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U Is for Undertow Paperback – Large Print, Dec 6 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Paperback, Large Print, Dec 6 2010
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 654 pages
  • Publisher: Large Print Press; 1 edition (Dec 6 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594134189
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594134180
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 794 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,031,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"Expect to be spellbound."



"Has this reliable series lost its addictive appeal? Not at all."



"Makes me wish there were more than 26 letters at her disposal."

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Sue Grafton is published in 28 countries and 26 languages—including Estonian, Bulgarian, and Indonesian. Books in her alphabet series, begun in 1982, are international bestsellers with readership in the millions. And like Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, Robert Parker, and John D. MacDonald—the best of her breed—Sue Grafton has earned new respect for the mystery form. Her readers appreciate her buoyant style, her eye for detail, her deft hand with character, her acute social observances, and her abundant storytelling talents.

Sue divides her time between Montecito, California and Louisville, Kentucky, where she was born and raised. She has three children and two grandchildren. Grafton has been married to Steve Humphrey for more than twenty years. She loves cats, gardens, and good cuisine.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Let destruction come upon him unexpectedly,
And let his net that he has hidden catch himself;
Into that very destruction let him fall." -- Psalm 35:8

Masterful Sue Grafton deftly handles three timeframes in this story of love and betrayal. The "present" is 1988, the mystery's past is found in the 1963 through 1967 period. Her own family's history is revealed for the period of the mid to late 1950s. The artful Grafton moves smoothly from one time to another, much in the way that our attention can shift rapidly from observation to memory and back again. Rarely does she let the current day intrude into the earlier time periods with inadvertent missteps. It's impressive.

Were you ever fascinated by watching carefully lined-up dominoes be rapidly toppled, one after another, after the first one in the sequence is tipped over? If so, you'll love this story. The plot is built around that device. One action or event triggers another, and another, and so on until no more dominoes are standing. It's the most difficult kind of plot to develop in a credible way, and Ms. Grafton carries it off very well indeed.

As the book opens, the local police have sent Michael Sutton over with a story about having seen as a child two men burying a mysterious bundle about the time when a little girl had been kidnapped (who was never found, even though the ransom was paid). Sutton is convinced that the two events have something in common and is willing to pay for a day of Kinsey Millhone's time to check it out. A lot of what he wants Kinsey to do he could do himself, so he's holding something back. With her usual doggedness, Kinsey makes fast work of the case and helps Sutton locate the site of the burial. What will they find?
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Format: Hardcover
I was hesitant to buy this one because I felt her last couple were not up to par. But this one is more like the Sue Grafton of old. Much better story line and I felt I got my money's worth this time. Still like all her characters and her plot line was quite good.

definately worth buying this one.
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Format: Audio CD
No question that Judy Kaye who received a Tony Award for her performance in The Phantom of the Opera as well as two additional Tony Award nominations is a talented actress. Also, no question that Kaye who has read all of Sue Grafton's Alphabet Mystery series is also a talented voice-over artist. Her readings are marked by realism, a strict adherence to the author's intentions, and a fluid voice that easily represents each character. It's a pleasure to hear her narration of U IS FOR UNDERTOW.

With this, the 21st Kinsey Millhone thriller, we meet Michael Sutton who claims to have had a strange experience - it is 1988 but he claims to have regressed in memory to when he was 6-years-old and saw two men in a woods burying a rather large bundle. That was the same time that a girl, Mary Clare, was kidnaped and never found. The story that he tells Kinsey convinces her to at least give him a little of her time to investigate and see if anything turns up.

Flashback about 25 years to the Unruh home. Deborah and her husband, a well placed family, are a bit chagrined when their son, Greg, appears with Shelly and her small son. Deborah and Shelly are a bit like oil and water - Shelly's a manipulator par excellence. Segue to Kinsey who's dealing with personal problems plus Michael's siblings who paint him as unreliable. Is he a liar, a trouble maker or are his brother and sister trying to hide something?

Moving back and forth in time keeps the plot hustling along as Kinsey learns more, probably much of which she never wanted to know. U IS FOR UNDERTOW is Grafton at her spellbinding best.

Enjoy!

- Gail Cooke
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Format: Hardcover
Sue Grafton has a good eye and ear for characters. The trashy girlfriend brought home to crash at mom and dad's is a good example. In the early chapters of U is for Undertow, I thought Grafton used several words and phrases more recent than the late eighties, though. For example, "hoarders" is a popular word these days, but junk collectors weren't called that word back then. It must be easy to slip into today's vernacular when writing a present-tense book that takes place in a different present! That minor fault out of the way, I have to say I enjoyed this story very much, especially told from different characters' points of view.
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Format: Kindle Edition
'U is for Undertow' begins with a man who remembers as a six year old child encountering two 'pirates' digging what appears to be a grave in wooded area of his community. Many years later he wonders whether this relates to the kidnapping of a girl for ransom which occurred at the same time. Despite the ransom being paid, the girl is never returned or indeed found. Could it be that her body is buried in the woods?
PI Kinsey Millhone reluctantly agrees to spend a day investigating, while feeling that her client is holding some key information back. They are able to find the excavation, but what is buried there is certainly not what was expected. Thus begins a process driven by
Kinsey's curiosity to determine what happened to the kidnapped girl.
In the first sentence of 'U', Kinsey muses: 'What fascinates me about life is that now and then the past rises up and declares itself.' It is the past that is the below the surface that is the "'undertow"' of the title. The past is conveyed by flashbacks to 1963 and 1967 interspersed with the present, 1988.
It is sometimes said that the mark of the novel is character development. Equally, the mark of a mystery novel is plot. Sue Grafton puts both together perfectly in "'U is for Undertow."'
There are a variety of characters in 'U,' starting with Kinsey's client who is described by his estranged sister as a dupe of the 'false memory' therapist who convinces him he was abused as a child. There is the ambitious upwardly mobile banker who buries the emptiness in his relationship and life with alcohol. There is the teenage boy consumed with hostility and in a power struggle with his stepmother, his father's second wife.
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