Our Kind Of Town!

Moonlight Mile by Dennis LehaneHot on the heels of The New York Times review, we have another rave for MOONLIGHT MILE from the Chicago Tribune! We knew we’d always liked Chicago!

Cultural critic Julia Keller writes:

Lehane’s new novel Moonlight Mile is yet more proof that the author is as much social historian as mystery writer, and that his true literary forefathers include John Steinbeck, as well as Raymond Chandler. Lehane’s breakout hit was Mystic River (2001), turned into a gripping film by director Clint Eastwood, and the author has done the same thing here as he did there. He has precisely defined the gradations of class in American life — and illustrated the distorting downward push of economic pressures — through a fast-paced, heartbreaking story. Nobody pokes his nose into the crummy apartments and seedy bars and trash-packed alleys and emotional messes of lower-class life with more observational rigor than Lehane.

Steinbeck, Chandler, and Lehane! Oh my! She continues:

The plot of Moonlight Mile flies at you fast and sinks its hooks into you for keeps. But the heart of Moonlight Mile, and the aspect of Lehane’s work that lifts it cleanly above other crime fiction the way a grappling hook can raise a body from a quarry pond, is his deep, visceral understanding of poverty’s effect on the human psyche, of how the constant throb of hunger can disfigure anybody’s good nature and grand ambitions.

Just as Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1939) told the story of one Depression, Lehane’s Moonlight Mile begins to tell the story of another one. The latter is a nifty detective story, yes, but it’s also more than that: It’s an indictment of the times themselves, and a passionate hunt for the real criminals.


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