I have had a ridiculously hard time finding something to read for the last two weeks or so. I keep starting books, getting ten pages in, and never mustering the desire to get back into them. Somehow, over the last year or so Dennis Lehane has become a reliable reading rut-buster for me. I'm almost disappointed to finish the Kenzie and Gennaro books, because I don't know where else to find quick reads that aren't totally mindless or abhorrently written.
This might actually be my favorite Kenzie and Gennaro book thus far. It's more psychological than crime thriller, and that might be why. The events of Gone Baby Gone have led to Patrick and Angie taking a break from each other, professionally and personally. Patrick is hired by the uber buttoned-down Karen Nichols to put an end to unwanted harassment from a douchey gym rat. He only briefly hesitates when he hears a message from Karen a few weeks later as he is heading out the door on vacation, then forgets to return the call and puts Karen Nichols out of his mind entirely until six months later when she kills herself by jumping off a building downtown. Racked with guilt, Patrick decides to look into the events that led up to Karen's suicide and begins to realize that what has been written off a string of crummy luck might be more than that: a bizarre, dark plot of manipulation and revenge.
Even though I enjoyed the book, I find myself with not a lot to say about. Lehane relies a little too heavily on pop psychology for my tastes, but his plot is focused and deliberate and I enjoy Patrick's dry narrative. The villain is sinister without becoming a caricature, and I didn't solve the mystery too early this time. The book just sucked me in and I didn't want to let go until I got to the end, which has been difficult to come across lately. A perfect quickie read.