September 4, 2018

'O' is for Outlaw by Sue Grafton

Through fourteen books, fans have been fed short rations when it comes to Kinsey Millhone's past: a morsel here, a dollop there. We know of the aunt who raised her, the second husband who left her, the long-lost family up the California coast. But husband number one remained a blip on the screen until now.
The call comes on a Monday morning from a guy who scavenges defaulted storage units at auction. Last week he bought a stack. They had stuff in them—Kinsey stuff. For thirty bucks, he'll sell her the lot. Kinsey's never been one for personal possessions, but curiosity wins out and she hands over a twenty (she may be curious but she loves a bargain). What she finds amid childhood memorabilia is an old undelivered letter.
It will force her to reexamine her beliefs about the breakup of that first marriage, about the honor of that first husband, about an old unsolved murder. It will put her life in the gravest peril."O" Is for Outlaw: Kinsey's fifteenth adventure into the dark side of human nature.
Wow, okay. So I thought ‘M’ was emotional. Talk about the last paragraph of this one…. My heart hurts. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. 

We are now 15 books into Kinsey’s story, and we learned a lot about her and her past in this one. With an overall slow moving pace, it kept the book alive and interesting. The subject matter was intriguing, but it wasn’t action packed like some of the other books. At least she was in Santa Teresa for most of it – but that’s just my own personal thing if you’ve read my past reviews about the series.  

It also had two super random plot lines thrown in. They both moved the story forward, but they seemed like throw ins. First was the guy at the beginning that brought Mickey back into Kinsey’s life. His part was integral in the story, but it was over so quickly. Second was the document production at the Honky Tonk. It was just kinda shrugged off. I’m not sure it had to be there at all, but it didn’t detract from the book. 

I feel like as the series goes on, the books get more and more descriptive. I started noticing it in ‘M’, it was really evident in ‘N’, and it was still there at times in this one. Interesting little observation, but I’m curious to see if the trend continues. It also seemed like there was less dialogue in this one. Maybe that’s just compared to the last two. 

Overall, I really enjoyed learning more about Kinsey’s past and the characters that she used to interact with. I think having one book dedicated to exploring it is a great option rather than spending needless time throughout the series going through it. 

4/5 stars just because it was a little slower

Memorable Quotes: “Once in awhile a piece of old business surfaces, some item on life’s agenda you thought you’d dealt with years ago. Suddenly, it’s there again at the top of the page, competing for your attention despite the fact that you’re completely unprepared for it.”

“The truth about lying: You’re putting one over on some poor gullible dunce, which makes him appear stupid for not spotting the deception. Lying contains the same hostile elements as a practical joke in that the “victim” ends up looking foolish in his own eyes and laughable in everyone else’s. I’m willing to lie to pompous bureaucrats, when thwarted by knaves, or when all else fails, but I was having trouble lying to a man who wrote worm adventure stories for his great-grandson."

“For once my angels were in agreement. One said, Nobody’s perfect, and the other said, Amen.”

“On the one hand, I was a true law-and-order type, prissy in my judgement, outraged at those who violated the doctrines of honesty and fair play. On the other hand, I’d been known to lie through my teeth, eavesdrop, pick locks, or simply break into people’s houses, where I snooped through their possessions and took what suited me. It wasn’t nice, but I savored every single minute of my bad girl behavior. Later, I’d feel guilty, but I still couldn’t resist. I was split down the middle, my good angel sitting on one shoulder, Lucifer perched on the other."

“What is it that prompts us to reenact our unresolved issues? We revisit our wounds, constructing the past in hopes that this time we can make the ending turn out right.”

“After the rapture of love comes the wreckage, at least in my experience."

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