Every time I write a review for a Sue Grafton novel I wonder how successful she would have been had she not used the whole alphabet thing. I mean, as far as gimmicks go, it’s a good one. While not many people would recognize a Sharyn McCrumb novel as a part of a long series of successful mystery novels, most people who peruse book stores will see a book with a big letter on the front and say “Yeah, I’ve seen those, I’ve always wondered if they’re good.”
I would have to say that for the most part, yeah. They are good.
Ricochet is a nice, easy read in which you find yourself wanting the characters to do something or another – like when you watch a horror movie and you get into it to the point of saying things out loud, like “Don’t go in there!” or “Sharpen the chain saw or you’ll never make it through her tibia!”
I see it as a good sign. I think that’s one of the things that makes the Harry Potter series consistant in it’s appeal. People are dying to see the characters figure things out or do the right thing, but when they don’t the reader can’t put the book down because they’re dying to see what happens next.
I was afraid that this book would follow the story of earlier Sue Grafton novels in delivery, content, character, and conclusion. I was delighted to see that Grafton can and does create with variety. It also kinda let me down, because what I like is what she has done in the past.
R is for Ricochet is the story of the same main character from the previous books, Kinsey Millhone. Kinsey picks up a girl from jail and helps her make the adjustment to real life. But this new girl turns out to be practically crazy in her unpredictability.
Kinsey also picks up a love interest, but to me it detracted from the overall goodness of the book. While never graphic, I’m still not interested in the re-kindled sexuality of a character I liked better as a single person.
In summation, Grafton writes with great skill, but everything that wasn’t the main plot in this story kinda left me feeling flat. I’ll have to give this book a 1 on a scale of -5 to 5.