Monday 16 April 2018

Book ~ "V is for Vengeance" (2011) Sue Grafton

From Goodreads ~ A woman with a murky past who kills herself - or was it murder? A spoiled kid awash in gambling debt who thinks he can beat the system. A lovely woman whose life is about to splinter into a thousand fragments. A professional shoplifting ring working for the Mob, racking up millions from stolen goods. A wandering husband, rich and ruthless. A dirty cop so entrenched on the force he is immune to exposure. A sinister gangster, conscienceless and brutal. A lonely widower mourning the death of his lover, desperate for answers, which may be worse than the pain of his loss. A private detective, Kinsey Millhone, whose thirty-eighth-birthday gift is a punch in the face that leaves her with two black eyes and a busted nose.

It's 1988 and Kinsey Millhone is a soon-to-be 38-year-old private detective in Santa Teresa, CA.  Kinsey is in Nordstrom's and witnesses a woman shoplifting. She tells a clerk, who alerts store security, and they capture and arrest the woman (Audrey), who eventually commits suicide ... or does she?  Audrey's boyfriend, Marvin, can't believe she was part of a shoplifting ring and hires Kinsey to investigate.

Audrey was indeed part of a shoplifting ring, headed by Dante, who is also a loan shark.  In a side story, Dante meets Nora, an unhappy rich wife of a lawyer, when she tries to sell some jewelry in case she wants to leave her husband.  They are attracted to each other and hook up.  I wasn't crazy about Nora but did like Dante, even though he is a "bad guy".

I thought this story was okay.  There was a lot going on and lots of side stories!  It's written in first person perspective in Kinsey's voice but in third person perspective when it's in Nora and Dante's voices.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

This is the twenty-second 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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