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A good start to the series
on 18 March 2008
Sue Grafton's Alphabet series has been going for about 25 years now (I think 'T is for Trespass' has just been released) and I had been bought the A-J boxset for Christmas, so thought I'd start at the beginning with 'A is for Alibi'.
The story introduces the lead character, Kinsey Millhone. 32 years old, twice divorced and a private investigator. Kinsey is approached by a woman who has been wrongfully imprisoned for 8 years after being charged as guilty for the murder of her husband, a cheating, divorce lawyer who it seems everybody wanted dead. Kinsey is hired to find the truth behind his murder and also comes across another murder of a young woman who knew the victim and died in exactly the same way.
The plot is very tight, yet easy to follow.Not too many characters to confuse the reader and there's no un-neccessary plot fillers. It is just good, old fashioned crime solving that although can be dark and sinister in places, it still feels like a "comfort read" with enough humour and whitty dialogue to stop it from being very unsettling or disturbing - something that the crime fiction genre has reached it's boundries in recent years, so this is a refreshing change. As a massive fan of other female crime writers such as Patricia Cornwell, Karin Slaughter and PJ Tracy, it was nice to read a thriller that is still quite realistic and very exciting but without the gore. Kinsey's character is instantly likeable and believable . The killer stays a mystery until the last chapter, which in this case wasn't that surprising unfortunately, maybe due to the fact that there was only a handful of people that it could have been.
Overall this is a fantastic start to the long-running series, but could be better (and I bet it will be!) and I really look forward to reading on through the rest of Kinsey's investigations.