A spider web of dangerous relationships lies at the heart of “V is for Vengeance,” Sue Grafton’s daring new Kinsey Millhone novel. Private detective Millhone encounters a shoplifter who leads her into the mob underworld and allows her to celebrate her 38th birthday with a punch in the face, two black eyes and a busted nose. V: Victim. Violence. Vengeance.
My take: “V is for Vengeance” is a superb example of Grafton’s best. Millhone remains her independent, stubborn, intractable self, still stuck in the ’80s without a cell phone, the Internet or a computer.
As always, she battles evil on her own. But in this book, even her occasional friends are noticeably missing: no boyfriend cop, none of her on-again, off-again Lompoc relatives make an appearance, and even her debonair 80-something landlord Henry is out of town.
I love Sue Grafton’s writing. She captures the essence of Millhone’s character in pithy sentences such as, “I generally frequent the low-end chain stores, where aisles are jammed with racks of identical garments, suggesting cheap manufacture in a country unfettered by child labor laws. Nordstrom’s was a palace by comparison. … ”
My rating: As always for Grafton, this is a 5 out of 5.