V For Vengeance by Sue Grafton( or Shaking My Head in Wonder)

South East Queensland has just endured a weekend of rain with more expected according to the weather bureau. And that’s okay, as the dams are being topped up, the gardens are waving their fronds in delights, and you can see the landscape changing from crunchy brown to Kermit green.

Getting the washing dry is not one of the World’s priorities, nor is having a footprint free tiled floor. No matter how many times I remind Bentley, the Labrador, to wipe his furry tootsies when coming inside after a romp in the mud, he continues to traipse a trail of wet red earth across the floor. At least the marks on my white tiles are now the colours of my favourite football team: the St George Dragons.

The rainy weekend has been a chance to slow down and turn to books and pots of tea. That’s not a bad thing. It’s like taking a holiday without leaving home, right? AOddly, despite an ever growing pile of books by the end of the bed, patiently awaiting my attention, I was unable to find a read to suit my mood.( Don’t you just hate that!).
So…….I downloaded an e-book from the local library.

V For Vengeance is Book 22 in Sue Grafton’s Alphabet crime series.

Confession: Although I have read at least half a dozen novels in this series, I am not the Grafton fan in the family. I do find her reads good for the daily commute to work: light, chatty, and with little need to engage the brain. Great entertainment that serves its purpose.

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V For Vengeance has all the usual hallmarks of the Private Investigator, Kinsey Millhorne’s novels, though can still be read as a stand alone. We again catch up with ex-dalliance, Cheney Phillips, ex-con Pinky, and Kinsey’s neighbour, Henry.

The book starts with a young man who has been unable to repay a debt to loan shark and gangster, Dante, being tossed from a multi storey building. Two years later, Nora is experiencing marital issues and discovers her second husband, Channing, is having an affair with his secretary. In the meantime, Kinsey, at the local clothing store is stocking up on new knickers, and becomes a witness to a shoplifting incident, with the suspect turning up dead only a matter of days later.

Halfway through the book, and I’m shaking my head and thinking how is any of this connected to the kid with a gambling debt.

Yet of course they are, aren’t they?

This book disappointed me on several fronts, and maybe it is simply that twenty two Kinsey Millhorne capers is too many:

0. She always ends up carrying some kind of injury. Shouldn’t she have learnt by now?
0. Kinsey attends the same eatery, wears the same clothes, sleeps with the same blokes, and her only interest is running. Some personal growth would surely be in order.
0. This book is in several different voices : Kinsey, Nora and Dante. Why? Because Kinsey has become stale is all I can come up with…..

Lastly, although the novel ended with a twist of sorts, this little black duck thought it worrying. Without ruining it for you, what kind of woman, despite an unhappy marriage, runs off with a bloke who engineered having her son thrown off a multi-storey building? Two booty calls and this woman who is independently savvy enough to create and maintain an investment stream runs off with a gangster. What the?

Ms Grafton, I think you just set back feminism by forty years.

Maybe I should have stuck to the wine…….

 

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