Sunday 29 October 2017

Book ~ "Y is for Yesterday" (2017) Sue Grafton

From Goodreads ~ The darkest and most disturbing case report from the files of Kinsey Millhone, "Y is for Yesterday" begins in 1979, when four teenage boys from an elite private school sexually assault a fourteen-year-old classmate - and film the attack. Not long after, the tape goes missing and the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. In the investigation that follows, one boy turns state’s evidence and two of his peers are convicted. But the ringleader escapes without a trace. 

Now, it’s 1989 and one of the perpetrators, Fritz McCabe, has been released from prison. Moody, unrepentant and angry, he is a virtual prisoner of his ever-watchful parents - until a copy of the missing tape arrives with a ransom demand. That’s when the McCabes call Kinsey Millhone for help. As she is drawn into their family drama, she keeps a watchful eye on Fritz. But he’s not the only one being haunted by the past. A vicious sociopath with a grudge against Millhone may be leaving traces of himself for her to find.

It's 1989 and Kinsey Millhone is a 39-year-old private detective in Santa Teresa, CA.  Ten years ago, Fritz was a teenager going to a private school and he and his friends shot a "movie" that showed the rape and sexual abuse of their 14-year-old friend, Iris.  In addition around that time, one night after a party, Sloane, another of their friends had disappeared and was found dead.  Fritz had fired the gun that killed her so spent the last ten years in prison.  He's just been released and his parents, Lauren and Hollis, have received a blackmail letter demanding $25,000 or the tape will be handed over to the police.  They refuse to pay and hire Kinsey to find out who is behind it.

In the meantime, Ned, a serial killer from Kinsey's recent past, is still on the loose and looking to get even with Kinsey.  He almost killed her once and he's determined to not let her get away this time.

Kinsey's neighbour, landlord and friend, Henry, has allowed a homeless couple and their dog, Killer, to camp out in his backyard because they have nowhere else to go.  Plus there's another storyline featuring Anna, Kinsey's cousin.  There was a lot going on!

I thought this book was okay.  I liked the writing style.  It bounced back and forth from 1979 (when the tape was made and Sloane was killed) to 1989 ("present" day) and I was okay with this.  The chapters are labeled with the dates.  It is written in first person perspective in Kinsey's voice when it was 1989 and in third person perspective when it was 1979.  The book is almost 500 pages and there was a lot of details and descriptions that would have been cut out to make the writing tighter.  As a head's up, there is swearing, violence and adult activity.  I kinda when "huh?!?!" at the end with the "whodunnit" ... I think the ending could have been better.

This is the 25th in the "alphabet series" featuring Kinsey Millhone ... one more to go and the series will be over.  I discovered them in the mid-1990s and have read them all ... the first one, A is for Alibi, was written in 1982.  I've actually started rereading them again from the beginning.  They are all set in the 1980s (this one takes place in September 1989) before everyone had a computer, cell phone, people still smoke in public places, etc.

No comments: