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U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton

U is for Undertow

by Sue Grafton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Kinsey Millhone (21)

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2,089983,175 (3.82)86



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English (95)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (1)  All languages (98)
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
I've been reading this series since my mom introduced me to it in middle or high school. They're good detective stories that are entertaining, yet to-the-point, with no flowery language. The last few books, however, have been getting wordier, with entire paragraphs of information (say the history of a certain city, or why people react certain ways to photographs or memories, yada yada yada) that have no bearing on the plot, and don't add anything to the story. You can look at the first half of the books and tell that they're slimmer and more concise than the later half. It's not a problem to skim these sections since, as I said, they don't affect the story. The book still entertained me and was a quick read. By this point I'm so far in it'd be silly not to finish the alphabet, regardless of the writing style. ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
This is the 21st in the series of Sue Grafton's alphabet mysteries, and yes, I have read the first 20 books. That was before I was a member of Goodreads, so they are not included in "my books." When I first started the series, I laughed at the antics of the private investigator, Kinsey Millhone, and her sometimes bizarre adventures and unorthodox life style. Unfortunately, this volume and other recent books in the series did not seem to "grab" me as earlier stories did. In this novel, there were two very diverse storylines, one the actual mystery and the other relating to Kinsey's recently found biological family. In my opinion, there was little connection between the two, which often resulted in a disjointed narrative. I will still most likely read V, W, X, Y and Z when they are published, but mostly for a sense of closure with the series. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
The next in the alphabet series by Ms. Grafton. Kinsey Malone is on a cold case of kidnapping and murder. The usual fare with enough intrigue to keep it interesting and Kinsey’s narration to keep it flowing. In this book we finally find out more about Kinsey’s family which was interesting, but I felt it was at the expense of missing other characters such as Henry and Rosie. Reading this book I had the sense that with 5 letters of the alphabet to go Kinsey is mellowing and Ms. Grafton is edging her constant readers to the conclusion. ( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Reading candy... Still think I could be Kinsey Millhone. ( )
  asawyer | Dec 31, 2014 |
Entertaining story and much better effort than the last few alphabet mysteries. I still find it confusing that Grafton gets more and more behind in terms of date (this book takes place in 1988) but I enjoyed the addition to Kinsey's family story. ( )
  olegalCA | Dec 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
With U is for Undertow, Sue Grafton draws closer to the end of the alphabet and, presumably, to the finish of her marvelous mysteries featuring Kinsey Millhone, the smart and scrappy private investigator who helped validate that profession for several generations of female P.I.’s. So has this reliable series lost its addictive appeal? Not at all — though it’s a shock to realize that the stories, set in a California coastal town in the 1980s, now read more like historical narratives than contemporary novels with a slight time lag. But it’s an object lesson in disciplined storytelling to watch Grafton manipulate that time frame to broaden the story and deepen the mystery.
U is for Undertow isn’t much of a mystery. Sure, there’s a baby who was kidnapped and murdered 20 years ago, and a 6-year-old boy, now grown, who may or may not have seen its burial. But what’s wonderful about the book is the sharp-eyed details Grafton packs into its frame.

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Grafton, Sueprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Holleman, WimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaye, JudyReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ordóñez, VictoriaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Larry Welch, who left us,
steering a course for parts unknown,
and for Pam, who sails on,
navigating her journey over high seas.
Safe passage to you both.
First words
What fascinates me about life is that now and then the past rises up and declares itself.
"When I was a little kid, I was playing in the woods and I came across these two guys digging a hole."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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ISBN 0399154485 is for T Is for Trespass
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
It's April 1988, a month before Kinsey Millhone's thirty-eighth birthday, and she's alone in her office catching up on paperwork when a young man arrives unannounced. He has a preppy air about him and looks as if he'd be carded if he tried to buy a beer, but Michael ASutton is twenty-seven, an unemployed college dropout. More than two decades ago, a four-year-old girl disappeared, and a recent newspaper story about her kidnapping has triggered a flood of memories. Sutton now believes he stumbled on her lonely burial and could identify the killers if he sae them again. He wants Kinsey's help in locating the grave and finding the man. It's way more than a long shot, but he's persistent and willing to pay cash up front. Reluctantly, Kinsey agrees to give him one day of her time.

But it isn't long before she discovers Sutton has an uneasy relationship with the truth. In essence, he's the boy who cried wolf. Is his story true, or simply one more in a long line of fabrications?

Moving effortlessly between the 1980s and the 1960s, and changing points of view as Kinsey pursues witnesses whose accounts often clash, Grafton builds multiple subplots and creates memorable characters. Gradually, we come to see how everything connects in this twisting, complex, surprise-filled thriller. And as always, at the beating heart of her fiction is Kinsey Millhone, a sharp-tongued, observant loner who never forgets that under the thin veneer of civility is a roiling dark side to the soul.
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After a recent reference to a kidnapping triggers a flood of memories, unemployed college dropout Michael Sutton hires Kinsey Millhone to locate a four-year-old girl's remains and find the men who killed her.

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