Nov 20, 2009

U Is For Undertow by Sue Grafton, review

U is for Undertow
U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton

A good plot and an engaging detective in the person of Kinsey Millhone means another winner for mystery writer Sue Grafton in her 2009 thriller, U is for Undertow.

Grafton's mystery series features the personable PI and follows her life; each new book in the series advances the story of Kinsey, her deceased parents, and the ongoing relationship with her mother's wealthy family who had disowned Kinsey and her parents many years ago.

In this latest book, P.I. Kinsey Millhone is 38. She is asked to investigate a murder that took place in the 1960s, when a four year old girl was kidnapped and never returned, though ransom was paid.

Kinsey takes the case after she is approached by 27 year old Michael Sutton, who had a sudden flash back to 1967 when he saw two men in the woods behind a house, burying a bundle wrapped in a blanket. Michael is sure the bundle was the body of the kidnapped girl and wants Kinsey to help him locate the house and the burial place behind it.

However, Michael's estranged family thinks he is making up stories and fantasizing. Kinsey doesn't know what to think, but promises to take the case for one day. When Michael swears he has recently seen one of the men from the 1960s burial, Kinsey stays on the case.

Having to deal with her own family crisis as well, Kinsey is pulled in multiple directions. Her mother's family and her aged grandmother now want Kinsey back in their lives after years of estrangement. They have invited her to a family gathering, but she is reluctant to attend because of past slights.

I haven't read all the books in the series, but Sue Grafton readers have known Kinsey and have been following her story since the letter A, when she was much younger and just starting out as a private detective in A Is For Alibi. I gave the book four out of five stars.

Thanks to the publisher for a review copy of this book.

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Sue Jackson said...

Wow, I haven't read any Sue Grafton novels in YEARS, but I used to read each alphabet murder as it came out! I always liked Kinsey. I should pick one up again. Thanks for the reminder and the review!


LadyPI said...

Nice review! This book is on my 'to be read' pile. I've read all the Kinsey books, and I'll be interested to see how she reacts to the request to get together with her own relatives.

Book Bird Dog said...

Sue: I guess she'll continue until Z, and then who knows how she will name her mysteries!

Michael Phelps said...

Great Review! I have been a fan and have read (and keep in my library) every one of Sue Grafton's "Milhone" series. She is a great writer, and her charachter development is outstanding. I had an assistant, a female P.I. who worked with me at the law firm. She was just like Kinsey Milhone and when I gave her "A is for Alibi", she fell in love with Kinsey.

Book Bird Dog said...

LadyPI and Michael: Glad I reached some die hard Kinsey Millhone fans. Won't tell what happens with her family:)

Unknown said...

I finished the book in 2 days. It took me that long because I had many tasks to do. The woman is a genius. I have read all her books and I hope I make it till "Z is for Zero."

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