S is for Silence–Sue Grafton

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This is a huge series, a popular series, and I’ve read the previous books, but not recently.

I actually read this when it came out, but I’d forgotten that I had so I re-read it again now that I’m trying to finish out some series.

I remember being disappointed with this book at the time and that’s why I didn’t continue on then.

Reading it now, I stand by that assessment. It’s not as great as some of the other books in this series.

In this book, perpetual heroine Kinsey Millhone is hired to look into the mysterious disappearance of a young mother something like 40 years before. Her daughter is sad, and wants to know what happened.

And so she dives in, and finds that the missing woman had a bad reputation. She was an abused wife but apparently people in town were ok with that because she fought back. *sigh* I can’t even with those townspeople.

And she was also apparently known as a slut. So. Take that for what it’s worth, because I totally don’t trust those townspeople after that domestic violence situation.

She’s missing, along with an undisclosed amount of money from a medical malpractice settlement, a brand spanking new car, and her little yippy dog, but not her daughter.

None of those things were ever seen again.

The idea is that she either ran away or was killed, but in either case, the car should have been found. Brand new cars don’t often up and disappear.

Suspects include the abusive husband, her brother, and various lovers, possible lovers or past lovers, plus the wives and family members of said lovers.

In the end, of course, it was murder. Minor spoiler, but c’mon, you knew she was dead, right? It’s been 40 years! Someone would have seen her, she wouldn’t have abandoned the kid for that long.

The problem I had was that the book itself provides a lack of motive for the eventual murderer, and never resolved the discrepancy. I felt annoyed and cheated. Otherwise, it’s classic Sue Grafton. Sharp, fast, playful.

There are better books in this series, but if you’re reading the series (and are WAY behind the publishing dates like me) it’s not worth skipping this one if, like me, you’re a completionist.

And if you find the resolution for the discrepancy, and you’ll know what I mean when you finish it, please let me know so I can feel better about this book.

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