Reviewed: “Moonlight Mile” by Dennis Lehane

Moonlight MileTrue confession? This is the first Kenzie-Gennaro novel by Dennis Lehane that I read so I apparently missed five because it’s also (at least so far) the last Kenzie-Gennaro novel. True confession? I don’t really think it matters.

I was hesitant to read this book because of what the cover said; that Lehane also write Shutter Island and Gone Baby Gone. I saw the film version of the first and fell asleep after twenty minutes and I never saw the second but knew that it got a lot of awards. But after that the last book I read (see the review below this one), I needed something easy, light, and fun.

Moonlight Mile came through for me.

A continuation of the story in Gone Baby Gone, I was happy to find out that it wasn’t necessary that I have read that book first.

I liked that the story was written in the first person because it gave a really good look into the humorous mind of Patrick Kenzie. If it’d been a traditional third-person story, that couldn’t have been there and that’s what made the story so enjoyable. I liked knowing what he was thinking when he was mourning the day his daughter grew up and started saying ‘like’ all the time. Things like that made the story more approachable.

I’m a sucker for all things Russia related so I also liked the presence of the Belarus Cross and the Russian mafia, even if they did seem vaguely stereotyped. Then again, it was a very localized novel so maybe that’s just how things are in Boston.

I have to say that the premise of the novel was a little far-fetched. Sort of like maybe an agent or a publisher said in 20009, after the 2007 film success of Gone Baby Gone, that Lehane should write more of Amanda’s story to capitalize on the popularity. So he did. With whatever plot popped into his head. Of course, I say all that having not read any of the other Kenzie-Gennaro books so maybe they’re all a little far-fetched. You tell me.

Anyway, Moonlight Mile did what I needed it to do; it amused me while I recovered from my last book and looked for another.

Will I read it again? Maybe. But I’m still glad I found it for $3 in the bargain book box at the grocery store.

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