Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Review: X by Sue Grafton

Book Cover: X by Sue Grafton X by Sue Grafton
Published August 2015 by Penguin Putnam
Source: Penguin First to Read

X: The number ten. An unknown quantity. A mistake. A cross. A kiss.

X: The shortest entry in Webster’s Unabridged. Derived from Greek and Latin and commonly found in science, medicine, and religion. The most graphically dramatic letter. Notoriously tricky to pronounce: think xylophone.

X: The twenty-fourth letter in the English alphabet.

Sue Grafton’s X: Perhaps her darkest and most chilling novel, it features a remorseless serial killer who leaves no trace of his crimes. Once again breaking the rules and establishing new paths, Grafton wastes little time identifying this sociopath. The test is whether Kinsey can prove her case against him before she becomes his next victim.

My Thoughts

What do you think when you see an “X”? Maybe X marks the spot? Or X-ing out (crossing out) something? When Sue Grafton started her long-running Alphabet Mysteries series in 1982, each title contained “is for” in the title: A is for Alibi, M is for Malice, all the way up to W is for Wasted. And then we come to the newest installment and the “is for” is missing. Let's face it. X is for X.

In X, Kinsey Millhone gets involved in three situations. Initially, she is hired by a woman purporting to be a birth mother looking for her adopted son. Soon, Kinsey discovers that the woman was lying, and Kinsey winds up in the middle of a bitter domestic dispute. Then, around the same time, Pete Wolinsky's widow asks for Kinsey's help in finding some missing tax records. While searching through Pete's records, Kinsey discovers an unfinished case that Pete had been working on. The last situation is closer to home—something strange is going on with the new neighbors.

Kinsey's fans will find a lot to like in X. All the favorite characters are here: her landlord, Henry; Rosie and William; and Ruthie. Kinsey has to be clever in order to solve the mysteries. There's some risk since Pete's case has turned dangerous, but Kinsey prevails as we know she will.

Highly recommended, particularly for those who have been following Kinsey's exploits for the past 30+ years. Even if you aren't familiar with the series, I think this one would work well enough as a stand-alone, but I'm not a very good judge of that since I'm a rabid Sue Grafton fan. One of the best things about a long-running series like this is that there's time for development of ALL of the characters.

I was totally surprised and so happy to receive an e-mail from Penguin Group letting me know that I had been selected to receive an advanced reader copy of X. I'm simply thrilled! Many, many thanks to First to Read for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Disclosure: I received a free copy of X from the publisher via the First to Read program in return for an honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment