R is for Ricochet


It’s long overdue for my Sue Grafton fix but my library is out of U is for Undertow, so what to do, I decided to pick up R is for Ricochet. I am sure this book is a reread because well, duh I have read all the Sue Grafton books till now.

However, the plot did not ring a bell to me, and so I thought it would make a fun, light reread in between watching high-octane football matches.

Boy, was I so very wrong!

The reason I didn’t remember this book is probably because it was so very bad in the first place. The plot is dreary, there is no mystery as such, and the main character in the book is sooo annoying I wanted to throw the book at her head (if such a thing was possible 😀 ).

The Story

Kinsey accepts what appears to be an easy-peasy assignment from a wealthy local resident. She just needs to pick up his errant daughter, Reba Lafferty, from prison, and ensure she registers with the parole board and stays away from booze, drugs and bad company for a few days until she gets back on her feet. Should be a piece of cake, right?

However, things as usual go very wrong very fast for Kinsey. Reba has gone to prison in order to protect her boss who is involved in shady money laundering activities for the mafia. When she is released from prison and finds that he has been cheating on her with her best friend, all hell breaks loose, and Kinsey gets dragged into the mess.

My Review

The basic plot sounds interesting, but it seemed very familiar to me, and then I suddenly remembered why. Quentins – a book that couldn’t possibly be more different than this one has a subplot that is almost identical. I can say that the treatment of the storyline in Ricochet is better than Quentins, but not by too much.

Reba Lafferty is the main character in the story. Kinsey Millhone is reduced to the role of a bystander – something that she pretty much openly admits in the novel. This change of tactic on Grafton’s part could work if Reba was a character that I could identify with. She starts off really nice, but as the book progresses, she becomes more and more unstable, and dangerous to all the people who surround her. Her sudden character shift from lovestruck girl to wronged woman seeking revenge is abrupt to say the least.

Reba acts more and more outrageous unnecessarily prolonging what is a wafer-thin story. To add some meat, Sue Grafton has provided a love interest for Kinsey, as well as her landlord Henry. Henry’s romance and family politics are a drag, but Kinsey’s romance is quite interesting, but I am sure pretty short-lived.

However, in spite of Grafton’s efforts at beefing up the side plots, and the unnecessary descriptions (for heaven’s sake, she even decribes in great detail how Kinsey cleans her underwear drawer! talk about over – sharing 😀 ), she can’t save this clunker of a book.

Strictly for hardcore Kinsey Millhone fans only and that too so as not to miss the continuity when you read her later books.

  • kathy

    I also read this book and I think you got the review absolutely right. while many of the books earlier in the series were good this one was quite thin! Nice blog.

  • Thanks for sharing this. I am not a major fan of Sue Grafton and the alphabet series but i would like to read something from her in the future.

    • @Bookventures: I am not sure if she has written anything else.

  • Sorry this didn’t work for you – I enjoyed it, but I am a hardcore Kinsey fan.

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