My rating: 3 of 5 stars
V is for Vengeance has a very effective hook at the very beginning. It’s Kinsey’s birthday, and she’s nursing a broken nose and feeling sorry for herself. It’s not until the final chapter that we learn who bashed her. This is one of Grafton’s most complex plots, involving three separate stories that gradually merge into one. A few days earlier, Kinsey saw and reported a shoplifter, who was arrested. The scene shifts and we meet a loan shark with a sense of decency, and a woman who is tiring of her rich but philandering husband. It isn’t long before somebody dies under suspicious circumstances, and Kinsey is drawn into the maelstrom. Episode V is an entertaining novel. In addition to being a first rate mystery, it’s peppered with Kinsey’s wry one liners that never fail to bring a smile. There is one bothersome problem, and that’s in the confusion that arises about which character is which, but by the conclusion, all becomes satisfyingly clear. Kinsey is a flawed character, but with so much heart and tenacity that she never fails to appeal.