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Saturday, July 31, 2010

U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton

By my count, this is the 21st book in the Kinsey Millhone series. I have read most of them over the years - some are good, some are great and one or two have been duds. U is for Undertow is a strong one. A very solid story, although not a very difficult mystery.

Sue Grafton has kept Kinsey Millhone in the year about twenty years ago in the past. An author has to make several choices as he continues to write about a character over the years. James Bond never ages> Robert B. Parker's Spenser moved forward in time but never seemed to age. He was a Korean War vet (making him at least around 75 years old in his last book) and he still got into fistfights and chased bad guys all over the place. Tony Hillerman aged Joe Leaphorn and just moved on to the younger generation when it was time for action.

The storyline of U is for Undertow most resembled an extended episode of the CBS police drama Cold Case and is different than the rest of her books. Kinsey is asked to investigate a 20 year old kidnapping and the reader flashes back and forth from the 1960s to 1988 until it becomes painfully obvious who the bad guys are and why they did what they did. At that point, we have a little drama while Kinsey cleans up the loose ends and the book ends.

I make it sound simple, but it was a good read - one of the best of the series. The flashbacks worked. The characters were very interesting and it was well done.

I rate this book 5 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: U Is for Undertow.

Reviewed on July 31, 2010.

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