Series: Kinsey Millhone, #10
Publisher: Pan Publishing, August 2012
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When Morley Shine, a fellow PI, dies from a heart attack, Kinsey Millhone takes over the seemingly simple task of gathering evidence for Lonnie Kingman, a local attorney immersed in a civil suit.
Stakes are high. David Birney, acquitted of his wealthy wife's murder five years ago, got his hands on her fortune. Now Kingman wants to divest Birney of the money in favor of the wife's child by an earlier marriage. But the statute of limitations has about run out, and there is little progress.
Kinsey's easy investigation turns into a nightmare. Shine's files are in disarray and the key informant lacks credibility. And she senses danger...a killer waiting to see what Kinsey uncovers. Somebody got away with murder once...will it be Kinsey's turn this time?
From the Compact Disc edition.
Kinsey’s life is a bit of an upheaval. After losing her job with California Fidelity in H is for Homicide, she’s looking for a lucky break. One comes after a fellow private investigator dies suddenly of a heart attack and she’s asked to take over his case. The case, gathering evidence to support a murder charge (already once overturned), suddenly becomes a full-fledged investigation, one that brings into question who is truly innocent.
Grafton’s novels are great reads on many levels, but what keeps me coming back is the moral hidden in each of the stories. In I is for Innocent, Kinsey faces the challenge of untangling who is telling the truth and what really happened that fateful night (normal day for her), but also ends up as a judge of sorts, a role she didn’t expect. She finds herself discerning just how innocent everyone is, because short of herself View Spoiler »and her employer « Hide Spoiler, everyone is complicit in some way.
Grafton’s gentle (and occasionally not-so-gentle) reminder that everyone has skeletons in their closet of some kind created a different atmosphere for Innocent – Kinsey’s main focus turns to finding out just what on earth happened that night.
Aside from the morals, Grafton has once again penned a superior mystery. When David Barney is acquitted of the cold-blooded murder of his wife, Isabelle, Kenneth, Isabelle’s former husband, doesn’t buy it. The conflicting emotions, hidden motives and long-buried secrets are slowly revealed as Kinsey starts poking around in the old case files.
The biggest hook came in the conflicting responses and actions of Isabelle’s husbands, both widower and ex. Both gave me the vague creeps from their differing reactions to Isabelle’s death, but the unusual situation and the varying nature of their personalities kept me captivated.