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Review - U is for Undertow

Detective Mystery Series
ISBN: 978-0-399-15597-0
In April 1988 Kinsey Millhone is doing paperwork in her office when a young man named Michael Sutton walks into her office with an unforgettable story. Two decades earlier he believes he saw the kidnappers of a four year old little girl whose case is opened but is a cold case. Michael was just a boy and thinks that he saw them bury the body he even talked with them.
However Michael has only had a flirting moment with the truth as his past makes him not the best witness. Kinsey feels sorry for him and agrees to take the case for one day then she will decide. To make a long story short he is the boy who cried wolf and she is curious about the case. It takes work and research but she goes to the location of where the body is supposed to be buried and she has help from the police and Michael but what they dig up is the body of a dog and the dog's nametag.
Here is where we go from 1960 to 1988 and here is where Kinsey keep wondering about the dog and why it is buried in this spot. She can't let go of it and she retraces the steps to the past with trepidation. Has the story unfolds we start to see that the most perfect families are hiding something and we start to see that Kinsey's own past is not without it's moments of surprise.
It goes to show that even a private detective such as Kinsey who pretty much thinks she has seen and heard it all can still be surprised. We have the privilege of chapters being dedicated to present families, past families and as each family reveals a little more about themselves each of their stories lay the groundwork for what happened to a four year old little girl. The kicker is this is not the first child to have been kidnapped a week before her kidnapping another little girl was kidnapped but returned for a ransom. Was the first child a trial run for the second kidnapping or was the second child a victim of circumstance?
I could not tear myself away from this story every character is multi-layered, each person interviewed sheds a new perspective, we even see how killers can be extraordinary and what happens when one person can start a chain reaction in other people's lives that can never be reversed. We can see the results of bad karma and the real meaning of freedom in the 60's what parents go through when their children refuse to take responsibility for their own lives and actions. When friends betray each other, how heart are broken, what divorce really does to a child and how awful and cruel adults can be to each other. More to the point in this book we see real people whose lives are shattered and will never be the same. We know by the end of this story that everything means something and nobody is left unscathed by what our fellow man does it is a powerful story and it is a tragically beautiful story.
This mystery is an awakening of the soul and a cry for justice. Before to you think this book might have topics you don't like read let me reassure you that there is no child rape involved or anything of that nature no it's about justice and the effects our lives can have on others. Other people we do not know have never met the roads not taken the choices that were made of circumstance and the repercussions one day can have for many decades.
If you think you do not belong in this world or don't count then read this book it will change your mind. This is one of Kinsey's most powerful cases and it's one that will be an eye opener for many a person who thinks they are a misfit in either family or society.


  1. I've tried Grafton before and been disappointed but what the heck. This one actually sounds worth trying.


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