THE FINAL INSTALLMENT IN SUE GRAFTON'S ALPHABET SERIES
WINNER OF THE ANTHONY/BILL CRIDER AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL IN A SERIES
Private investigator Kinsey Millhone confronts her darkest and most disturbing case in this #1 New York Times bestseller from Sue Grafton.
In 1979, 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...
Bestseller Grafton's gripping 25th novel featuring Santa Teresa, Calif., PI Kinsey Millhone (after 2015's X) opens with a theft. In January 1979, misfit Iris Lehmann steals a test to help her best friend, Poppy Earl, a fellow student at an elite private high school in Santa Teresa. Iris's impulsive act sets off a cheating scandal focused on Poppy and her boyfriend, Troy Rademaker. This leads to 15-year-old Fritz McCabe fatally shooting Sloan Stevens, who supposedly ratted on the two cheaters. In 1989, as required by law, the California Youth Authority releases Fritz, who's free to carry on with his life but now someone is demanding $25,000 from his parents to suppress a videotape showing Fritz and Troy sexually abusing a drunken Iris back in 1979. Fritz's mother hires Kinsey to investigate the amateurish blackmail scheme, which puts her on the trail of a host of suspects and secrets in Santa Teresa's wealthiest enclaves. Meanwhile, Kinsey's nemesis from the previous book, mass murderer Ned Lowe, is still on the loose and has a score to settle with her. Grafton once again proves herself a superb storyteller. Author tour.
Mistress of Suspense
Anyone reading 'Y' should read 'X' first, to understand the skillfully built tension Sue Grafton has crafted. Word pictures, foreshadowing and suspense are masterfully used to tell several stories at the same time. Everything ties together in the end, often with a realistic ending such as in 'Y'.
Kinsey Millhone has become a realistic character who is humorous, clever, a snoop and friend to an eclectic group of people. I have come to see her as someone I would like to know, and will miss her. Reading the books in alphabetical order helps the reader make connections with the plots in each book, however, each novel can stand alone.