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3.6 out of 5 stars
Moonlight Mile Low Price CD (Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series)
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238 of 262 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having enjoyed all of Lehane's books and being a particulary big fan of the Kenzie-Gennaro mysteries (especially Gone, Baby, Gone), I couldn't wait to read Moonlight Mile to catch up on the lives of my old friends. I'm sure most other readers who are big fans of Lehane's books and of this series will feel compelled to read this sequel to Gone, Baby, Gone, which takes place twelve years later. However, let me forewarn you that after reading this book you are likely to feel disappointed and a bit sorry to have gone back to visit Patrick, Angie, Bubba and Amanda (the girl who was an integral part of Gone, Baby, Gone).

My disappointment with Moonlight Mile has nothing to do with Lehane's plot concept, which is a good one. The plot invloves Kenzie and Gennaro, haunted by the past, revisiting the case that troubled them the most, following a twelve-year trail of secrets and lies. Believing that this time will be different, they vow to make good on their promise to find Amanda, who has once again disappeared. This vow leads them down a path that could cost them their lives.

My disappointment stems from what, until this book, I thought was an impossibility; which is that Lehane -- who has proven to be a master in creating rich, complex "real world" characters and dialogue that sounds "fresh from the street," -- could write a book in which some characters seem paper-thin and unbelievable, and which speak in a way that, while glib and, at times witty, doesn't ring true at all. This is especially true about the character of sixteen-year old Amanda, as well as of Lehane's Russian mob characters, which are virtually cartoonish. Further, the characters of Angie and Bubba, who have been favorites of mine throughout this series, don't come across as compelling or even particulary interesting in Moonlight Mile.

I hope this review is helpful in cautioning fans of this series that going back in time to revisit old friends might not always be the best move.
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147 of 175 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 21, 2010
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It was my great pleasure to receive Moonlight Mile to do an early review. It has been eleven years since Patrick and Angie have graced the book world, but even though we haven't seen them in a long time, they are welcomed back into our lives.

While Moonlight Mile is the direct sequel to Prayers for Rain, the last Patrick and Angie book, it is more closely related to 1997's Gone Baby Gone. As long time fans will remember, that book ended with Patrick Kenzie making the impossible decision to take a young four year old girl away from her loving kidnappers and give her back to her derelict mother. An action that almost permanently destroyed the relationship between Kenzie and his long time love Angela Gennaro.

Flash forward twelve years and things have drastically changed for Patrick and Angie. For one, Angie is now married to Patrick and they have a precocious four year old daughter of their own named Gabby. Their PI firm has been shuttered mostly because Patrick and Angie can't take the violence that has followed them. Patrick works on a contractor basis with a big PI firm doing mostly corporate and high dollar client work, hoping to get hired on as a full time benefitted employee. Meanwhile, Angie is finishing up a grad degree to work with special needs students.

Their tenuous existence is shattered when Bea McCready calls Patrick in the middle of the night to inform him that her niece is missing again. Now 16 years old, she had become hard from being put back with her derelict mother. After Patrick is assaulted and robbed by criminals involved with Helene McCready (Amanda's derelict mother), he launches himself headlong into the newest disappearance, finding a long sad trial of violence and broken lives. To give away more would rob you of a great reading experience.

It is good to see Patrick and Angie return, even if it is clear this is their final ride. It is also good to see Lehane be funny again. As a writer, he is a master of hilarious dialogue, even in difficult situations. That humor was sorely missing from Mystic River, Shutter Island and The Given Day, the three books he has released in the preceding 11 years.

Much like Gone Baby Gone, the story revolves around morality and what it means. Patrick is faced with the fact that Amanda McCready would likely have been better off with her kidnappers than with her mother Helene. Other characters are forced to make similar choices between what is right as a general rule and what is right for a situation.

It is also a meditation on love. Kenzie's love for Angie, Gabby and even his psychotic best friend Bubba (who is sadly underused in this story) is explored and plays a vital role in every decision made.

