2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: U is for Undertow: A Kinsey Millhone Novel (Hardcover)
This latest Sue Grafton book is a nearly flawless effort of its kind. I say, "Of its kind," because Grafton is no longer writing traditional "whodunits," but is writing character studies thinly disguised as mysteries. Of course, there are the obligatory two homocides, and the obligatory investigation. But we know fairly early on "whodunit." What is interesting about the book is what was done and why. A young man of suspicious background hires Kinsey Milhone to dig up what he thinks to be the body of a dead child who mysteriously disappeared many years ago. She convinces the police to dig where the man claims to have seen two men buring the body, and find the corpse of a dead dog. Most of the police and the man's relatives want to laugh it off, but Kinsey keeps "digging," and comes to suspect foul play. The book the flashes back and fourth between the memories of the villains, the neighbors, and the present day situation. The plot develops with perfect logic, and the characters play out the roles almost as if they were acting in a Greek tragedy. Grafton has an almost perfect ear for dialogue and character. She has always been a little weak with action scenes, and in this case, she dispenses with them almost completely. Her encounters with the various players in this piece are always well done, and the little episodes which are irrelevant to the plot but keep the dialogues going are as good as the plotline itself. I have commented before that Grafton is growing out of the mystery genre. It would be nice, when she finally comples "Z is for Zipper" that she should write a novel about the family history of Kinsey's relatives, with no overtones of crime fiction at all.