Hallie Bettancourt’s biological son has just been released from jail. Hallie put the boy up for adoption over two decades back and has since become quite wealthy, so even if her son doesn’t want to meet her, she wants to offer some sort of help. And that’s where Kinsey comes in. Hallie has hired the PI to find out where the parolee lives and provide contact info so Hallie can reach out to him. Nothing could be simpler from Kinsey’s perspective.
But that simple job becomes less so when the feds show up investigating a marked bill that passed through Kinsey’s hands. A bill Hallie paid Kinsey with. Kinsey soon discovers that Hallie Bettancourt doesn’t exist. But why would anyone go to so much trouble to pull one over on Kinsey?
Meanwhile, Pete Wolinsky’s widow has grown concerned over some calls she’s received on Pete’s behalf from the IRS. Since Kinsey was the last one to go through Pete’s files – files Ruthie recently trashed – she’s hoping Kinsey might have come across something that can help. Kinsey never saw any financials but she did hang onto one old Byrd-Shine box that has a few curious items she decides are worth a closer look.
Kinsey is back in this twenty-fourth installment of the series. That’s right. Twenty-four. That means, sadly, that there are just two more to go.
Of all the long-term series that I read, this is by far my favorite. Kinsey – still trapped in the 80s, still enjoying her pb & pickle sandwiches, and still renting Henry’s guest house – is a character you want to be with for a while. And in spite of how it sounds, this isn’t a series that’s stagnant or stiff at all. Kinsey is constantly growing – this far along she’s a bit more cynical and a bit more snarky, which is why she’s so certain that the files she finds are another shady scheme of Pete’s. And while Ruthie is a staunch supporter of her husband, Kinsey really wants to stick to her guns based on what she thought she knew about him.
Henry, Rosie, William, and the regulars are back, but there are a few cameo appearances by past favorites too (Dietz.). But that doesn’t actually mean that you have to have read all of the books in order to be able to get into X. In fact, it could serve as a good starting point if you’ve yet to dive into the series.
8/15 Becky LeJeune
X by Sue Grafton. Marian Wood Books/Putnam (August 25, 2015). ISBN 978-0399163845. 416p.