If this is it for Patrick and Angie and they don't get pulled into another case down the line (and I don't think they will), I don't think they could leave us in a better way. Highly recommended, five stars and by far the best book of the year.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 27, 2010
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I too was thrilled beyond belief to get to preview the latest (and possibly last) book in this wonderful series featuring Partrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro. I had read somewhere that Lehane was done with these characters so I was especially excited when I read about this latest book.

Alas, I must agree with some other posters here when I write that this book is juts not up to par with the others. I think the grittiness is gone and it was just another thriller. I liked that Lehane kept with real time and we are now meeting the characters 12 years later but was less thrilled as to where they were in life. Angie especially was a disappointment as I missed the bad ass counter part to Patrick. It was even a little uncomfortable when she tried to get back into the game and discovered she was past that stage of her life. That may well have been the point but is was depressing and not that entertaining.

I loved the premise of this book- a followup to Amanda's story from "Gone Baby Gone." Certainly that part was intriguing enough even if some parts soon became far fetched or even the story line under developed. More could have been done I think, perhaps a more sophisticated story.

It's been too long since I read the others to truly compare and contrast them except to say that this book would not have pulled me in if it was the first I had read. Read it if you are a fan, but do back to #1-5 if you are a newbie. You will not be disappointed.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Very quick read - but did not live up to expectations I have for all of Lehane's work. Seems like he said to himself (or someone said to him) "let's do a sequel to 'Gone Baby Gone' - but we only have 'x' days to do it, so make it quick!". Seemed rushed and not well thought out. If it's possible, it was good and disappointing at the same time.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 5, 2010
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've missed Patrick Kenzie & Angela Gennaro ever since Mr. Lehane stopped writing about them around 12 years ago. The 5 books written until that time were all taut thrillers that revealed human feelings and emotion, while telling a tremendous story. Just when it seemed that we would hear no more about these two folks, Mr. Lehane gives us this new book and we're back into their lives.

It's now 12 years since the return of the 4 year old girl to her uncaring mother that split apart the two investigators, but time tends to heal almost everything. They reunited, got married, and are now the parents of a 4 year old daughter. The investigating business isn't doing too well, with Angie taking college courses and Patrick trying very hard to make enough money by doing sleazy investigating work just to pay the bills.

Into this scenario comes the aunt of the now 16 year old girl and demands Patrick's help because the girl has once again gone missing. The problem is that the girl's mother says she's not missing, and the police are still very upset with the aunt and Patrick and refuse to be of any help. This means that Patrick, with Angie once again by his side, must find the missing girl for the second time.

That's the bare bones of the plot, but it's intricate and extremely complicated, with Mr. Lehane's deft writing touch and his obvious love for the Boston area coming through clearly. We have some very bad characters introduced, in addition to the return of Patrick's old friend Bubba, who's always willing to help a friend. Once again Patrick may be faced with a dilemma if he finds the girl: should she go back, once again, to her useless mother or not? Eventually the book tells us what happens, and what decision is made.

The ending gives the reader the impression that this may actually be the last book in this series. I certainly hope not, for though I enjoy all of Mr. Lehane's books, these are my very favorite, and I highly recommend this latest one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon November 21, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I revisited Gone, Baby, Gone before reading this one, and I'm glad I did. All the particulars were fresh in my mind, so Moonlight Mile was just a continuation of the story for me, with no confusion.

It's been 12 years, and everybody's wondering what ever became of Kenzie and Gennaro after they found four-year-old Amanda McCready. They're now Kenzie and Kenzie, middle-aged, with a four-year-old girl of their own. Amanda McCready is now almost 17, and she's missing again. Patrick Kenzie is still haunted by the choice he made in 1998 to return Amanda to her unfit mother, so he can't turn down the request to find Amanda again and do right by her.

Moonlight Mile is Lehane Light. There's a lot less detail than in the early Kenzie and Gennaro novels, but that's not a bad thing. Some of those old ones dragged a bit, whereas Moonlight Mile makes a mad dash to each new revelation. While the mystery may be a little transparent and too easily resolved, the story buzzes with chuckle-worthy dialogue and some painfully accurate observations about the current woes of our society. It was fun to reconnect with the old characters---Patrick, Angie, Bubba---and see how the years have worn down some of their sharp edges and changed their priorities and perspectives.

