Thursday, November 12, 2015

Review of X

Book 42. X, by Sue Grafton. Unabridged audio.

I consider myself a big fan of this series, having started my reading of the novels when “G” or “H” was new on the shelves. Kinsey Millhone is a powerful combination of intelligence, toughness, and vulnerability. In this novel, what begins as a $200 job locating a recently released prisoner, becomes a case of fraud, then assault, and perhaps she stumbles onto a serial killer. 

About ten novels ago, Grafton began to move away from the traditional detective story first-person POV into a more modern POV format. This narrative change allowed Grafton to expand the scope of these novels, allowing us to see events that Millhone can't see, and for us to know more about what is going on than the protagonist does. This allows for suspense, and some of those novels were more sweeping and epic in their scope.

With this novel, Grafton returns to the smaller scale of the traditional PI novel, and returns to the first-person narration. I enjoy these “smaller” mysteries, although this book was easily 50% longer than the first half-dozen or so novels. This was one of the best of the last ten or so novels in the series. The slow unfolding of the plot made for an enjoyable read. 

I hope that when I finish "Z," I will be satisfied that a 26-book series will have ended well. Ending books is not easy, and ending series is even less easy. I hope and trust that Grafton will be able to pull it off.

As always, Judy Kaye does a fine job performing the audio version of the novel.

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