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

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

by Dennis Lehane


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“Powerful and raw, harrowing, and unsentimental.”

Washington Post Book World


“Chilling, completely credible….[An] absolutely gripping story.”

Chicago Tribune


“Mr. Lehane delivers big time.”
Wall Street Journal


In Gone, Baby, Gone, the master of the new noir, New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Shutter Island), vividly captures the complex beauty and darkness of working-class Boston. A gripping, deeply evocative thriller about the devastating secrets surrounding a little girl lost, featuring the popular detective team of Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, Gone, Baby, Gone was the basis for the critically acclaimed motion picture directed by Ben Affleck and starring Casey Affleck, Ed Harris, and Morgan Freeman.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061336218
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/07/2010
Series: Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series , #4
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 412
Sales rank: 106,933
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Dennis Lehane is the author of ten previous novels—including the New York Times bestsellers Live by Night; Moonlight Mile; Gone, Baby, Gone; Mystic River; Shutter Island; and The Given Day—as well as Coronado, a collection of short stories and a play. He lives in California with his family.


Boston, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

August 4, 1965

Place of Birth:

Dorchester, Massachusetts


B.A., Eckerd College, 1988; M.F.A., Florida International University, 1993

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.

Table of Contents

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Gone, Baby Gone is a tough, true powerful story written by a stunningly good novelist, one of our very best.

