Book 59 of my 2015 Reading Challenge
read from August 31 - September 1
X by Sue Grafton
Book 24 in the Kinsey Millhone series
Summary (via the book jacket)
X: The number ten. An unknown quantity. A mistake. A cross. a kiss.
X: The briefest entry in Webster's Unabridged. The most graphically dramatic letter. Notoriously tricky to pronounce: think xylophone.
X: The twenty-fourth letter in the English alphabet.
The betrayed spouse of a wealthy businessman, a hot-tempered woman who was probably too quick to file for divorce and is still out for revenge on the husband who bedded her best friend. She is now plotting to steal a valuable painting her ex doesn't even know he possesses.
The newly ensconced elderly couple in the house next door, needy and seemingly helpless. In fact, the neighbors from hell.
A banker's box holding a recently murdered private investigator's files. Secretly stashed in a false bottom is a padded mailer containing personal items: a small Bible, a red-bead rosary, a child's birthday card with four one-dollar bills, a studio portrait of a little girl on her mother's lap - perhaps the child for whom the card is intended? And falling out of one file folder, a piece of graph paper with lines of numbers - a code or cipher that, when broken, contains the names of six women. One, a suicide according to the coroner's office, died twenty-eight years ago; a second, a woman who sued a coworker for harassment. The only link: Ned Lowe, husband of the dead woman, the target of the lawsuit.
And a remorseless serial killer cunning enough to leave no trace of his crimes.
Once again breaking the rules, Sue Grafton wastes no time identifying the sociopath. The test is whether Kinsey can prove her case against him before she becomes his next victim.
I always read this series so quickly and then I'm sad because it will be a long time before another Sue Grafton book is available. Added bonus...this year I'm doing an A - Z challenge, reading a title that starts with each letter of the alphabet, and I was able to cross off my "X" much easier than I expected when this came out!
I went through a few different theories as I read. In the end, it was close enough that the clues were there but not completely spot on so there were still surprises. That's a difficult balance to find in a mystery, especially this far in a series, and I appreciated it.
Quote from the Book
"In hindsight, I marvel at how clueless I was about the shit storm to come. What I ask myself even now is whether I should have picked up the truth any faster than I did, which was not nearly fast enough."