Two semi-retired police detectives reopen an eighteen year old murder case when their prime suspect is released from prison where he was doing time for a different murder. They enlist private detective Kinsey Millhone to help identify the unknown victim.
Following up on evidence provided by newly available forensic techniques the victim is finally identified as a teenaged runaway that supposedly reported herself alive and well in the early stages of the original investigation. A careful re-examination of the original case notes and following up on all of the evidence available leads to the discovery of the motive for the murder and eventually to the murderer, who is unrelated to the original suspect.
Throughout the course of the story we are given a few glimpses into Kinsey’s family background and the ongoing issues the discovery of her extended family raises for her.
I have found the Grafton’s alphabet series to be an easy, light and entertaining read, though her style is such that reading a few of the books in series will make the outcome transparent. Having not read her for a while this was not a problem this time around.
There was no startling twist to this tale, no great leaps of faith, though there was, as usual, more than a spoonful of luck on our heroine’s side allowing her to make crucial connections that ultimately led to the identity of the killer.
The development of the heroine’s character throughout this series has been slow but steady. While not completely open to new ideas that challenge her worldview neither is she completely closed to them. I like that she is flawed, knows it and in spite of her best attempts is not always able to overcome it. I also like that her work life is not portrayed as glamorous and exciting. The mundane nature of the majority of her work and the tedium of paperwork is highlighted giving her a realistic touch.
A good reliable read if not a very exciting one-Lynn