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V is for Vengeance: A Kinsey Millhone Novel Hardcover – November 14, 2011
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A medical examiner with a nightmare past must stop a killer who strikes too close to home. Learn More
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Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Sue Grafton
As with the last several books in the series, V Is for Vengeance was a long time in the making. I work by trial and error, keeping a running account of the process in journals that in this case totaled 967 single-spaced pages. It took me from March, 2009 until March, 2010 to settle on a storyline, and after that, it was ten months of hard labor. Women give birth to babies in less time, but surely without as much suffering. Brave soul that I am, I stuck with it, picking my way painstakingly from beginning to middle to end.
What sets the narrative in motion is Kinsey Millhone’s spotting a shoplifter in an upscale department store. She alerts a sales clerk, who in turn notifies Security, which results in the woman’s arrest. Within two days, the sticky-fingered thief has taken a dive off a four-hundred-foot-high bridge, leaving her fiancé with troubling questions. While the overall subject matter is organized retail theft, of greater concern to Ms. Millhone is the fact that at the height of the action, shortly before she’s punched in the face, she realizes it’s her thirty-eighth birthday and thus ends up celebrating the milestone with a broken nose and two black eyes.
--Sue Grafton, November, 2011
"Sure to satisfy."—USA Today
“Central to the books’ appeal is not the hoodlums and their crimes—which are often fueled by alcohol or stupidity rather than the epic, high-stakes evil driving other crime books—but rather Kinsey herself…She is witty and weary and a lot of fun.”—Los Angeles Times
“One of Kinsey Millhone’s best outings…must reading for Grafton fans.”—The Globe and Mail (Canada)
“Grafton exhibits the pace, form, and technique of a marathon champ in her latest.”—The Kansas City Star
“The author has hit a high mark with her latest offering, a complex tale of love, betrayal, ambition, and, of course, murder…The only bad thing: There are just four letters left in the alphabet.”—The Associated Press
Top Customer Reviews
Reluctantly shopping at an upscale retailer, Kinsey spies Audrey Vance stealing expensive silk PJs. The civic-minded P.I. discovers the woman is in cahoots with another and reports them both. Vance is arrested, while the other scofflaw nearly runs Kinsey down in the parking garage with a Mercedes. Vance is later found dead, an apparent suicide, but homicide is soon suspected.
In a parallel plot, Lorenzo Dante, Jr., known simply as Dante, is a loan shark with alleged Mafia ties. Dante has quite an inferno of illicit businesses burning --- and a red-hot romance with a powerful attorney's wife. One of those enterprises is a highly organized ring of shoplifters, whose kingpin was Audrey Vance. Vance's unsuspecting fiancé hires Kinsey to investigate what he thinks are bogus shoplifting charges, and the improbable suicide. Thrown into the mix are a corrupt cop, and a gambling addict who sells his soul to Dante.
Predictably, characters face death during the investigation, and Kinsey is pulled into the vortex. Ghosts from novels past haunt Kinsey, even likeable petty criminal Pinky Ford is instrumental in the dénouement. Vixen reporter Diana Alvarez from "Undertow" is a thorn in Kinsey's side but eventually proves beneficial. Heartthrob and former flame Cheney Phillips keeps readers guessing if the fire will rekindle.Read more ›
What can I say, I shall buy the next Sue Grafton...
Certain supporting characters are well drawn out such as a grieving fiancee of the dead shoplifter, who refuses to believe his beloved could do any wrong, a malevolent, corrupt cop from Kinsey's past and a burglar trying hard to reform. yet the drawbacks of this novel revolve around its length. A mystery novel should never try to imitate the volume of either a Michener or a Tom Clancy.Then the book becomes a cumbersome tome and tends to obscure the intent of the reason for the mystery to begin with. Sue Grafton still has the talent to take this long running mystery series to the final letter but her final entries should be less weighty and analytical and present more of an original puzzle for the reader to savor than the past two books have.
Also weaving through the book is the story of an unhappy wife named Nora, who realizes her husband is cheating and takes steps to protect herself. In the course of covering her bases financially, she meets Dante and begins an unlikely relationship with him. There is an interesting twist in the book that involves both of these people and ties into the modern day activities.
One of the things I enjoy about this series is the fact that it is set in the 80's. Kinsey has to rely on research, hard work, and legwork to get her job done. She has no internet or cell phone to do work for her. I love it when she needs to get to a pay phone to call someone when she is out working on a case or making a carbon copy of something. I find myself thinking "If she only had a ........."
Kinsey is a solitary person who has very few real relationships in her life. She can only rely on herself this book reinforces that fact.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some anachronisms in here, and a poorly disguised political statement, but the plot is solid and entertaining.Published 2 days ago by GigSep
I have been a faithful follower of this series for a very long time, and have enjoyed every one of these Sue Grafton books. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Active Lady
I have worked my way this far through the alphabet, every one was better than the one before. I'm almost sorry to see it come to an end.Published 8 days ago by Donna Rullo
Vengeance. Really sweet vengeance. Read the whole book, but look forward to Chapter 10 for the most diabolical and well-crafted revenge I've ever read.Published 10 days ago by ttterk
Keeps you guessing till the end. Love the Kinsey Millhone series- hope its not ending at Z!! Or she will have to start again at A.Published 11 days ago by Patricia Meier
Love the character in the series. Always interesting and human. About to read last book in the series and fwwl sad about that.Published 15 days ago by Brenda Phillips
Kinsey Millhone does it again. She takes her lumps as always. Kinsey does not back down but she figures out a way to have justice prevail in the end.Published 17 days ago by sandy g