V IS FOR vENGANCE BY Sue Grafton

V

Please note: This was transferred from my previous blog with the new update, and was originally written in 2014 before Sue Grafton passed away and before her last book.

When Kinsey Milhone witnesses a shoplifter in action and decides to intervene, she gets more than she bargained for, particularly when the woman’s fiancé shows up in Kinsey’s office a few days later asking Kinsey to investigate her death. Kinsey is very leery about investigating the apparent suicide but takes the case anyway. Soon she is embroiled in exposing an elaborate crime ring, a possibly dirty cop and trying to save a friend from his own schemes.

V is for Vengeance is the twenty-second book in the Kinsey Milhone series by Sue Grafton. I have made it no secret that I want to be Sue Grafton when I grow up someday, and this book is yet another reason why.  It is exciting, with three separate storylines that equally exciting and wind through in the end.  Die-hard fans might be disappointed, however.  Except for T is for Trespass earlier in this series, all of the stories are told strictly from Kinsey’s first-person perspective. We get her often snarky view of the world and the delightful wit and cynicism that makes the series so unique. This story, however, varies between three different viewpoints – Dante, the reigning mob boss of Kinsey’s fictional hometown, Nora, the wealthy (and somewhat spoiled) wife of an LA lawyer, and Kinsey.  Dante and Nora are told in a limited third person, which is very hard to keep consistent when writing, and the stories are well done. I found, however, that I almost missed Kinsey in this novel. She appears in less than a third of this novel – the rest focusing on the detailed stories of Nora and Dante that travel such a wide arc that they seem to be unrelated until the last few chapters of the book. I found myself wondering through this novel if Grafton isn’t getting tired of the series.  After 22 books, there is a possibility. Still, for those of us who have followed Kinsey since A is for Alibi, through her various ups and downs, relationships and evolution – I found myself wondering about the hanging thread of her estranged family, and I missed Henry,  a staple of the series who is absent for most of this book. 

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Riza James

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Riza James

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