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Gone, Baby, Gone

Cover of Gone, Baby, Gone

Gone, Baby, Gone

Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series, Book 4
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The tough neighborhood of Dorchester is no place for the innocent or the weak. A territory defined by hard heads and even harder luck, its streets are littered with the detritus of broken families,...More
The tough neighborhood of Dorchester is no place for the innocent or the weak. A territory defined by hard heads and even harder luck, its streets are littered with the detritus of broken families,...More
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Description-
  • The tough neighborhood of Dorchester is no place for the innocent or the weak. A territory defined by hard heads and even harder luck, its streets are littered with the detritus of broken families, hearts, dreams. Now, one of its youngest is missing. Private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro don't want the case. But after pleas from the child's aunt, they open an investigation that will ultimately risk everything—their relationship, their sanity, and even their lives—to find a little girl-lost.

 
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  • Chapter One

    Each day in this country, twenty-three hundred children are reported missing.

    Of those, a large portion are abducted by one parent estranged from the other, and over fifty percent of the time the child's whereabouts are never in question. The majority of these children are returned within a week.

    Another portion of those twenty-three hundred children are runaways. Again, the majority of them are not gone long, and usually their whereabouts are either known immediately or easily ascertained—a friend's house is the most common destination.

    Another category of missing children is the throwaway—those who are cast out of their homes or who run away, and the parents decide not to give chase. These are often the children who fill shelters and bus terminals, street comers in the red-light districts, and, ultimately, prisons.

    Of the more than eight hundred thousand children reported missing nationally every year, only thirty-five hundred to four thousand fall into what the Department of Justice categorizes as Non-Family Abductions, or cases in which the police soon rule out family abductions, running away, parental ejection, or the child becoming lost or injured.

    Of these cases, three hundred children disappear every year and never return.

    No one—not parents, friends, law enforcement, childcare organizations, or centers for missing people—knows where these children go. Into graves, possibly; into cellars or the homes of pedophiles; into voids, perhaps, holes in the fabric of the universe where they will never be heard from again.

    Wherever these three hundred go, they stay gone. For a moment or two they haunt strangers who've heard of their cases, haunt their loved ones for far longer.

    Without a body to leave behind, proof of their passing, they don't die. They keep us aware of the void.

    And they stay gone.

    "My sister," Lionel McCready said, as he paced our belfry office, "has had a very difficult life." Lionel was a big man with a slightly houndish sag to his face and wide shoulders that slanted down hard from his collarbone, as if something we couldn't see sat atop them. He had a shaggy, shy smile and a firm grip in a callused hand. He wore a brown UPS deliveryman's uniform and kneaded the brim of the matching brown baseball cap in his beefy hands. "Our mom was a—well, a boozer, frankly. And our dad left when we were both little kids. When you grow up that way, you—I guess you—maybe you got a lot of anger. It takes some time to get your head straight, figure out your way in life. It's not just Helene. I mean, I had some serious problems, took a hard bust in my twenties. I was no angel."

    "Lionel," his wife said.

    He held up a hand to her, as if he had to spit it out now or he'd never spit it out at all. "I was lucky. I met Beatrice, straightened my life out. What I'm saying, Mr. Kenzie, Miss Gennaro, is that if you're given time, a few breaks, you grow up. You shake that crap. My sister, she's still growing up, what I'm saying. Maybe. Because her life was hard and—"

    "Lionel," his wife said, "stop making excuses for Helene." Beatrice McCready ran a hand through her short strawberry hair and said, "Honey, sit down. Please."

    Lionel said, "I'm just trying to explain that Helene hasn't had an easy life."

    "Neither have you," Beatrice said, "and you're a good father. "

    "How many kids do you have?" Angie asked.

    Beatrice smiled. "One. Matt. He's five. He's stayingwith my brother and his wife until we find Amanda."

    Lionel seemed to perk up a bit at the mention of his son. "He's a great kid," he said, and seemed almost embarrassed by his pride.

    "And Amanda?" I said.

    "She's a terrific kid, too," Beatrice said.

About the Author-
  • Dennis Lehane is the author of nine previous novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Gone, Baby, Gone; Mystic River; Shutter Island; The Given Day; and Moonlight Mile, as well as Coronado, a collection of short stories and a play. He and his wife, Angie, divide their time between Boston and the Gulf Coast of Florida.

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    HarperCollins
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Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series, Book 4
Dennis Lehane
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