Monday, November 21, 2011

Review: V is for Vengeance

Summary: A woman with a murky past who kills herself-or was it murder? A spoiled kid awash in gambling debt who thinks he can beat the system. A lovely woman whose life is about to splinter into a thousand fragments. A professional shoplifting ring working for the Mob, racking up millions from stolen goods. A wandering husband, rich and ruthless. A dirty cop so entrenched on the force he is immune to exposure. A sinister gangster, conscienceless and brutal. A lonely widower mourning the death of his lover, desperate for answers, which may be worse than the pain of his loss. A private detective, Kinsey Millhone, whose thirty-eighth-birthday gift is a punch in the face that leaves her with two black eyes and a busted nose. 

And an elegant and powerful businessman whose dealings are definitely outside the law: the magus at the center of the web. 

V: Victim. Violence. Vengeance. -- Putnam

After reading and reviewing U IS FOR UNDERTOW by Sue Grafton a few weeks ago, I was very excited to pick up Ms. Grafton's latest release V IS FOR VENGEANCE. It had been years since I read a Kinsey Milhone series, but I was quickly reminded of how much I enjoyed these books... and why they continue to be such a best-selling mystery series. I love Kinsey and I think Ms. Grafton is a marvelous storyteller.

So it was with very high expectations that I picked up V IS FOR VENGEANCE. And maybe they were just a little too high. I absolutely adored U IS FOR UNDERTOW and I was expecting more of the same with V IS FOR VENGEANCE. I enjoyed V IS FOR VENGEANCE, and it did include many of the things that I've come to know and love about Sue Grafton books; however, the pace of the book (especially the first half) was just a little slow for me. In fact, I felt as if the book was longer than it needed to be.

There were quite a few storylines going on in V IS FOR VENGEANCE, and while they did come together eventually, I don't know if I'd go so far as to say that I was satisfied with how they were resolved. I enjoyed some of the stories very much, but there were others that just didn't hold my interest. Occasionally, I didn't really understand how the storylines were related or even why I was reading about certain characters. The mystery was intriguing though, but I just didn't think the plot was woven as tightly as some other Kinsey Milhone mysteries.

I am a huge fan of Kinsey and I really enjoyed the chapters of the book that featured her. I love her voice and her insights and I can definitely say that my favorite parts of the novel were the scenes with Kinsey. One of the things that I most enjoyed about U IS FOR UNDERTOW was that I got to see a more personal side of Kinsey. I really wanted this book to continue with that -- or at least give me some more insight into Kinsey. Sadly, it didn't.

Having said all that, I don't want it to come across that V IS FOR VENGEANCE wasn't a fun read because I did enjoy it. Ms. Grafton managed to weave a pretty impressive mystery in this novel. I didn't see where she was going with the different stories and characters, and I was surprised by how some things eventually played out. And there was that whole mobster and organized crime element which sucked me right in! There is no doubt that Ms. Grafton is a master at writing mysteries, and I wouldn't hesitate to read more of her books. She always keeps me entertained with both her characters and her crimes.
If you are a fan of Kinsey Milhone's or Sue Grafton's, then I wouldn't hesitate to recommend V IS FOR VENGEANCE.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


rhapsodyinbooks said...

Can't wait to see what word she comes up with for x!

Sandy Nawrot said...

I do love this series. Over the years, some have been better than others, but at this point it is a compulsive type read. I can't miss a single one.

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I picked up one of these somewhere in the middle and wasn't sure how I felt about it. I wonder if I need to start from the very beginning to get the whole effect...I'm a little anal about series anyway...

bermudaonion said...

I love this series, but agree with Sandy that some of the books haven't been as good as the others. I'm still looking forward to this one.

Alyce said...

I haven't read these books, but every time I see this title I think of the V for Vendetta movie - not the same thing I know, but I seem to have it on the brain (probably because it's been on TV several times in the past few weeks).

Teena in Toronto said...

I read it this week and enjoyed it.