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Thursday Book Review: U is for Undertow By Sue Grafton

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Staff Review by Meg Cheman:

Recovered memory or false memory?  A recent newspaper story about an old kidnapping has released childhood memories in Michael Sutton, who claims he saw two men burying a suspicious bundle at the time of the kidnapping twenty years earlier and now thinks it was the missing girl. He hires Private Investigator Kinsey Millhone to find out, but Kinsey soon discovers that Sutton has a history of false accusations.  Fortunately, there is enough thread for Kinsey to unravel, compelling her to keep searching for the truth. Moving between the past and present, the kidnapping tale is told through multiple viewpoints, adding layers and depth to the characters as well as the story.

A subplot explores Kinsey’s relationship to her estranged family.  Previous titles in this series have unwrapped the mystery of Kinsey’s childhood and provided snippets of insight into her character. U is for Undertow is the most satisfying to date. Many unanswered questions are finally answered. And you needn’t have read the other titles to understand – the author does a great job of filling in the back story without being repetitive.

Sue Grafton started writing her series in 1983 and keeps it set in the ’80s providing good continuity. There is are no cell phones, electronics or Google for Kinsey to use – just good old fashioned, pound-the-pavement detective work, and just enough danger to keep her on her toes.  A decidedly good read and highly recommended.

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library | 1 Lafayette Square | Buffalo, NY 14203 | (716) 858-8900

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