Dennis Lehane's 'Moonlight Mile'
The author has revived his Boston-based detective team from his previous books like 'Gone Baby Gone.'
Story from Here and Now. Listent to audio above for full report.
Twelve years ago, author Dennis Lehane declared his detective characters Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro retired. They had appeared in "A Drink Before the War" and "Gone Baby Gone," which was adapted into a major motion picture staring Casey Afflect and Michelle Monaghan. Last year, the characters came back to life in his latest book, "Moonlight Mile," which is now out in paperback.
The couple had investigated the kidnapping of four-year-old Amanda in "Gone Baby Gone," and this book revisits the same Amanda, who is now 16, and is once again missing.
So what brought the characters back after a twelve-year retirement? Lehane says it was up to the characters. "The only sort of artsy fartsy part of how I write, is I can only write about characters when they knock on the door and talk to me. […] I can't go fishing for something, and they just came knocking on the door again."
In the earlier book, the detectives find themselves in a morally complex situation: when found, Amanda is being cared for by a loving family. Should they return her to her less responsible mother? In "Moonlight Mile," Patrick and Angie have come into new, dangerous circumstances, and Lehane again weaves a storyline of tough moral questions.
To create these struggling characters, the author calls on his time working in human services with "troubled kids from broken families." He decided to make Amanda almost robotically perfect, but also with a tendency to be reckless. This is built on a statistic he learned decades ago which said that, "females can have a much longer gestation period before they show the damage. […] They can maybe hold it together a lot longer than boys."
He recalls being at a crime scene twenty years ago in which the "10-year-old sister of the boy in question walks through this chaos and cleaned up. I mean, I'm talking cops, I'm talking father being cuffed against the wall, you know -- the whole thing, and she was going through very carefully, righting the chairs, making sure the table was wiped clean."
"Here and Now" is an essential midday news magazine for those who want the latest news and expanded conversation on today's hot-button topics: public affairs, foreign policy, science and technology, the arts and more. More "Here and Now".