Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane is the latest novel featuring Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, Lehane’s well-known pair of private investigators. It was released yesterday.
About the Book:
Patrick Kenzie is freelancing for a large Boston private investigation firm, hoping to land a full-time job and secure steady pay and health insurance for his family. But he doesn’t really like the work, and his attitude seems to be keeping him from the job he needs.
Then Beatrice McCready approaches Patrick and tells him her niece, Amanda, who Patrick and Angie tracked down twelve years ago when she was four, has disappeared again. Sixteen-year-old Amanda is unusually bright and looking at a promising future of her own making…until she inexplicably goes missing. Patrick can’t afford to take on any jobs for free–but he can’t ignore Beatrice McCready, either. With Angie helping out when she can, Patrick dives into a world peopled with drug dealers, criminals, and Russian gangsters where the stakes are high and allegiances tenuous at best.
Moonlight Mile was not only my first Patrick and Angie novel, but my first novel by Lehane. The series has been recommended to me several times, so I was excited when I had the opportunity to read an ARC of Lehane’s latest.
I was a bit worried about being lost, as I’ve not read the many Patrick and Angie novels that have come before Moonlight Mile. However, Lehane does a good job summarizing relevant cases and events. While I’m sure someone who’d read the previous books would have a deeper understanding of the situation in Moonlight Mile, I never felt lost.
I liked the characters–especially Patrick and Angie. I appreciated that they weren’t the hardened, career-driven PIs that often dominate the pages in detective fiction. I enjoyed their conversations, even if they sometimes seemed a tad cliche. Amanda was wise beyond her years, and even though I kept forgetting she was only sixteen, I admired her self-assuredness and her cunning. I also loved the supporting cast: Patrick and Angie’s daughter Gabby, Patrick’s friend Uncle Bubba, and even Yefim, the Mordovian gangster.
Moonlight Mile reads like what I think of as typical detective fiction. Once I got myself out of literary fiction mode and into serial mystery mode, I found Moonlight Mile easy to read. I found myself enjoying Patrick’s bizarre similes. Every time Yefim opened his mouth, I was entertained. My quibbles with the writing were minor: constant swearing, the mild overuse of extraneous description, and a few too many mentions of shaky hands holding shaky cigarettes.
I finished the novel in a day. The plot moves quickly, and I never found myself bored. I will definitely consider picking up Lehane’s backlist next time I need a quick, engaging read.
I don’t read a lot of mysteries, mostly because I’m not sure where to find “good” ones. So I’d love to know: you have a favorite mystery series that stands out from the rest?