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U is for Undertow

Sue Grafton: U is for Undertow (USA 2016)

From the Publisher:
Calling T is for Trespass "taut, terrifying, transfixing and terrific," USA Today went on to ask, "What does it take to write twenty novels about the same character and manage to create a fresh, genre-bending novel every time?" It's a question worth pondering. Through twenty excursions into the dark side of the human soul, Sue Grafton has never written the same book twice. And so it is with this, her twenty-first. Once again, she breaks genre formulas, giving us a twisting, complex, surprise-filled, and totally satisfying thriller.

It's April, 1988, a month before Kinsey Millhone's thirty-eighth birthday, and she's alone in her office doing 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 booze, but Michael Sutton is twenty-seven, an unemployed college dropout. Twenty-one years earlier, a four-year-old girl disappeared. A recent reference to her kidnapping has triggered a flood of memories. Sutton now believes he stumbled on her lonely burial when he was six years old. He wants Kinsey's help in locating the child's remains and finding the men who killed her. It's a long shot but he's willing to pay cash up front, and Kinsey agrees to give him one day. As her investigation unfolds, she discovers Michael Sutton has an uneasy relationship with the truth. In essence, he's the boy who cried wolf. Is his current story true or simply one more in a long line of fabrications?

Grafton moves the narrative between the eighties and the sixties, changing points of view, building multiple subplots, and creating memorable characters. Gradually, we see how they all connect. But at the beating center of the novel is Kinsey Millhone, sharp-tongued, observant, a loner -- "a heroine," said The New York Times Book Review, "with foibles you can laugh at and faults you can forgive."

Sue Grafton: U is for Undertow. Putnam's, ISBN: 9780399575228 (March, 2016), 483 p., $9.99.

 

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U is for Undertow

Sue Grafton: U is for Undertow (UK 2012)

From the Publisher:
The twenty first novel in the Kinsey Millhone mystery series, now with a stunning new look
In 1960s Santa Teresa, California, a child is kidnapped and never returned...
When the case is reopened after twenty years, a man - Michael Sutton - contacts private detective Kinsey Millhone for help. He claims to have recalled a strange and disturbing memory which just might provide the key to the mystery. He may have stumbled across the kidnappers burying Mary Claire Fitzhugh's body...

But Michael's account is indistinct -- he was only six years old at the time of the kidnapping; and even members of his family try to discredit his evidence. But Kinsey is certain there is something vital within Michael's recollections. And even when what is eventually unearthed isn't what anyone expected, she can't quite let go of the case.

As Kinsey gradually brings to light the stories of the protagonists involved in the tragedy, from Country Club parents to their free-living, hippy children, the truth finally begins to emerge. And while stepping back into the past, Kinsey discovers more about her own history too...

Sue Grafton: U is for Undertow. A Kinsey Millhone Mystery. Pan, ISBN: 9781447212423 (December, 2012), 496 p., £7.99.

 

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U is for Undertow

Sue Grafton: U is for Undertow (USA 2012)

From the Publisher:
Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable. Even more so when Kinsey Millhone's only lead is a grown man dredging up a repressed childhood memory -- of something that may never have happened...

Looking solemn, Michael Sutton arrives in Kinsey's office with a story: When he was six, he wandered into the woods and saw two men digging a hole. They claimed they were pirates, looking for treasure. Now, the long-forgotten incident has come back to him -- and he is convinced that he witnessed the burial of a kidnapped child.

Kinsey has little to go on. Sutton doesn't even know where he was that day -- and, she soon discovers, he has a history of what might generously be called an active imagination. Despite her doubts, Kinsey sets out to locate the so-called burial site. And what's found there pulls her into a current of deceit stretching back more than twenty years...

Sue Grafton: U is for Undertow. Berkley Books, ISBN: 9780425247679 (July, 2012), 422 p., $15.00.

 

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U is for Undertow

Sue Grafton: U is for Undertow (USA 2010)

From the Publisher:
Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable. Even more so when Kinsey Millhone's only lead is a grown man dredging up a repressed childhood memory -- of something that may never have happened...

Sue Grafton: U is for Undertow. Berkley Books, ISBN: 9780425238110 (November, 2010), 370 p., $7.99.

