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R Is For Ricochet (2005)

R is for Ricochet (2005)
3.95 of 5 Votes: 4
0425203867 (ISBN13: 9780425203866)
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R Is For Ricochet (2005)
R Is For Ricochet (2005)

About book: So here we are at the 18th Kinsey Millhone mystery, and as is the case with a lot of these books, this is a really mixed bag. However, this time, it's the non-case work that's the most interesting (pretty sure that's a first for me). There were some moments to the main story, but on the whole I found it dissatisfying.Kinsey's hired by the father of Reba Lafferty, a soon-to-be-paroled woman, to pick her up from the prison and accompany her for the first few days, help her get established on the outside -- he's too old and frail to do this himself, and there's no other family to call upon. It doesn't take long before she's teetering on the verge of parole violations and seeking revenge on those from her old life that wronged her before and/or during her incarceration. Kinsey spends the book trying to minimize the damage and help out various law enforcement agencies who have an interest in Reba's targets. On the whole, I found this story to be wholly predictable and I couldn't understand why Kinsey was allowing this woman to pull her around by her nose. Maybe it's because Reba becomes the closest thing she's had to a female friend since her days with an office in the insurance agency building. Regardless, there's no excuse for someone with Kinsey's experience to act like she does here.There's one character involved with Reba's family that primarily serves as a giant red herring -- mostly for the reader -- I don't remember Grafton doing that before. Sure, Kinsey's investigated a dead end or two from time to time, but I don't recall Grafton misleading the reader like this before. This was a totally useless character and source of conflict that went nowhere.It isn't the first time that it's occurred to me during this series, but the back of my mind screamed about it this time: this book, especially the last 100 pages or so, would be radically different if it were set in the last decade or so rather than in the mid-80s. You put cell phones and email in the hands of Rachel, Kinsey and various law enforcement officers and this book just doesn't play out like it does. So often this series has plot developments hinge on Kinsey returning to her home or office to check messages or make a call -- or her not knowing something because she couldn't do that. I understand Grafton keeping everything to that era, but man, it'd be fun to see Kinsey work a case now.As I said, the part of the book that worked best for me was the personal-life stories, but I find it difficult to talk about them without getting very spoiler-y, so I'll keep this to bullet points. * As interesting as I find the saga of Kinsey's reconnecting with her mother's family, I was glad to get a break from it in this book -- Q is for Quarry had a lot of movement on that front, and it was good to let that settle a bit more. * I trust Grafton has an end game in mind on the Henry's love life, particularly where his brothers are involved, I just hope we see what it is soon. I was utterly unimpressed (as I think we were supposed to be) with the behavior of William and Lewis here, not that Henry came off much better * I'm not sure what I think about the whole Chaney-romance thing. Sure, the seeds were planted a while ago, but things seemed almost too good here. Still, nice to see Kinsey happy/content/on the verge of it -- and not deluded like she was with Dietz or the married cop; or self-destructive like she was with her exes.Not my favorite in the series, but there's enough here to keep me going. Eh, at this point I'm in through Z is for Z___, who am I trying to kid?

