Thirty-four years ago, Violet Sullivan put on her party finery and left for the annual Fourth of July fireworks display. She was never seen again.
In the small California town of Serena Station, tongues wagged. Some said she'd run off with a lover. Some said she was murdered by her husband. But for the not-quite-seven-year-old daughter Daisy she left behind, Violet's absence has never been explained or forgotten.
Now, thirty-four years later, she wants the solace of closure.
In S is for Silence, Kinsey Millhone's nineteenth excursion into the world of suspense and misadventure, S is for surprises as Sue Grafton takes a whole new approach to telling the tale. And S is for superb: Kinsey and Grafton at their best.
Kinsey Millhone has kept her appeal by being distinctive and sympathetic without craving center stage. While some mysteries that provide the PI's shoe size or most despised food create a forced and intrusive intimacy, a master like Grafton makes the relationship relaxed and reassuring. Millhone's life is modest and familiar, though her love life, now featuring police detective Cheney Phillips, tends to be oddly remote. This 19th entry (after 2004's R Is for Ricochet) adopts a new convention: Millhone's customary intelligent and occasionally self-deprecating first-person reportage is interrupted by vignettes from the days surrounding the Fourth of July, 34 years earlier, when a hot-blooded young woman named Violet Sullivan disappeared. Violet's daughter, Daisy, who was seven at the time, hires Millhone to discover her mother's true fate. Violet had toyed with every man in town at one time or another, so there's no shortage of scandalous secrets and possible suspects. Constant revelations concerning several absorbing characters allow a terrific tension to build. However, the utterly illogical and oddly abrupt ending undermines what is otherwise one of the stronger offerings in this iconic series. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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November 27, 2006
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