I’m beginning to get worried. The title of Sue Grafton’s latest detective novel - V is for Vengeance - means that there are only four more chances to enjoy the adventures of Kinsey Millhone, cop turned private eye - four more times to slide (mentally) into a booth at Rosie’s where the wine is sour, the food is Hungarian and consists of animal innards smothered in sauce, and where William, Rosie’s husband and brother of Kinsey’s best friend and neighbor, recites his health issues daily.
Kinsey’s latest job involves sorting out the many aspects of a shoplifting ring (once she figures out it really is a ring), trying to help long-time acquaintances (who happen to have police records) stay out of jail and doing her level best to avoid getting killed herself. There is also a strong subplot involving members of the country club and their connections to organized (and I do mean organized) crime.
Kinsey first came to our attention in A is for Alibi (You can see why I’m worried!) and although she has her PI license, she also has a handy set of tools for picking locks, thanks to an ex-con named Pinky who features prominently in this novel. There are several plots and subplots here, but one of the main lessons learned is that what happens in Vegas not only doesn't stay in Vegas; it can get you thrown off the top of a building! At least that's what happens to one unfortunate young man who is not, shall we say, the brightest bulb in the chandelier and welshes on a gambling debt.
Then there is the problem of the shoplifting ring which involves Kinsey's long-time enemy, and friend of her no-longer husband, vice officer, Lieutenant Len Priddy. Kinsey has had well-founded doubts about him for a long time and this run-in, which involves not only physical threats but messing with attempts to find the ringleaders, solidifies Kinsey's belief that Priddy is not an upstanding cop.
Add to this mixture a possible suicide, a definite murder, a woman held hostage, the escape of a bad guy (who turns not to be not so bad) and the appearance of a former boyfriend. Kinsey has her hands full. In order to discover who the criminals are, she must root out the reasons for the crimes!
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