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Friday, January 25, 2008

Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane

So I'm about a book behind schedule, but I did finish the third book of the year, Lehane's Gone Baby Gone. Seeing that I've plowed through most Pelecanos and Connelly, and I haven't found anyone else I like quite so much, I decided to try out Lehane.

I have to say that I loved the first half of this novel. It's gripping, and funny, actually. But I hated the last 100 pages. I don't want to get into details or SPOILERS. But let me just say that, in the last 100 pages, Lehane violates one of the fundamental rules of crime thrillers/mysteries--namely, he introduces a new character who knows what's going on and solves the "mystery" for the protagonists. That's a quick way to help out your protagonists--a pair of detectives, Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennarro--when all leads go cold. But it's just a cop-out in my view. Better leave the detectives without a solution than to cheat.

Also, the novel is exceedingly violent. Normally, that's OK. But Patrick Kenzie shoots what, six people in the novel? In the real world, he would be in prison, not on the streets with a private dick license.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend the novel. I'm curious about the film--the novel has so much action in it, how can they compress it into 2 hours or a little more? Maybe I'll see the movie. Maybe.


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