Sunday, October 18, 2009

Today I finished Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane.

Lehane has a reputation for being more than just a standard genre writer, so I was a little surprised by Gone, Baby, Gone because it is just that - a standard genre novel. All the cliches of the modern private eye novel are there - the hard PI (in this case a man/woman team), their even harder but loyal to them criminal friend, the world weary cops they deal with, etc, etc.

The characterizations are a little deeper than your standard run of the mill PI book, but nothing too special when compared to other top of the line practitioners like Estleman or Parker and definitely not notable compared to genre innovators like Hammett or Ellroy.

I also had problems with the portrayal of child kidnapping. It does point out in the intro that the vast majority of child disappearances usually involve family members and are resolved quickly with no problems for the child, the child disappearances in the novel are portrayed so vividly and have horrible outcomes, at least in one case, that that is the impression it will make and increase our societies silly paranoia about it's children.

Still a good novel but, as always, expectations can lead to disappointment.

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