Wendy's Reviews > U is for Undertow

U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton
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's review
Jan 05, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010, fiction, mystery, e-book

Sue Grafton is one of my favourite mystery writers, and Kinsey Millhone one of my favourite fictional detectives. In this, her twenty-first outing, Grafton takes a different approach to the mystery, interspersing Kinsey's first-person present-day narrative with third-person flashbacks to twenty years previously, when the crime under investigation occurred. It's an interesting device, and in less sure hands it might not have worked, but Sue Grafton pulls it off well, illuminating characters far more richly than a private investigator's work would allow, and merging the two narratives in the last few pages to great effect.

Interestingly, I think this is the first time the last line of the book has been something other than "Respectfully submitted, Kinsey Millhone". Which worked, too, since there was no client to submit the report to, by the end of the book.

I'd like to go back and re-read from A is for Alibi, one of these days, to remind myself how Kinsey has evolved, and how her times have changed. She's a really interesting character, and it's her progress I remember, more than her cases, from book to book. The epilogue to this one made me tear up a little.

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