Thursday, December 24, 2015
REVIEW: T Is For Trespass by Sue Grafton
Author: Sue Grafton
Publisher: G.P. Putnams Sons
Publication Date: December, 2007
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible
Description: trespass \'trespes\ n: a transgression of law involving one's obligations to God or to one's neighbor; a violation of moral law; an offense; a sin
-Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition, Unabridged
In what may be her most unsettling novel to date, Sue Grafton's T is for Trespass is also her most direct confrontation with the forces of evil. Beginning slowly with the day-to-day life of a private eye, Grafton suddenly shifts from the voice of Kinsey Millhone to that of Solana Rojas, introducing readers to a chilling sociopath. Rojas is not her birth name. It is an identity she cunningly stole, an identity that gives her access to private caregiving jobs. The true horror of the novel builds with excruciating tension as the reader foresees the awfulness that lies ahead. The suspense lies in whether Millhone will realize what is happening in time to intervene.
Though set in the late eighties, T is for Trespass could not be more topical: identity theft; elder abuse; betrayal of trust; the breakdown in the institutions charged with caring for the weak and the dependent. It reveals a terrifying but all-too-real rip in the social fabric. Once again, Grafton opens up new territory with startling results.
My Thoughts: The more I get to know Kinsey Millhone, the more I like her. This character is so interesting on her own, she has great strength of character and integrity and though she is flawed and makes mistakes, she doesn’t let it stop her from doing the right thing, even if doing the right thing causes her problems. I also enjoy her observant outlook on the world around her. She’s very intuitive and that serves her well in her day to day activities. Without her high level of perception, the outcome would have been much more horrific for the victims because the predator in this story is someone you should be able to trust. Someone you hire to care for your elderly parent, grandparent, uncle or aunt. Someone you rely on to have the needs of your loved one as their number one priority. When Kinsey’s cranky neighbor, Gus Vronsky takes a fall, it doesn’t take long for Kinsey and her landlord, Henry, to realize that Gus needs help. Kinsey is able to track down Gus’s only living relative, a niece who lives on the other side of the country. She hires a nurse to care for Gus, but she does not realize the woman she hired is not who she thinks she is. This woman is a predator who has assumed numerous identities over the years to ingratiate herself into the homes of her elderly patients, where in addition to drugging and stealing from them, she ultimately murders them.
When Kinsey starts looking into the background of Gus’s nurse, she does not anticipate how shrewd this predator is and how she manages to stay just a few steps ahead of Kinsey. I enjoyed the cat and mouse game the author illustrates as Kinsey tries to figure out Solana’s plan only to have to backtrack and rethink it when Kinsey finds herself outwitted. I admired Kinsey’s vigilance and determination to protect Gus, in spite of his less than nice personality. Though she was certainly not required to step in and could have very easily ignored the matter as not any of her business, I liked that Kinsey’s instincts draw her into the matter so that she feels obligated to take action.
I enjoyed the whole book, but the last few chapters are what drew me in. The anxiety building suspense was a real nail-biter as Kinsey has to first rescue Gus and then deal with the retaliation from Solana. The ending was completely unexpected but well played out. I recommend this book to all fans of mystery, thriller or suspense novels, but don’t start in the middle of the alphabet with this series. In order to understand the all of the character’s backstory, I recommend this series be read in order.
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