There are some holes in the plot. The way they figured out where Amanda had gone was totally lame. Amanda herself is not entirely believable as a 17-year-old girl. She's far too articulate and quick with analysis for one so young. And then there's the matter of the foreign characters speaking to each other in poor English for the benefit of the English-speaking characters (and readers). Not very realistic. These discrepancies and implausibilities are best overlooked as the plot hums along nicely. It's worth the ride just to see how everything untangles in the end and the characters make life-changing decisions.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Dennis Lehane has demonstrated his gifts as a storyteller who can touch the heart, soul and mind of his characters. Mystic River, Shutter Island and The Given Day were well written, intelligent books that raised my expectations for Moonlight Mile higher than they should have gone. His latest novel has a predictable plot, canned characters and rather ridiculous repartee that fills space while adding little of consequence. Every book cannot be great but this one seems to be written primarily to meet a publishing deadline and holds none of the emotion found in previous books.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 30, 2010
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Knowing that this book was coming in the mail, I began to read Gone Baby Gone so that I would remember the characters and setting. So I finished Gone Baby Gone and immediately began Moonlight Mile. I've read all of Lehane's books (exception of The Given Day and I will read it) and loved them all. His writing is consistently beyond the genre and could be mistaken for good literature. However, that is not the case in this story; missing is the setting, the prose that draws the reader into the characters' distressed psychology and physical discomfort. There is the normal cracking wise and terrific banter between Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro (I think I know her well enough to call her Angela) with Bubba also in the mix. The plot is not simple and contains complexity that most in the genre do not match. And maybe if you've never read one of Lehane's books, you would be completely satisfied with this work. It is a good story. I turned the pages at a rapid rate and finished the book in two days. And maybe that is it - it's too short. There isn't the depth of characters that normally accompany his efforts. I would like to hear from others that did not read Gone Baby Gone and see if they agree that without it, this book has paper thin characters. Writing a sequel is difficult because of the replay necessary to give it that depth of field. I do not feel that Lehane was able to pull it off with his normal mastery.

I feel the same about this book that I did about Robert Crais' latest: The First Rule. It is a very good book on its own. I would certainly recommend it to anyone that has read anything by Lehane and liked it. But do not let the past dictate to your expectations. If you do, you will expect a little more than this book can offer.

I still rate it a solid four stars as I just couldn't put it down.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm a fan of his other books, particularly this series, so I tried to like MM. But it just isn't good. The dialogue is stilted and oh-too-clever, the plot is at times wholly unbelievable and at others sappy beyond belief, and the writing is sub-par (why is he constantly describing what people are wearing?!). The handful of political statements thrown in come off as preachy and shallow. I did really enjoy his portrayal of the Russian mob characters. Overall a real disappointment from D.L.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I want to start by saying that I loved, loved, loved Gone Baby Gone. Great story, and well written. When I recently discovered that the long-awaited follow-up was available, I literally rushed to the library to get it. Rushed back home, made myself a cup of Earl Grey, and happily sat down to read Moonlight Mile......

It was very disappointing. Lehane appears to have put zero effort into it. The plot was terrible- forced and unbelievable, and lacking in complexity. The characters, especially the teenaged Amanda, were also unbelievable- poorly drawn, and too superficially extreme without giving any balancing depth of character. Even the relationship between Angie and Patrick seemed superficial and forced. And, worst of all, Lehane (who can be a good writer when he chooses) seems to have abandoned his talent for this novel. It truly seemed as if he, a writer who usually takes quite a while to complete a book, decided to find out just how quickly he could dash off a novel. Dennis.... it showed.... And Moonlight Mile was even more of a travesty given the lyrically disturbing nature of the preceding story.

I am hoping that Lehane will write another Kenzie/Gennaro novel, but one that exhibits his talent.
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