9-12. Four by Dennis Lehane

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9-12. Four by Dennis Lehane

Post  Patguy on Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:43 pm

Darkness, Take My Hand
Gone, Baby, Gone
Prayers for Rain

“The town lay in a small valley like a piece of china in a cupped hand….”

The final four books in the Kenzie/Genarro series. Given Lehane’s reputation, I was expecting something more. But these are relatively undistinguished hard-boiled detective novels, with a few outstanding features. The characters are engaging. The working-class Boston setting is strong, and well-drawn, and whenever Lehane departs from it, as in Sacred when we take a trip down to Florida, the prose becomes touristy and a little fake.

Gone, Baby, Gone contains the seed of a really excellent idea, which is almost smothered in 400+ pages of standard-issue detective novel complications and (a consistent Lehane shtick) outrageous bloody gunfights. The film version of Gone Baby Gone ditches most of the embroidery and focuses on the characters and the moral conundrum at the heart of the story, and as a result is a masterpiece. Go rent that instead.

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