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

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

4.3 130
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


“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.

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

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series , #4
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3 MB

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.

What People are Saying About This

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

Meet 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.

Brief Biography

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

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Gone, Baby, Gone (Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series #4) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 130 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really good story but to many filler words. Something I call to wordy. But will read over bits. Will finish cos the story is good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A well crafted blood and guns and extreme violence detective story in the tradition of Mickey Spillane brought up to date. I had hoped for a more intellectual sleuth story, but this ain't it. I prefer the BBC detective stories to the American dime novel approach.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This will make your heart ache and you will cry. So sad but true that some people who have children really don't deserve them and those people truly suck the child's spirit right out of them. I wish the law protected the child better it is not fair to them. Lots of twist and turns.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the book. Can't wait to see the movie
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Authorized More than 1 year ago
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 More than 1 year ago
Another great book in the series.