Monday, 11 May 2009

O is for Outlaw by Sue Grafton: Book 27, 2009

Title: O is for Outlaw by Sue Grafton
Genre: crime, thriller
Rating: 5.5/10
Comments: There is no doubt that Grafton can write a compelling page-turner but I found it hard to suspend disbelief during this one. Kinsey's ex-husband, Mickey, is in a coma, shot by a gun registered in her name. When the police trace a 30 minute call from Mickey's apartment to Kinsey's home, they turn up on her doorstep and have trouble believing her denials that she has not spoken to him in more than 12 years. Just a few days previously she had come upon a never delivered letter that indicated that she may have misjudged Mickey (in one sense at least). So partially to clear her name and partially to repay Mickey for her previous hasty judgement, Kinsey sets out to investigate what really happened.

So far, so good. The problem with this book is that Kinsey proceeds to run ridiculous personal and professional risks by breaking and entering to find answers, stealing mail and refraining from passing on crucial evidence to the police investigating the crime. Mickey was clearly in financial difficulties - yet he hadn't tapped into money stashed throughout his apartment as part of his survivalist preparations.

For some reason the detectives investigating the case overlook Kinsey's numerous wrong-doings and recruit her to wear a wire tap while visiting Mickey's assailant. And in the final chapter Kinsey risks her life by leading a gun-toting murderer on a wild car case instead of stopping for assistance from those detectives, driving straight to a police station or doing anything else remotely sensible.

The paper thin plot is a real disappointment because Grafton can write very well. She's not running out of ideas but she is running out of plausible plot lines.

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