Monday, August 27, 2018

Review: Y is for Yesterday (Audio)

Summary: Private investigator Kinsey Millhone confronts her darkest and most disturbing case in this #1 New York Times bestseller from Sue Grafton.

In 1979, four teenage boys from an elite private school sexually assault a fourteen-year-old classmate—and film the attack. Not long after, the tape goes missing and the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. In the investigation that follows, one boy turns state’s evidence and two of his peers are convicted. But the ringleader escapes without a trace.

Now, it’s 1989 and one of the perpetrators, Fritz McCabe, has been released from prison. Moody, unrepentant, and angry, he is a virtual prisoner of his ever-watchful parents—until a copy of the missing tape arrives with a ransom demand. That’s when the McCabes call Kinsey Millhone for help. As she is drawn into their family drama, she keeps a watchful eye on Fritz. But he’s not the only one being haunted by the past. A vicious sociopath with a grudge against Millhone may be leaving traces of himself for her to find… -- Random House Audio

It is bittersweet that I finally finished listening to Y IS FOR YESTERDAY by Sue Grafton -- the last book in her Kinsey Millhone series. Ms. Grafton passed away the end of 2017, and I have been holding onto this audiobook and listening to it in very small increments. I just didn't want it to end. I probably didn't enjoy it as much as I would have if I had listened to it regularly, but I wanted to savor her last novel.

That's not to say that I didn't like Y IS FOR YESTERDAY a lot because I did. It's just difficult to come to terms that one of my favorite authors is gone. It made me listen to the book in a different light, with an almost sadness and dread rather than my normal appreciation of her writing. It's definitely true to me and all fans of Ms. Grafton's -- the alphabet now ends with Y!

Y IS FOR YESTERDAY is a mystery that was rather disturbing. The original crime takes place in 1979 when four high school boys from a prestigious private school film a sexual assault on one of their female classmates. The tape ends up going missing and the boys suspect another classmate... who just happens to get murdered. Two of the boys are convicted after one of the boys ends up cooperating with the police, and the last boy disappears without a trace.

Fast forward to the present day (which just happens to be 1989) and Fritz McCabe, one of the perpetrators, has served his time for the crime and is getting released from prison. A copy of the tape shows up at his house with a ransom note, and Fritz's parents call Kinsey Millhone to do what she does best -- investigate. Meanwhile, she is also dealing with a twisted individual from her past. Can Kinsey get to the bottom of these crimes while also saving herself from a dangerous and disturbed man?

Y IS FOR YESTERDAY is Ms. Grafton at her best. It goes without saying that Kinsey Millhone is one of the best private investigators in fiction -- I just love her. In addition, Ms. Grafton has created some fascinating characters and an intriguing mystery. She managed to transition the stories between 1979 and 1989 flawlessly, while also balancing the crimes of the teens and her personal nemesis. There's a lot going on in this novel with a lot of characters; however, it's very, very well written.

The audiobook version of Y IS FOR YESTERDAY was read by Judy Kaye. If I'm being entirely honest, I kind of wish I had read this novel instead of listening to it. I don't know if there was inherently anything wrong with the narration; however, I just didn't find her voice to be what I was expecting. It's probably my fault for even having expectations for what Kinsey might sound like, but Kinsey really isn't that old... and Ms. Kaye's voice seemed a little too mature to me.

Y IS FOR YESTERDAY is a great end to an amazing series -- but would you expect anything less from Ms. Grafton? Highly recommended.

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

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.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I thought this book was darker than most of hers but I really liked it. I'm so glad we had the opportunity to meet Grafton.