Thursday 15 March 2018

Book ~ "R is for Ricochet" (2004) Sue Grafton

From Goodreads ~ Kinsey Millhone, employed by Nord Lafferty to drive his daughter home from her incarceration at the Californian Institute for Women, marvels at the simplicity of the task. But Reba Lafferty emerges feisty and rebellious, and Kinsey is soon fighting to prevent her charge from breaking the conditions of her parole. 

As she finds herself befriending the ex-gambler, ex-alcoholic and ex-con, Kinsey discovers that Reba had taken the fall for her boss, also her lover, when he conducted a highly-crafted money laundering scam. Alan Beckwith has so far escaped the clutches of the FBI. Now they believe he is laundering money for a Columbian drug cartel - they just need the proof. 

When Kinsey is asked by the police to persuade Reba to unveil crucial evidence guaranteed to put Beckwith behind bars, she doesn't expect cooperation. But when she hears of shocking new information about her lover, Reba is suddenly all too eager to do everything she can to ruin him. Embroiled in a cunning challenge of wits, and meanwhile bemused by her own blossoming romance, Kinsey must try to control the bitter, angry Reba as she launches her dangerous revenge.

It's the late 1980s and Kinsey Millhone is a 37-year-old private detective in Santa Teresa, CA.  She is hired by an elderly ill man to pick up his daughter, Reba, who is being released from prison, bring her home and ensure she gets to the meeting with her parole officer the next day.  An easy job!  They kind of become friends and Reba hooks up the next night with Alan, her former boyfriend and boss who she had embezzled money from, hence the reason she went to prison.  But Reba discovers Alan isn't as honest as she thought he was so considers turning evidence against him to the police and FBI when she's approached.

In the meantime, Kinsey is now dating Cheney, a police office, who she has been attracted to for a few years.  Things get hot and heavy very quickly.  Henry, Kinsey's elderly landlord, is having issues with his love life.  A woman he met on a recent cruise has been visiting but Henry's older brothers interfere in the potential romance.  Instead of telling his brothers to buzz off, he wimps out and backs off, which I thought was dumb.

I thought this story was just okay.  Kinsey was hired basically as a babysitter for a couple days and for some reason she, who has always been a loner, is interested in becoming friends with Reba.  She even looks to Reba for fashion advice, which seemed out of character for Kinsey (she's never cared about clothes and would trim her hair when necessary with nail scissors).  I found the Kinsey/Cheney relationship odd and unbelievable.  As far as she knew, he was married.  It turns out he was but it only lasted less than two months.  Kinsey and Cheney get together very quickly and he's all she seems to be thinking about.  It didn't seem like the Kinsey we've gotten to know.  It's written in first person perspective in Kinsey's voice.   As a head's up, there is swearing and adult activity.

This is the eighteenth in the "alphabet series" featuring Kinsey Millhone.  Though it is part of a series, it works as a stand alone.  I discovered this series in the mid-1990s and have read them all.  I started rereading them last year.  With the author's recent death, Y is for Yesterday will be the end of the series.

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