the abortion clinic shootings four years ago. The mayor held a press conference in which he pledged no city business would take precedence over her disappearance until she was found. The press coverage was saturating: front page of both papers each morning, lead story in all three major telecasts at night, hourly updates inserted between the soaps and talk shows.

And in three days--nothing. Not a hint of her.

Amanda McCready had been on this earth four years and seven months when she vanished. Her mother had put her to bed on Sunday night, checked in on her once around eight-thirty, and the next morning, shortly after nine, had looked in at Amanda's bed and seen nothing but sheets dented with the wrinkled impression, of her daughter's body.

The clothes Helene McCready had laid out for r daughter--a pink, T-shirt, denim shorts, pink socks, and white sneakers--were gone, as was Amanda's favorite doll, a blond-haired replica of a three-year-old that bore an errie resemblance to its owner, and whom amanda had named Pea. The room showed no sign of struggle.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 125 )
Rating Distribution

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(69)

4 Star

(41)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 125 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic

    I absolutely love this series! I cannot say enough good things about Dennis Lehane. Each novel is fantastic due to the characters of Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro. The writing is fantastic, the dialogue is great and the story is fantastic. Lehane knows how to write a great detective story.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2012

    Gone baby gone

    One of Lehanes best

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    #4 in the Kenzie, Gennaro series by Dennis Lehane. If you have read one then you know you can't get enough off them! This is my thrid time reading them :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2013

    Superb, gritty, masterpiece of writing

    This isn't a book that lifts your spirits. But, Dennis Lehane is a craftsman with words, an artist. To read this is to be in Boston living it. I read large portions of it in single sittings, stopping only when emotionally overwhelmed. In other words, it is a typically great bit of writing by Lehane.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Gone, Baby, Gone

    I read all excellent reviews for this novel and I have to agree. A lot of people said this was the best book of the series, but I really don't have a favorite from the series. They're all good in their own ways. The plot was excellent and the characters are great. Read this book and be amazed.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2010

    Another Winner by Lehane

    I loved this book but hated the ending. I just couldn't believe the outcome of this novel; it was so upsetting. This book is like all of Lehane's: well-written, original and touching. I love a well-written mystery and this book didn't disappoint. I love Lehane's series novels and also adored Shutter Island. I really like the series characters and the original storylines. Mystic River was also wonderful; a very disturbing and poignant story. If you like this book, you may also enjoy: Ruth Rendell (especially End in Tears and Going Wrong), Barbara Vine, Lee Child's Jack Reacher series, and the novels of Ken Follet.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Dark and Fascinating

    This book is one of the darkest books of the series. It grips you from start to finish. LeHane has an unrelenting style and a cynical view of the world reflected in his writing. In this book, no one is clean and ultimately explores the question of fighting monsters without becoming one and what truly is right and wrong. Great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    Better than I expected

    Having read Mystic River which was good, Shutter Island which was confusing and not good, I was pleasantly surprised. This was the first of his books with the main characters that I had read. Good chaaracters, good plot, good ending. Very graphic.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2008

    A reviewer

    It's no surprise that Gone Baby Gone was selected for big-budget movie treatment by the Hollywood machine. The story of a missing, neglected child offers knuckle-clenching thrills, heart-rending chills, and later a moral dilemma that shakes the foundation of private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro (this is the fourth installment in their series). It's Lehane's characters and dialogue that stand out -- living, breathing, and dying before our eyes, with only the faintest nod to caricature and cliche (but would it be possible for a detective somewhere, somehow, to arrive on a crime scene and NOT immediately glean information that has eluded scores of police officers? Please?). Things bog down at times when Lehane indulges himself a bit too much with his descriptive prose in his attempt to make Boston's neighborhoods and history a vital part of the story, but for the most part the plot chugs along at a decent pace, steadily building tension until the moment of truth arrives. Most inconsistencies and loose threads are tied-up neatly, albeit somewhat implausibly, with a few well-considered revelations in the final pages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2007

    Highly Recommend!

    Gone, Baby Gone, is a wonderful story that I am happy to recommend! The plot is very exciting and the characters are fantastic! Buy the book. You won't be disappointed!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2008

    WOW

    I will admit it took me a little while to really get into this book but once I did I was hooked. I even had to read it in the car, knowing I would feel sick from doing so. Lehane is a true master of the written word who knows how to make your heart jump with suspense or ache with compassion. He doesn't sugar coat a thing. I also enjoyed the way he described Boston in all its glory and gore. Now, I just gotta see the movie.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2006

    Reserving judgement til I read all of them

    I've been a fan of Lehane ever since I picked up Shutter Island at the airport for something to read on my flight. That got me hooked on the Kenzie-Gennaro books. I've read the first two, but accidentally skipped 'Sacred', but they keep getting better and better. What I really like is Lehane's way of taking the most mundane of chores like scribbling on a notepad into such vivid and lyrical imagery. He does the same thing with settings that would normally be bland or depressing and finds something beautiful about the location to accentuate it. Getting to the subject matter, it was tough to get through this book like it was for Patrick and Angie. It dealt with things I normally would not want to touch, but Lehane did it with genuine sincerity and ultimate realism. I heard someone say, 'You can't change the devil, the devil changes you.' Truer words have never been spoken in regards to this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2003

    almost the very best

    Just finished this book. All I can say is 'GASP'. Thought that Sacred was #1 but this book beat it all around. Don't you just hate to finish a good book? The next one might disappoint you. Bet this writer never does that.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2003

    Nothing short of brilliant

    Dennis Lehane's writing is so far ahead of everything out there it's hard to go back to reading anyone else. His prose manages to be witty, gut-wrenching, and emotionally satisfying all at the same time. I got completely lost in the pages of this novel. Be forwarned though: this is no fairy tale. It's dark and intense. The themes are heartbreaking, especially if you've got kids, and doubly so if one happens to be a 4-year-old girl. I had to set it down a few times and take a breath, clear my head. But that's exactly what sucked me so deep into this novel. Like the best reads, you're the most entertained when you've got an emotional commitment. That's certainly the case here. Out of the 5 Kenzie-Genarro novels I happened to read this one last (it's chronologically 4th), and found this one to be the most satisfying.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2014

    Not for me

    The book just didn't connect with me. Having lived in that area, the characters didn't seem accurate to me. Technically, the book also failed to engage me. I didn't have many edge of my seat moments and when it did, I wasn't thrilled with the way it was done.

    Clearly, I'm in the minority here on this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    Excellent!

    Another great book in the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2013

    Anonymous

    Just finished reading Gone Baby Gone. This is the first book that I have read by this author. The twists and turns are fantastic and really held my complete attention. However, the ending was terrible!!! Poor Amanda is worst off because she has now seen another side of life. The detectives didn't accomplish anything just gave a child hopeless dreams.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2012

    Do not join OppositeClan!

    Cats do not say the opposite of what they mean to say in this Clan. I am not red with green eyes. Grassfire is not my name. I am not a tabby tom. Do not go to *opposite* 10th result. We do not need a med, warriors, and apprentices!

    0 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    Enjoyed this book very much!

    I have enjoyed a lot of books from this author!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2010

    DID I MISS SOMETHING???

    WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THIS STORY??? THE ENDING WAS AWFUL. NOTHING WAS ACCOMPLISHED. TO READ THE WHOLE BOOK AND NOT FEEL GOOD AT THE END WAS A WASTE OF TIME. THE CHILD ENDED UP IN THE SAME SITUATION. A LITTLE DIFFERENT ENDING WOULD HAVE MADE THIS A GOOD BOOK. DONT WASTE YOUR TIME.

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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