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'O' IS FOR OUTLAW by Sue Grafton


From the Alphabet series, volume 15

by Sue Grafton

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-8050-5955-5
Publisher: Henry Holt

Fans hungry for details of Kinsey Millhone’s well-guarded past will give thanks for Teddy Rich, the storage-locker scavenger who’s come up with a box of old documents about herself that he’s willing to sell for $30 (Kinsey gets him to take $20). Most of the stuff—harvested, as it turns it, from a locker rented by Kinsey’s first husband, ex-cop Mickey Magruder—is no more interesting than your own grade-school photos and report cards. But a letter to Kinsey implicitly confessing an affair between Mickey and the letter-writer, Honky-Tonk bartender Dixie Hightower, a letter Kinsey never received because she’d left Mickey the day before, reminds her why she left Mickey—because he’d asked her to back up his phony alibi for the killing of Benny Quintero, a drifter he’d been in a shoving match with the night before—and convinces her that Mickey’s in trouble. Wrong. Mickey’s already out of trouble, deep in a coma after getting shot himself days before Kinsey started digging into the past she shared with him. So Kinsey dusts off her p.i’s license and digs deeper herself, dredging up a trail of deception that goes back to the jungles of Vietnam, all the while trying to convince the LAPD that, no, she didn’t get a half-hour call from Mickey before he died, no matter what the phone company’s records say. Lying, snooping, rifling drawers, following oblivious suspects, rarely taking time to sit and think, Kinsey keeps you blissfully in the dark about what’s happened and what’s coming up till the magician tips her hand at the denouement and shows you how simple it all was—in Grafton’s best since 1992, when “I” was for Innocent.