August 31, 2018

'N' is for Noose by Sue Grafton

Tom Newquist had been a detective in the Nota Lake sheriffs office --- a tough, honest cop respected by everyone. When he died suddenly, the town folk were sad but not surprised. Just shy of sixty-five. Newquist worked too hard, drank too much, and exercised too little.
Newquist's widow, Selma, didn't doubt the coroner's report. But still, she couldn't help wondering what had so bothered Tom in the last six weeks of his life. What was it that had made him prowl restlessly at night and brood constantly? Determined to help Selma find the answer, Kinsey Millhone sets up shop in Nota Lake, where she finds that looking for a needle in a haystack can draw blood --- very likely, her own ...
So, through 14 books in this series, I’ve discovered that I enjoy it the most when Kinsey is actually in Santa Teresa. Whenever she ventures out from her hometown, things tend to get weird and it doesn’t feel like the same series. It’s very comfortable when she’s at her own place and chatting with Henry. 

That said, the story was pretty interesting. There was a lot of mystery surrounding it due to the actual case as well as the people in Nota Lake writing Kinsey off and treating her as an outsider. Everything was so off and it made everything feel weird, but not uncomfortable to the point where you couldn’t keep reading.

One thing about this one is that it actually really got my heart racing near the end. Sort of a spoiler – Kinsey gets drugged. The description of what she’s going through and how she’s experiencing the events around her was written so well that you could actually feel it as you read along. 

Kinsey is such a great novel protagonist, and this book is no different. She’s strong, smart, and makes you laugh. If you haven’t started this series, go back to ‘A’ and start from the beginning!

4/5 Stars. It’s mostly just my preference for Kinsey being in Santa Teresa and not some weird mountain town. The story was very interesting. 

Memorable Quotes: “If we understood the consequences of any given action, we could exercise discretion, thus restructuring our fate. Time, of course, only runs in one direction, and it seems to do so in an orderly progression. Here in the blank and stony present, we’re shielded from the knowledge of the dangers that await us, protected from future horrors through blind innocence.”

“Given my nature, what scared me was the possibility of emotional claustrophobia, not physical danger.”

“I’m not fond of mountains, in part because I have so little interest in winter sports, especially those requiring expensive equipment. I avoid activities associated with speed, cold, and heights, and any that involve the danger of breaking significant body parts. As fun as it sounds, it’s never appealed to me. The ocean is another matter, and while I can spend brief periods in land-locked locations, I’m never as happy as I am when I’m close to deep water. Please understand, I don’t go in the water, because there are all manner of biting, stinging, tentacles, pincered, slimy things down there, but I like to look at the water and spend time in its immense, ever-changing presence. For one thing, I find it therapeutic to consider all the creatures not devouring me at any given moment.”

“I don’t want someone across the table from me while I’m eating breakfast. I don’t want to share the newspaper and I don’t want to talk to anyone at the end of the day. If I were interested in that shit, I’d be married again by now and put a permanent end to all the peace and quiet.”

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