X Did Hit the Spot!
Pan Macmillan Australia
Of #1 New York Times–bestselling author Sue Grafton, NPR’s Maureen Corrigan said, “Makes me wish there were more than 26 letters.” With only two letters left, Grafton’s many devoted readers will share that sentiment.
X: The number ten. An unknown quantity. A mistake. A cross. A kiss.
X: The shortest entry in Webster’s Unabridged. Derived from Greek and Latin and commonly found in science, medicine, and religion. The most graphically dramatic letter. Notoriously tricky to pronounce: think xylophone.
X: The twenty-fourth letter in the English alphabet.
Sue Grafton’s X: Perhaps her darkest and most chilling novel, it features a remorseless serial killer who leaves no trace of his crimes. Once again breaking the rules and establishing new paths, Grafton wastes little time identifying this sociopath. The test is whether Kinsey can prove her case against him before she becomes his next victim.
Without a doubt, this has been the best read in the entire Kinsey Millhone Alphabet series – and as a serious fan of the series I have read all but one of books (W for Wasted) but that did not affect my enjoyment of this book one little bit. When you pick up a book in this series you generally have a good idea of what to expect which is part of the charm of the series – reading one of Sue Grafton’s books is like welcoming an old friend into your home; you are comfortable with your guest, you are aware of their tastes, their style, their sense of self. That same level of comfort extends to Grafton’s writing and her characters: you are familiar with and welcoming to the protagonist Kinsey Millhone and her troop of regular characters to your home, so comfortable that you kick off your shoes, curl up on the sofa with the book in one hand a cuppa/glass of wine or piece of chocolate in other; happy, relaxed, ready and eager to listen to the story your guests want to impart. And what a great story this one is.
This book just felt that little bit edgier, just that little bit harder, the plot seemed to be just that little more complex, with plenty happening in Kinsey’s own backyard and in the world of sleuthing. And the villain of the piece is indeed a psychopath/serial killer (but no spoilers here), but please note there is no hint of gruesome bloodletting and gore present here; sometimes less is more and that device works well here, Grafton allows your imagination to fill in the blanks…
The only problem with this read is…we are now one step closer to the end of the alphabet. I can’t imagine how this journey will end – I guess I will just have to keep reading and find out.