N is for Noose

I’m 7 books away from being caught up to Sue Grafton’s alphabet series. I wonder if she’s just going to stop at Z. Anyway, I grabbed this one on the way out the door for a vacation in Santa Barbara wine country, which just so happens to be the heart of Sue Grafton country.

Kinda cool huh? I’m going to Santa Barbara, CA for a long weekend, so how appropriate is it to start reading a book by an author that lives in Santa Barbara and uses the city as the backdrop for her bestselling crime series? Well, I think it’s pretty damn appropriate. Plus, it’s a mangled paperback that I got on eBay so I’ll just leave it for another reader when I’m done and lighten my load for the trip back. I rule.

Not much to say. And what could I say that could possibly be interesting to a non-reader of the series or thought provoking 10 or 20 years down the road when I look back at this blog to figure out what was going on in my life in 2007? Well, I’m going to stray from my normal take on fiction and disclose some plot killers.

WARNING: PLOT KILLERS FOLLOW

This book separates itself from the others for a couple of reasons. First, there are a few very intense assaults against the main character, Kinsey Milhone; more so than in the previous books. Second, I pretty much figured it out about mid way through the book; something I haven’t done yet in the series.

About the assaults; twice Kinsey is confronted by a mysterious man in a black ski mask. Even though neither occasion was an attempt on her life, they were still darker and more ominous than even the murderous attempts on her life in the past. Grafton’s descriptions of the events were right out of thrillerdom and made for good reading. And I might add, the perp in both cases gets his due when Kinsey goes on a PCP-induced rampage and kicks his ass, then drops the f-bomb. Out-of-character, but great stuff.

About me figuring it out, well, I didn’t necessarily have it wired in, but I can remember the exact moment where Grafton foreshadowed the perpetrator. During the second assault mentioned above, Kinsey said the the perpetrator “smelled of sweat.” I said to myself, “it’s got to be Brant because he goes to the gym all of the time.” Well, it was Brant, I was correct. Although I backed-off on my assessment so maybe I don’t deserve credit for figuring it out.

Was this a coincidence or did I really root out the killer? Not sure, but it didn’t impinge on my enjoyment of the book because my conviction was not that strong. I was left in doubt just about until the end.

I’m going to take a few months off from Grafton.