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Gone, Baby, Gone (Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series #4) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 156 reviews.
Booklover87 More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
BellabMA More than 1 year ago
#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 :)
p8ryts More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of Lehanes best
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
JessLucy More than 1 year ago
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.
KomodoDragon More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
indygo88 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you have a choice between reading the written word or going with audio, I'd definitely recommend NOT going with the audio on this one. The reader for this was awful. I had to give up a little before halfway because I just couldn't get into the story at all & the reader's voice was downright annoying -- even more so when he attempted to imitate alternate character's voices. I very rarely give up on a book, but this happened to be one of those rare times.
Katie_H on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This engrossing and grim novel begins with the kidnapping of four year old Amanda, the daughter of a neglectful mother, and it quickly accellerates. Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, two private detectives don't want to get involved in the child abduction case, but after significant pleading from relatives of the child, they cave. The investigation leads to murder and excitement, ending with a gripping and devastating climax. This is the perfect blend of psychological thriller and suspenseful action, and the gritty subject matter is extremely dark and disturbing. Serious moral dilemmas are raised, involving what is ultimately right - is the answer dependant on ethics or law?
Periodista on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A superior beach/airport/transport read. Two private eyes, a couple, on the chase for a kidnapper ... oh, everybody knows by now because of Ben Affleck's movie. I think the surprise of the ending is what happens to the p.i. couple. In the future, I'll look out for Lehane when I'm going on a trip. I think he's better than that California guy--Michael Connelly? There's the occasional dead-on observation of human behavior. For example, in a bar scene, he makes a comment about how a confident, not even beautiful woman can set off the rape fury of a loser guy: She thinks she can look down on *him*?I should add that I know much of this geography, especially the Boston environs--Not so much Dorchester and South Boston. Farrelly Brothers' movies aside, this area and the lower New England middle class don't get into novels very often, so I'm predisposed.
cdogzilla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An intriguing Ethics 101 (Utilitarianism vs. Kant) debate hung on the framework of a detective story. Strong characterizations and a brisk plot keep the story moving. The resolution, such as it is, strains credulity and Lehane's prose occasionally grinds it gears, so I'm not going to call this brilliant, but it's a heck of a hard-boiled PI novel if you like that sort of thing.
Joycepa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
4th in the Kenzie/Gennaro series.I believe that the best works of fiction explore moral questions in one fashion or another and do it without preaching. This book fits that description. Even though it¿s a mystery or police procedural¿however you wish to make the classification¿it is still an examination of moral ambiguity: what is the correct moral decision in a lose-lose situation?A four year old girl disappears without a trace from her working class Boston neighborhood. The mother is less than ideal¿not choosy with her sexual favors, drug user, too casual with her daughter Amanda¿s care. Because of Amanda¿s aunt¿s insistence, Gennaro and Kenzie reluctantly take the case to find her. And get sucked into a morass.Stories about child disappearances are never pretty, not the real ones. As Kenzie puts it, there are usually only two reasons why a young child disappears: someone wants to help the child or someone wants to sexually exploit the child. Gone, Baby, Gone looks at both of those motives, and the sexual exploitation is graphic and filled with sickening ugliness. Yet these things happen every day.As is usual in this series, you can not ask for better writing. The plot is excellent, and the tension in the story kept me racing through the pages--I read it in one day. Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro come across as real people who continue to evolve during this series.But what really comes across in this novel is the agony of choices in a morally ambiguous situation and the consequences of those choices.This is a superb book. They don¿t come any better in this genre. Highly recommened.
Peterabun on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great, gritty Lehane mystery. This one is intense and diabolical in its plotting. Just when you think the mysteries are resolved or, at least, about to be, Lehane twists everything into a new knot and regrabs your focus and heart.
LBM007 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Disclosure: My review may be biased by the fact that I am in love with Patrick Kenzie - too bad he's not real! - but this book was a very good read. Usually I figure out the ending about half way through a crime novel, but this one had some intriguing twists and turns that kept me guessing right to the end.
mojacobs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the better thrillers I've read this year. The plot gets pretty convoluted but not annoyingly so, the principal characters don't suddenly act very stupidly to make things end with bang, the bad guys are not all bad and the good ones not above reproach. That in itself is becoming rare. Well written, nicely paced, likeable protagonists... Good enough to keep me reading long after my bedtime.¿
EdGoldberg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read Gone Baby Gone for the second time to refresh it in my memory before reading Moonlight Mile. I was just a great book. While I liked Lehane's mysteries, I never really appreciated his writing until reading The Given Day, which was extraordinary.Lehane's characters are well thought out, realistic and you either hate them or love them, depending who they are. His action is faced paced.The ending is not dumbed down. It's a must read both for mystery buffs and anyone who just wants a well written book.
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I¿ve read in the series, and the only reason I¿m going out of order is because I have an ARC of Moonlight Mile, which continues this story, sitting in my TBR pile. The good thing is that enough backstory is filled in for this to be a pretty decent stand-alone novel. In many ways, this is your standard child kidnapping/criminal enterprise story, but there are a few twists and turns along the way that make it stand out. Most of all, I think what holds it apart is the concept of a happy ending not necessarily being the best ending, and that sometimes following the law isn¿t the only choice. I¿m not sure I agree with how Lehane ends the story, but I understand why he did it. Most of all, I¿m looking forward to reading more in this series.
iubookgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gone, Baby, Gone is the third installment in Dennis Lehane's Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro series. This is the first of the series I've read so I can say with confidence that you don't have to read the previous titles in the series to understand or enjoy Gone, Baby, Gone. It's the story of a missing child. Amanda McCready has been missing for three days when private detectives Patrick and Angie come onto the case. They are reluctant to take it on, but the child's aunt won't take no for an answer. Patrick and Angie, who are also partners in life, quickly find themselves working with a pair of Boston police detectives and dealing with a less than terrific mother.There are a number of twists and turns that make me loathe to say any more about the story. Suffice it to say, this story has wow factor. Lehane has constructed a tight plot that keeps you guessing but never has you disbelieving. In addition to being a great mystery, Gone, Baby, Gone is a powerful tale of choosing between right and wrong and the sometimes difficulty in deciding which is which. Lehane lightens the mood with wonderful and funny banter between his main characters, Patrick and Angie, and between them and the police detectives working the case.I picked up Gone, Baby, Gone because of its relationship to the newest installment in this series, Moonlight Mile, which I received an advanced reading copy of. I'm glad I did. I may even go back and read the other titles featuring Patrick and Angie. I'm definitely going to be adding the film version of Gone, Baby, Gone to my Netflix queue. If you enjoy a good mystery, I definitely recommend Gone, Baby, Gone.
laluna179 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent book, excellent movie once you get used to the choice of actors.
sturlington on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The final (?) book in a series featuring private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, Gone, Baby, Gone is not quite as good as, say, Mystic River, but it is still a tight thriller. I might have enjoyed it more had I not seen the excellent film adaptation first and thus already knew the outcome. But something about this book disturbed me, and I think the film actually did a better job handling it. Lehane¿s worldview is rather bleak, especially concerning children, and Gone, Baby, Gone presents a moral choice that would be difficult for anyone to make: Is it better to save the innocent even at the expense of the law, given that the child protection system is so broken? Because the things that happen to children in Gone, Baby, Gone are so horrific, and the people who seek to protect them clearly love them very much, the moral question presented shades more to black and white than the gray it actually is. Still, Lehane¿s question is a challenging one, which elevates Gone, Baby, Gone above the level of a mere detective thriller.