This is probably my least favorite of Sue Grafton's alphabet-themed mysteries. I guess part of it is because there really is no clear crime that is being investigated for most of the book. Instead, Kinsey Millhone finds herself being hired by multi-millionaire Nord Lafferty to serve as a supervisor for his daughter, Reba, who has just been released from prison for embezzling money from her boss and lover Alan "Beck" Beckwith. The funny thing is that Reba is actually still in love with Beck, who has clearly moved on after she has taken the blame for a crime in which he was likely involved.In fact, the FBI approaches Reba with the possibility of testifying against Beck so they can bring him in. At first, Reba is not really open to doing so, but that all changes when she learns that her former best friend has replaced her as Beck's office assistant and lover. Reba sets out to bring Beck down and get revenge. This includes putting her parole in danger as she leaves the state and does other things she is banned from doing. Interestingly enough, Kinsey finds herself drawn to Reba as a friend and wanting to help.Kinsey is also finding her love life heating up again. This time it is with Cheney Phillips, with whom she has flirted with in the past. The timing seems to be right as a relationship is clearly forming, though I have to admit that I find Cheney to be bossy and might be bad news in the long run for our heroine. Time will tell, though. To be honest, I simply done like Cheney.Kinsey's landlord Henry is finding that his own love life is getting more interesting than he would prefer. His older brother Lewis has set his eyes on a woman they both met on a cruise. The question is who will get the love of their pursuit, and it is so hard for us not to feel and cheer for Henry.I felt this tale seemed more overwhelmed by Kinsey's personal life rather than being more focused on the mystery. Perhaps that is because the mystery seems less a mystery than a suspense tale. The books is still interesting, but Grafton's stories of murder draw me in more deeply. I will definitely be continuing with S, though.
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Randee Baty
This is a very different story from the previous Kinsey stories and it's gotten some bad reviews because of that but it's in the top 5 for me. It's clever and kept my curiosity up through the whole story. Kinsey has been hired by a elderly gentlemen to pick up his 30 year old daughter, Reba, from the Correctional Institute for Women after doing 2 years for embezzlement. He wants her to get the daughter home and settled, then her job is done. Of course, we know it won't end there. Turns out, Reba was working with her employer when the money disappeared and they are heavily involved with money laundering. The FBI is after them and wants Reba to turn on her former boss. The way this all plays out makes a a clever story, in my opinion. There is no murder mystery here but the story we do have is great.We have two other side issues going on. Kinsey's relationship with Cheney and Henry's relationship with his brothers and the woman he's interested in. They keep Kinsey feeling like a real person in a real world. Yes, this is not the same type of story we've had in the past but it's one of the best.
Private Investigator Kinsey Milhone is back on the job, hired by a privileged parolee's father to keep her out of trouble. It should be an easy assignment-until the parolee's past starts coming back to haunt her. Reba Lafferty was a daughter of privilege. Abandoned by her rebellious mother when she was an infant, she was the only child of a rich man already in his mid-fifties when she was born, and her adoring father thoroughly spoiled her. Now, at thirty-two, having had many scrapes with the law, she is about to be released on probation from the California Institution for Women, having served twenty-two months of a four-year sentence for embezzlement. Though Nord Lafferty could deny his daughter nothing, he wasn't there for her when she was brought up on this charge. Now he wants to be sure she stays straight, stays at home and away from the drugs, the booze, the gamblers. It seems a straightforward assignment for Kinsey: babysit Reba until she settles in, make sure she follows all the niceties of her parole. Maybe a week's work. Nothing untoward-the woman seems remorseful and friendly. And the money is good. But life is never that simple, and Reba is out of prison less than twenty- four hours when one of her old crowd comes circling round.
Pat C.
Things I liked other things not so muchReba Lafferty is so far (of the three alphabet books I've read) my favorite character. So that made the ending a big disappointment. I don't like my escape fiction quite that realistic. On the other hand, Lucinda Cunningham is one of the most disgustingly self righteous characters in the modern crime/mystery/thriller genre. I don't mind disgusting so much but she just didn't fit in. Why would Nord put up with her? In real life I don't think rich guys let women they aren't interested in decamp in their homes and intrude into their personal, private, and family affairs. She didn't serve any vital purpose to the plot so I don't know why she was even in the book. And another thing...why would Reba take this illegal route to get money? I assume she's the heir to her father's fortune and while he's alive I don't think he's going to deprive her of much, so her money scheming didn't work for me either. And the whole thing with Marty was too dark for the tone of the book. My analysis of the three Grafton books I've read is "T for Trespassing" moved too slowly, "U for Undertow" was well plotted and captured the 60´s counter culture with nicely juxtaposed mainstream vs hippie freak characters. It moved right along and was hard to put down. "R for Ricochet" was somewhere between the two. Like I said, Reba was an original and colorful character and I'm a sucker for the girl buddy theme. But that was all it had going for it. I couldn't figure out if it wanted to be a light hearted, comedic frolic or a women's prison noir cautionary tale.
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