 

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U is for Undertow

Sue Grafton: U is for Undertow (UK 2010)

From the Publisher:
From Diamond Dagger winner Sue Grafton -Kinsey Millhone's latest compelling case
In 1960s Santa Teresa, California, a child is kidnapped and never returned...
When the case is reopened after twenty years, a man - Michael Sutton - contacts private detective Kinsey Millhone for help. He claims to have recalled a strange and disturbing memory which just might provide the key to the mystery. He may have stumbled across the kidnappers burying Mary Claire Fitzhugh's body...

But Michael's account is indistinct -- he was only six years old at the time of the kidnapping; and even members of his family try to discredit his evidence. But Kinsey is certain there is something vital within Michael's recollections. And even when what is eventually unearthed isn't what anyone expected, she can't quite let go of the case.

As Kinsey gradually brings to light the stories of the protagonists involved in the tragedy, from Country Club parents to their free-living, hippy children, the truth finally begins to emerge. And while stepping back into the past, Kinsey discovers more about her own history too...

Sue Grafton: U is for Undertow. The New Kinsey Millhone Mystery. Pan, ISBN: 9780330458030 (August, 2010), 482 p., £6.99.

 

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U is for Undertow

Sue Grafton: U is for Undertow (UK 2010)

From the Publisher:
From Diamond Dagger winner Sue Grafton -Kinsey Millhone's latest compelling case
In 1960s Santa Teresa, California, a child is kidnapped and never returned...
When the case is reopened after twenty years, a man - Michael Sutton - contacts private detective Kinsey Millhone for help. He claims to have recalled a strange and disturbing memory which just might provide the key to the mystery. He may have stumbled across the kidnappers burying Mary Claire Fitzhugh's body...

But Michael's account is indistinct -- he was only six years old at the time of the kidnapping; and even members of his family try to discredit his evidence. But Kinsey is certain there is something vital within Michael's recollections. And even when what is eventually unearthed isn't what anyone expected, she can't quite let go of the case.

As Kinsey gradually brings to light the stories of the protagonists involved in the tragedy, from Country Club parents to their free-living, hippy children, the truth finally begins to emerge. And while stepping back into the past, Kinsey discovers more about her own history too...

Sue Grafton: U is for Undertow. The New Kinsey Millhone Mystery. Macmillan, ISBN: 9780230709324 (January, 2010), 403 p., £16.99.

 

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U is for Undertow

Sue Grafton: U is for Undertow (USA 2009)

From the Publisher:
Calling T is for Trespass "taut, terrifying, transfixing and terrific," USA Today went on to ask, "What does it take to write twenty novels about the same character and manage to create a fresh, genre-bending novel every time?" It's a question worth pondering. Through twenty excursions into the dark side of the human soul, Sue Grafton has never written the same book twice. And so it is with this, her twenty-first. Once again, she breaks genre formulas, giving us a twisting, complex, surprise-filled, and totally satisfying thriller.

It's April, 1988, a month before Kinsey Millhone's thirty-eighth birthday, and she's alone in her office doing 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 booze, but Michael Sutton is twenty-seven, an unemployed college dropout. Twenty-one years earlier, a four-year-old girl disappeared. A recent reference to her kidnapping has triggered a flood of memories. Sutton now believes he stumbled on her lonely burial when he was six years old. He wants Kinsey's help in locating the child's remains and finding the men who killed her. It's a long shot but he's willing to pay cash up front, and Kinsey agrees to give him one day. As her investigation unfolds, she discovers Michael Sutton has an uneasy relationship with the truth. In essence, he's the boy who cried wolf. Is his current story true or simply one more in a long line of fabrications?

Grafton moves the narrative between the eighties and the sixties, changing points of view, building multiple subplots, and creating memorable characters. Gradually, we see how they all connect. But at the beating center of the novel is Kinsey Millhone, sharp-tongued, observant, a loner -- "a heroine," said The New York Times Book Review, "with foibles you can laugh at and faults you can forgive."

Sue Grafton: U is for Undertow. G.P. Putnam's Sons, ISBN: 9780399155970 (December, 2009), 403 p., $27.95.

 

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