A spiderweb of dangerous relationships lies at the heart of V is for Vengeance, Sue Grafton's daring new Kinsey Millhone novel.
A woman with a murky past who kills herself-or was it murder? A spoiled kid awash in gambling debt who thinks he can beat the system. A lovely woman whose life is about to splinter into a thousand fragments. A professional shoplifting ring working for the Mob, racking up millions from stolen goods. A wandering husband, rich and ruthless. A dirty cop so entrenched on the force he is immune to exposure. A sinister gangster, conscienceless and brutal. A lonely widower mourning the death of his lover, desperate for answers, which may be worse than the pain of his loss. A private detective, Kinsey Millhone, whose thirty-eighth-birthday gift is a punch in the face that leaves her with two black eyes and a busted nose.
And an elegant and powerful businessman whose dealings are definitely outside the law: the magus at the center of the web.
V: Victim. Violence. Vengeance.
Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Sue Grafton
As with the last several books in the series, V Is for Vengeance was a long time in the making. I work by trial and error, keeping a running account of the process in journals that in this case totaled 967 single-spaced pages. It took me from March, 2009 until March, 2010 to settle on a storyline, and after that, it was ten months of hard labor. Women give birth to babies in less time, but surely without as much suffering. Brave soul that I am, I stuck with it, picking my way painstakingly from beginning to middle to end.
What sets the narrative in motion is Kinsey Millhone’s spotting a shoplifter in an upscale department store. She alerts a sales clerk, who in turn notifies Security, which results in the woman’s arrest. Within two days, the sticky-fingered thief has taken a dive off a four-hundred-foot-high bridge, leaving her fiancé with troubling questions. While the overall subject matter is organized retail theft, of greater concern to Ms. Millhone is the fact that at the height of the action, shortly before she’s punched in the face, she realizes it’s her thirty-eighth birthday and thus ends up celebrating the milestone with a broken nose and two black eyes.
--Sue Grafton, November, 2011