As in her previous adventures, most of the people Kinsey encounters and investigates are everyday folks: bank tellers, apartment managers and hospital aides. Kinsey's beat is the banality of criminality, and Grafton's gift is making the minutiae of detective work and everyday life into something both sociological and suspenseful…Kinsey has barely evolved in her 25 years on the scene. What has changed in the past two decades is the number of female PIs on bookshelves, from hard-boiled women to cutesy shoe-shopping gumshoes. Few of them can match up to durable Kinsey Millhone, eternally on stakeout in the front seat of her latest beater, with a thermos of bad coffee, a revolver and her ubiquitous Quarter Pounder With Cheese all riding shotgun.
The Washington Post
"For all its familiar comforts, this is one sad, tough book."
The New York Times
Tony award-winner Judy Kaye has been the voice of private eye Kinsey Millhone since the beginning, and 19 titles later, she's still an inspired choice, capturing the character's unique combination of femininity and ruggedness, intelligence, street savvy and self-confidence with just a hint of uncertainty. Trespassis possibly a series best. Both reader and sleuth are working at full tilt as Kinsey interacts with a large cast. Her foremost opponent is the devious and homicidal black widow who has spun a web around the detective's aged and infirmed next door neighbor. Grafton deviates from Kinsey's narration to delve into the killer's history and mind-set, underlining the seriousness of her threat. Kaye offers a crisp, chillingly cold aural portrait of a sociopath capable of anything. Kaye's spot-on interpretation of the two very different leading characters would be praiseworthy enough, but she's just as effective in capturing the elderly men and women, the screechy landladies, the drawling rednecks, the velvet-tongued smooth operators, the fast talking lawyers and all the inhabitants of Kinsey's world. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 17). (Dec.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Here's a thriller that painfully reminds us of how vulnerable many of us will become as we get older and are hit with chronic conditions that require in-home care. Grafton, who consistently turns out grade-A novels, has outdone herself with her latest. This chilling, poignant tale involves an injured 89-year-old man who ends up with a caregiver who decides to kill him slowly by poisoning his food. The fellow has only one known relative, who is far away and doesn't want to get involved. The scheming caregiver, as she has done with other victims, shrewdly knows how to keep the elderly man isolated from concerned neighbors, including our private-eye heroine, Kinsey Millhone. We get Kinsey's usual first-person case account but, in a shift for Grafton, we are also unnervingly brought into the amoral mind of the villain. (11 Feb 2008)
In her 20th outing, another New York Times best seller for Grafton, private detective Kinsey Millhone finds her elderly neighbor Gus sprawled on his living room floor after a fall. His injuries make it impossible for Gus to care for himself, so his only relative, a niece who lives in New York, hires a home-care provider and hopes for the best. In a cursory background check, Kinsey finds Solana Rojas to be a competent and caring companion for Gus. However, the narrator reveals that Solana is a sociopath who steals the identities of others and uses their good names to abuse, rob, and eventually kill helpless elderly people. When Kinsey begins to suspect that something is wrong, Solana is well on her way to transferring all of Gus's property to her own name. Kinsey's struggle to liberate Gus from Solana and bring Solana to justice is hampered by a system meant to protect and defend the defenseless. Grafton's story confronts the dark side of society today; elder abuse, child abuse, bureaucratic roadblocks, social services incompetence, and absence of family values all play a part in this all-too-realistic tale. Judy Kaye's interplay of first and third person narration adds interest and suspense. Recommended.
Joanna M. Burkhardt
Kinsey Millhone's 20th case, which pits her against a creepy pair of abusers who don't know of each other's existence, is one of her finest. In between big jobs (S Is for Silence, 2005, etc.), Kinsey works as a process server and does spadework on insurance claims. Now (in the winter of 1987-88) she's staying busy serving papers on a dad who owes child support and gathering evidence to show who was at fault in a low-speed traffic accident that left Gladys Fredrickson seriously injured. Kinsey doesn't know that a more important case is unfolding much closer to home. Her irascible old next-door neighbor Gus Vronsky, tottering around his house after a fall sent him to the hospital, has fallen into the clutches of predatory caregiver Solana Rojas. Hired by Gus's self-absorbed great-niece to check out Solana's credentials, Kinsey is initially fooled because Solana, whose backstory Grafton unfolds in a series of chapters from her point of view, isn't really Solana; she's stolen her identity from someone whose record is clean. Settling into Gus's house, Solana begins to pick him clean while Kinsey's distracted by her caseload, which eventually leads her to a child molester quite as frightening in his way as Solana. Each of Kinsey's cases stretches the private-eye formula in new ways. Her 20th, which reads like vintage Ruth Rendell, will bring shivers to every reader with an aged parent-or a young child. Book-of-the-Month Club/Literary Guild selection