Title: H is for Homicide
Author: Sue Grafton
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Length: 305 pages
After a a colleague is found murdered, Kinsey Millhone finds herself swept into a dangerous world. It begins innocently, with her trying to track down a woman named Bibianna Diaz, who is suspected of committing insurance fraud. Kinsey manages to find and befriend her under the guise of Hannah Moore. But an simple foray to gather information turns deadly and, soon, Kinsey and Bibianna are being held against their will by Bibianna’s violent ex-fiancee, Raymond.
Now, Kinsey finds herself in mortal peril. Trapped in an apartment and guarded day and night, she goes along with Raymond’s auto insurance fraud schemes and gathers information, hoping that eventually she’ll be able to turn it over to the police and get free.
So, some slight spoilers in the review.
Remember how I said that every Kinsey Millhone book seems to be my new favorite? This is not my favorite. It was dark and disturbing and uncomfortable. It hits you right away when an efficiency expert is transferred to the insurance office Kinsey does her business out of. He’s rude and mean and you know that it’s not going to turn out well for Kinsey. And then things get worse when she’s not only kidnapped, but the woman she’s with is raped repeatedly. It’s never called rape, and I’m not sure it’s acknowledged as anything beyond Kinsey thinking how sad it is, but Bibianna’s life and safety is being threatened, and she has to sleep with her captor in order to not be killed or beaten. That’s rape, and it sucked reading it. I wish it had been left out because otherwise, the plot would have been less dark.
So, yeah. Reading about two women being held captive in an apartment, going out to crash cars to commit insurance fraud, and not seeing how Kinsey was going to get out of it was stressful. The ending was kind of a downer, too. Not every one can be a homerun, but this was just not my jam.