Wednesday afternoon, April 6, 1988
My name is Kinsey Millhone. I'm a private detective, female, age thirty-seven, with my thirty-eighth birthday coming up in a month. Having been married and divorced twice, I'm now happily single and expect to remain so for life. I have no children thus far and I don't anticipate bearing any. Not only are my eggs getting old, but my biological clock wound down a long time ago. I suppose there's always room for one of life's little surprises, but that's not the way to bet.
I work solo out of a rented bungalow in Santa Teresa, California, a town of roughly 85,000 souls who generate sufficient crime to occupy the Santa Teresa Police Department, the County Sheriff's Department, the California Highway Patrol, and the twenty-five or so local private investigators like me. Movies and television shows would have you believe a PI's job is dangerous, but nothing could be farther from the truth . . . except, of course, on the rare occasions when someone tries to kill me. Then I'm ever so happy my health insurance premiums are paid up. Threat of death aside, the job is largely research, requiring intuition, tenacity, and ingenuity. Most of my clients reach me by referral and their business ranges from background checks to process serving, with countless other matters in between. My office is off the beaten path and I seldom have a client appear unannounced, so when I heard a tapping at the door to my outer office, I got up and peered around the corner to see who it was.
Through the glass I saw a young man pointing at the knob. I'd apparently turned the dead bolt to the locked position when I'd come back from lunch. I let him in, saying, "Sorry about that. I must have locked up after myself without being aware of it."
"You're Ms. Millhone?"
"Michael Sutton," he said, extending his hand. "Do you have time to talk?"
We shook hands. "Sure. Can I offer you a cup of coffee?"
"No, thanks. I'm fine."
I ushered him into my office while I registered his appearance in a series of quick takes. Slim. Lank brown hair with a sheen to it, worn long on top and cut short over his ears. Solemn brown eyes, complexion as clear as a baby's. There was a prep school air about him: deck shoes without socks, sharply creased chinos, and a short-sleeve white dress shirt he wore with a tie. He had the body of a boy: narrow shoulders, narrow hips, and long, smooth arms. He looked young enough to be carded if he tried to buy booze. I couldn't imagine what sort of problem he'd have that would require my services.
(c) 2009 by Sue Grafton
P.I. Kinsey Millhone takes on a cold case that soon turns red-hot in Sue Grafton’s latest installment in her enormously popular Alphabet series.
It’s just one month before her 38th birthday, which might explain why Kinsey Millhone is surprised to learn that the very young-looking guy who’s come seeking her expertise is actually in his late 20s. Once the boyish Michael Sutton starts pleading his case, though, he has Kinsey’s attention. As Sutton explains it, he’s had a flashback to a memory from when he was 6 years old and stumbled upon what he now realizes was the grave of a little girl whose disappearance is suddenly back in the news. He knows it’s a long shot, but he wants Kinsey to help him locate the girl's remains—and perhaps her killers. Even with his offer of cash upfront, Kinsey is reluctant to get involved and decides to give him one day. But as her investigation unfolds, Kinsey discovers that her impassioned client has a poor track record when it comes to telling the truth. Could it be that the boy who cried wolf in the past is getting his kicks out of telling another giant whopper? Sue Grafton’s U is for Undertow is unputdownable!
Hardcover Book : 416 pages
Publisher: Putnam Pub Grp/Member Penguin Putnam ( December 01, 2009 )
Item #: 12-776813
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.99inches
Product Weight: 15.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
I read all of her alphabet boks, and can't wait for her next one(V) I love reading about Kinsey and all the usual people she knows.
Kinsey is an old friend and it's so good to have her back. Usually as a series goes on, it gets weaker and weaker but this one has lost nothing. In fact, I think this is the best one yet. It was the first time that there were different points of view and it really added to the story. It made everything more complete.
If you've read Kinsey before, you'll love this one. If you've never read one, this is a good one to start with. You don't need to have read the earlier ones to enjoy this.
Reviewer: Susan J
This was a great read!! Excellent book
Reviewer: Donna B
Another excellent book in this series, loved the "past colliding with present" style. An example of why the truly great mystery writers do not have to have an army of co-authors and publish 15 books a year to be successful. Wish Ms. Grafton would write quicker though, I've read them all and can't wait for the next.
Reviewer: Mike C