Grafton's latest packs a particular wallop
In 'T is for Trespass,' veteran crime writer Sue Grafton tackles a most modern crime: identify theft.
Courtesy of Laurie Roberts/Penguin Books
With only six letters left to go in her alphabet series, it looks like Sue Grafton's iconic '80s detective, Kinsey Millhone, will never own a cellphone or log on to the Internet. Even though it's 1987, in "T is for Trespass" Kinsey finds herself grappling with a most modern crime: identity theft. Twenty books in, Kinsey is still single, still scarfing Quarter Pounders with cheese (although vegetables are consumed this time around, which, for Kinsey, counts as personal growth), and still platonically smitten with her octogenarian landlord, Henry.
When Gus, their elderly neighbor, injures himself in a fall, Kinsey is asked to do a background check on the in-home nurse hired to get him back on his feet. Everything in Solana Rojas's record checks out, and Kinsey is distracted by a couple of other cases, such as a fraudulent insurance claim with a missing eyewitness. But as Gus gets worse instead of better, Kinsey is horrified to realize that the middle-aged woman calling herself "Solana" is a sociopath in scrubs – and that she OK'd her.
Grafton has always been one of the most reliable mystery writers out there, but "T is for Trespass" packs a particular wallop – because of its timeliness and the everyday nature of the evil it exposes. No vampire or serial killer could evoke more dread than the sensible-shoed Solana, a woman so selfish that she'll prey without compunction on society's most vulnerable. Grade: B+ – Yvonne Zipp