March 21, 2010

Review: U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton

U is for Undertow (Kinsey Millhone Mystery)


Product Description:
It's April, 1988, a month before Kinsey Millhone's thirty-eighth birthday, and she's alone in her office doing paperwork when a young man arrives unannounced. He has a preppy air about him and looks as if he'd be carded if he tried to buy booze, but Michael Sutton is twenty-seven, an unemployed college dropout. Twenty-one years earlier, a four-year-old girl disappeared. A recent reference to her kidnapping has triggered a flood of memories. Sutton now believes he stumbled on her lonely burial when he was six years old. He wants Kinsey's help in locating the child's remains and finding the men who killed her. It's a long shot but he's willing to pay cash up front, and Kinsey agrees to give him one day. As her investigation unfolds, she discovers Michael Sutton has an uneasy relationship with the truth. In essence, he's the boy who cried wolf. Is his current story true or simply one more in a long line of fabrications?

Grafton moves the narrative between the eighties and the sixties, changing points of view, building multiple subplots, and creating memorable characters. Gradually, we see how they all connect. But at the beating center of the novel is Kinsey Millhone, sharp-tongued, observant, a loner-"a heroine," said The New York Times Book Review, "with foibles you can laugh at and faults you can forgive."

My Review:
I've read each and every one of Grafton's alphabet books and I'm amazed at the fact that I haven't read the same story twice. This one is a little predictable but I love the way the story jumps from Kinsey's present in 1988 back to 1967. Also Michael Sutton is so tragic you can't help but feel sorry for the poor guy. I'm getting a bit "over" the character Rosie but you can't have a Kinsey Millhone book without her or Henry. I'll definitely be reading the rest of the series but I hope she's saving the best for last.

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5 comments :

bermudaonion said...

I love Kinsey too and I'm looking forward to reading this one soon! Thanks for your review.

Sue said...

I love Kinsey. Like you, I have been impressed with how varied the stories have been (I've read through R) and I love reading about Kinsey in the eighties... her notecards, no cell phones, no internet.
Great review.

enyl said...

when I was a young child I began readig Sue Grafton's alphabet series,I have read one since I was a teen-- but clearly it's time for me to pick up where I left off.
enyl(at)inbox(daot)com

Benita said...

I, too, love books that span time. The premise, as you described it, sounds a little far-fetched to me, but it does seem to work here. I'd be interested in reading this book, just to find out the ending.


bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Bingo said...

I am impressed by your review and most of all in that you have read all those books of Grafton's ...can you believe I have not read one single letter? Guess I am missing out...thanks for the review

kdhaney at gmail dot com