First thing I noted about this was, “This Prologue’s a bit heavy handed and overly dramatic . . . who knows? Maybe it’ll be justified.” I still think it was a bit too much — but on the whole, it was justified.
This was a slow burn of a novel. Sure, the reader is introduced to the villain, Solana Rojas, right off the bat (thanks to third person narration focusing on her in chapters interspersed with Kinsey’s narration), but Kinsey isn’t even hired for anything regarding her until roughly 100 pages in. The whole setup for this book is so unlike Grafton. I liked this, and it bugged me at the same time. Mostly the former, though, I’m all for Grafton stretching herself.
There was a time where Rojas had the upper hand over Kinsey, and while we know in the end that Kinsey will win out, Grafton sure could’ve made things look a little more dire for Santa Teresa’s hero. It was just a little too easy for Kinsey to convince others what was going on. In the end, that didn’t make this less satisfying.
Grafton’s never been a slouch, but in these last few books she’s really upped her game — this is the best thing she’s done. Her characters are better drawn, the plot’s more intricate, Rojas was probably a little more evil than anyone that Kinsey’s crossed paths with before. This is definitely the creepiest, most disturbing Grafton novel — haven’t read much in the last couple of years that’s as unnerving, really, when I stopped to think of it. Not as gory or violent as many in the genre (nowhere near that), but when you look at the trail of destruction that Rojas has left before she’s stopped — she’s unsettling in a way that your typical fictional serial killer isn’t.