Harlan Coben, bestselling author of mysteries and thrillers like Tell No One, recently sat down with Shortlist to discuss the books he thinks “every man should read.” Included on Coben’s list of “crime books to kill for” is Dennis Lehane’s Gone, Baby, Gone – the 1998 detective novel that was eventually adapted into a film of the same name. The film, directed by Ben Affleck and co-written by Lehane himself, stars Casey Affleck as Patrick Kenzie — a Boston private detective who teams up with Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan) to investigate the disappearance of four-year-old Amanda McCready. Gone Baby Gone also marked Ben Affleck’s directorial debut, and earned Amy Ryan Oscar, Golden Globe, and SAG nominations for her performance as Helene McCready, Amanda’s mother.
Here’s what Coben had to say about Lehane’s original work:
“My favourite Patrick and Angie novel. It’s wonderful on so many levels – beautifully written, fully realised characters, scary, funny, gripping, emotionally complex and it features an ending that will haunt you for a long time.”
As Coben alludes to, Gone, Baby, Gone is actually part of a larger series of novels that center around Kenzie and Gennaro, as well as Bubba Rogowski, who makes only a brief appearance in Affleck’s film. The Boston-based series began in 1994, with A Drink Before the War; the sixth and most recent installment, Moonlight Mile, was published in 2010.
You can read the rest of Coben’s crime novel recommendations here.