Wednesday, January 18, 2012

R is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton

Subgenre: Private Investigator

Review by Joanne Cronin

Main Character: Kinsey Millhone

Setting: Santa Teresa, California, 1980s (fictionalized Santa Barbara)

Point of view: First person

Style/Pacing: Deliberate pace; the routine tasks of a PI are part of the storyline. The reader learns things as Kinsey describes them. Action occurs in fits and starts, but accelerates toward the end..

Main Character: Kinsey Millhone, private detective, thirty-seven, does claims investigations, missing persons cases, etc.  Married and divorced twice, doesn’t like to mix work and love.

Language/ writing: Clear, laconic prose; twisty plot reads quickly.

Emotional impact/ Degree of Violence:  This particular title revolves around relationships in Kinsey’s current case and in her personal life.  Sometimes the two areas collide.  Violence and the threat of violence increases...

Humor: Kinsey has a wry sense of humor expressed in her descriptions of events and characters, as well as the occasional wisecrack

Sex/vulgarity: Not explicit. Sexual situations described in the buildup but not in the act.  Occasional mild vulgarity.

Issue Driven: Financial chicanery, emotional relationships, vengeance.

Other notes: Grafton’s long-running alphabet series is considered a benchmark of the genre.  The author has kept the action in the 1980s to keep the focus on detection and not on the more current technological devices more contemporary PIs use.  No cell phone or Internet for Kinsey.

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