Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Gone but Not Forgotten

Gone, Baby, Gone is one of those books that stays with you long after you've turned the last page. Dennis Lehane has a knack for putting you right there in the midst of the action. In this case, the reading experience is not for the faint of heart. The story is about the abduction of a child, but it becomes much more than that, carrying you into the underworld of crime and crime-fighting in Boston. It's very dark but totally compelling. At one point, Patrick Kenzie has encountered a horrific scene of violence and depravity. He has trouble sleeping and continues to be assaulted by memory flashes of what he has seen. I could relate to that! I was as physically removed from that scene as I could be, sitting in my comfortable chair in front of the fireplace. But I felt a bit of that despair, and had to keep telling my mind to stop trying to recreate those images. Now that I've painted such a dreary picture, I should tell you that I do not regret reading this book. Despite the sad encounters, and the feelings of hopelessness the characters often felt and expressed, the author has skillfully shown me a section of the world that I probably would never encounter otherwise. And I have learned from it. Isn't that a good reason to read a book? Not to mention the fact that he kept me on the edge of that comfortable chair I mentioned--there are quite a few twists and turns in this story. Read it and weep.