Title: F is for Fugitive
Author: Sue Grafton
Bailey Fowler was convicted of voluntary manslaughter seventeen years ago. About a year into his sentence, he escaped from prison and created a new life for himself. A fluke accident leads to his arrest and discovery. His father hires Kinsey Millhone, private detective, to uncover what really happened the night of Jean Timberlake’s murder and to clear his son’s name. Knowing that this case is a long shot, Kinsey agrees to try and travels to the tiny town of Floral Beach, a town mired in secrets.
This is a solid entry to Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone novels. Kinsey continues to shine as she travels to a new location and ingratiates herself with the residents of the town–sometimes less successfully than others. I always enjoy watching how Kinsey works, how easily she talks to people and draws information from them. I like getting little pieces of the mystery to try and put together and solve before she does. This one completely alluded me. I admit: I thought Grafton had a pattern as to how she introduced the “big bad” and, thus assured, quickly fingered one of the cast as the most likely suspect. Grafton did little to dissuade me from my choice, planting red herring after red herring until, suddenly, she swerved left. And, oh, what a swerve! This was a fun ride and a great story.