In the private-eye genre, there are prolific writers, and then there's Dennis Lehane: he's cranked out all of six novels with Boston-based heroes Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro over the past twenty years. Recently, he's shown more interest in standalone works not so easily pigeonholed (Shutter Island, Mystic River, etc.) No spoilers, but Moonlight Mile could easily be the last Kenzie/Gennaro book.
It is a sequel of sorts to Gone Baby Gone (which was also a pretty good movie), in which Patrick and Angie worked to find an abducted four-year-old girl, Amanda McCready. The ending of that book was heart-rending. As one character observes here, Patrick "did the right thing. But it was still wrong." It wrecked the lives of many well-meaning people, placed Amanda back into the custody of her dreadfully dysfunctional bio-mother, and (at least temporarily) ruined Patrick's and Angie's budding romantic relationship.
But it's twelve years later, Patrick and Angie are married, with a beautiful four-year-old of their own. Things aren't perfect: they're on the edge of financial disaster. Patrick is trying to wangle a full-time investigator job with a prestigious Boston firm, but it remains just out of reach, due to the huge chip on his shoulder born of working-class resentment against the well-to-do; he can't disguise his contempt for the firm's rich clients.
And then comes the bombshell: Amanda, now sixteen years old, has apparently gone missing again. The ripples of Gone Baby Gone extend into the previous day. Patrick and Angie go on the hunt, and bump up against (once again) Amanda's disgusting mother and her new boyfriend; Amanda's high school classmates, teachers, and counselors; petty thieves who are paid to chase them off the case; and eventually some very nasty Russian mobsters. Patrick follows the slimy and dangerous trail where it leads, out of a sense of duty born of his unsatisfactory resolution of Amanda's case twelve years ago.
Lehane is a wonderful writer, and I'm very fond of this series. If it must end, so be it, but I'll be sad.