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Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group$12.75U Is for Undertow (Mass Market Paperback)
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons$9.99
Customers Also BoughtMore About U Is for Undertow by Sue GraftonOverviewCalling "T is for Trespass" "taut, terrifying, transfixing and terrific," USA Today went on to ask, "What does it take to write twenty novels about the same character and manage to create a fresh, genre-bending novel every time?" It's a question worth pondering. Through twenty excursions into the dark side of the human soul, Sue Grafton has never written the same book twice. And so it is with this, her twenty-first. Once again, she breaks genre formulas, giving us a twisting, complex, surprise-filled, and totally satisfying thriller.
It's April, 1988, a month before Kinsey Millhone's thirty-eighth birthday, and she's alone in her office doing paperwork when a young man arrives unannounced. He has a preppy air about him and looks as if he'd be carded if he tried to buy booze, but Michael Sutton is twenty-seven, an unemployed college dropout. Twenty-one years earlier, a four-year-old girl disappeared. A recent reference to her kidnapping has triggered a flood of memories. Sutton now believes he stumbled on her lonely burial when he was six years old. He wants Kinsey's help in locating the child's remains and finding the men who killed her. It's a long shot but he's willing to pay cash up front, and Kinsey agrees to give him one day. As her investigation unfolds, she discovers Michael Sutton has an uneasy relationship with the truth. In essence, he's the boy who cried wolf. Is his current story true or simply one more in a long line of fabrications?
Grafton moves the narrative between the eighties and the sixties, changing points of view, building multiple subplots, and creating memorable characters. Gradually, we see how they all connect. But at the beating center of the novel is Kinsey Millhone, sharp-tongued, observant, a loner -- "a heroine," said "The New York Times Book Review," "with foibles you can laugh at and faults you can forgive."
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 31.
- Review Date: 2009-10-12
- Reviewer: Staff
False memory syndrome provides the core of bestseller Grafton's intriguing 21st crime novel featuring wry PI Kinsey Millhone (after T Is for Trespass). In 1988, Kinsey takes on client Michael Sutton, who claims to have recovered a childhood memory of men burying a suspicious bundle shortly after the unsolved disappearance of four-year-old Mary Claire Fitzhugh in 1972. But Sutton has a track record of unreliability, and Kinsey must untangle and reconfigure his disjointed recountings to learn if they are truth or fiction. Chapters told from the point of view of other characters in other time periods add texture, allowing the reader to assemble pieces of the case as Kinsey works on other aspects. A subplot involves Kinsey wrestling with conflicting information about her estranged family. Though whodunit purists may be a bit disappointed that the culprit is revealed well before book's end, both loyal Kinsey fans and those new to the canon will find much to like. Author tour. (Dec.)