Amanda, now 16, is missing again and her aunt has asked Patrick’s help in finding her for a second time. Patrick and Angie, now married and with a four-year-old daughter of their own, soon find themselves reliving some of the same emotional trauma they suffered through the first time they searched for Amanda. It was not easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys when Amanda went missing the first time, and Patrick and Angie will soon find that it will be no easier this second time around.
The good news is that Amanda McCready has grown into an exceptionally bright young lady who will be able to get a free ride from just about any Ivy League college she chooses. The bad news is that she has somehow become so involved with Russian mobsters that she has gone into hiding. Soon, what Patrick and Angie learn about Amanda’s predicament will have them struggling with the same kind of right vs. wrong decisions that split them up twelve years earlier.
Moonlight Mile is quite an adventure (and a fun reunion with two old friends) but it does not have quite the seriousness or grit of earlier books in the series. Amanda’s character, particularly toward the end of the book when she starts calling the shots, does not ring quite true. Despite the upbringing she suffered, it is hard to believe that a 16-year-old would be so world-wise or speak to Patrick in the authoritative, but sarcastic, tone she uses on him. Too, the Russian mobsters in the storyline are the usual invincible lot for which U.S. law enforcement officers seem never to have an answer. They are interesting, but they serve to remind the reader how their “type” has become little more than a fictional cliché.
I particularly enjoyed the way Lehane flavored the novel with occasional flashes of observational, sarcastic humor, such as this exchange between Patrick and a newspaper buddy of his:
“…it’s directly connected to Amanda McCready. She went missing again.” (Patrick)
“…And her aunt says no one cares. Not the cops, not you guys.” (Patrick)
“Hard to believe. Twenty-four hour news cycle and all? These days we can make a story out of anything.” (Reporter)