As I mentioned in my previous post, I decided to read this book after hearing about the movie to be released shortly and how the premiere has been pushed back because of the Madeline McCann case in London. This was my first Dennis Lehane book, and boy was it powerful. I give it an A.
Vanished, in this complex and unsettling fourth case for PIs Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro is four-year-old Amanda McCready, taken one night from her apartment in Dorchester, a working-class section of Boston, where her mother had left her alone. Kenzie and Gennaro, hired by the child's aunt and uncle, join in an unlikely alliance with Remy Broussard and Nick Raftopoulos, known as Poole, the two cops with the department's Crimes Against Children squad who are assigned to the case. In tracing the history of Amanda's neglectful mother, whose past involved her with a drug lord and his minions, the foursome quickly find themselves tangling with Boston's crime underworld and involved in what appears to be a coup among criminals. Lehane develops plenty of tension between various pairs of parties: the good guys looking for Amanda and the bad guys who may know where she is; the two PIs and the two cops; various police and federal agencies; opposing camps in the underworld; and Patrick and Angie, who are lovers as well as business partners. All is delivered with abundant violence?e.g., bloated and mutilated corpses; gangland executions; shoot-outs with weapons of prodigious firepower; descriptions of sexual abuse of small children; threats of rape and murder?that serves to make Amanda's likely fate all the more chilling.
This book was great. I loved getting into the heads of Angie and Patrick and seeing how they all change throughout the book based on all of the evidence that is developing. While the book really tugs at a lot of heartstrings and really gets the reader thinking, it is still a good suspense book. It touches on a lot of really tough topics such as child abuse, including sexual abuse, and the fate of all of some missing children.
This book had me thinking and changing my mind often. It was hard to decide just exactly who the bad guys were and what the appropriate conclusion should be. It really was a heartbreaking story and at times had me upset, but was well worth it. It was so well written, and even though it took me a little less than a weekend, it kept me turning the pages. I will definitely will be looking and picking out more books by Mr. Lehane in the future. However, I am not sure if I will be able to see the movie, because I think it may ruin the book for me. I highly recommend this book to everyone even if you are not a big fan of suspense books.
Hopefully, the next book I read will not take me as long to read. Things have just been crazy with school and with something going on every weekend, I am having a hard time finding reading time. Hope everyone else's reading is going better! Happy reading!