RARA-AVIS: Dennis Lehane

From: Doug Bassett ( dj_bassett@yahoo.com)
Date: 01 Mar 2000

I've been reading up a big tear recently, and I just finished my first Lehane, GONE, BABY, GONE. Lehane's a fine, engaging writer, and his portrait of the white-trash losers of Boston seems absolutely realistic. In fact, Lehane's got quite a touch with characters -- I think both Kenzie and Gennaro are appealing, and manage to walk the tightrope between sensitivity and tough guy behavior quite well.(Gennaro is probably the first female PI I've absolutely bought as a character.) And as someone already mentioned, Bubba's amusing. I could stand to see more of him, but, well, you can't have everything.

The plot's good, the sense of place is handled well, and the action sequences work. Actually, I have nothing but praise for GBG, except that it's too long.

Although not as outrageously padded as, say, Crais's LULLABY TOWN or Muller's WOLF IN THE SHADOWS, I personally would've ended the book about a hundred pages before the book actually ends. Although the ending offers some interesting, dark complications, it also involves a lot of ridiculous conspiracy-stuff that undercuts some of the power that went on before. That it succeeds at all is a testament to Lehane's skill. For me, the real emotional ending seemed to be at about page 388 -- the shoot-out at the Germantown house, for those of you who've read the book. The rest of it is really Lehane dancing as fast as he can.

Ah, well. It shouldn't be any surprise to anyone on this list that hb books today are too long. G,B,G isn't a perfect book, but it's worth a look, and I certainly recommend it. I'll be checking out other Lehane books.


===== Doug Bassett dj_bassett@yahoo.com
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