“S” Is For Silence
By Sue Grafton
In this one, Sue Grafton’s main protagonist Kinsey Millhon, a Private Investigator, is asked to solve an almost 34 year old mystery.
On the 4th of July, 1953, Violet Sullivan had left her daughter Daisy (seven years old) under a babysitter’s care and gone to see the fireworks of the 4th of July. She drove a 1953 Chevrolet Bel Air and had taken her dog along. But she never returned and no one saw her after that.
Daisy, now grown, seeks Kinsey’s help to trace her mother. Though apprehensive about such an old mystery Kinsey takes up the case. Daisy provides Kinsey with newspaper clippings and contacts of all the possible people who knew Violet-the babysitter, the neighbors, the cops of the town, the relatives, the husband, but it all seems like a wild goose chase. Serena Station (the town) is too small to hide secrets it seems and everyone has an opinion (a rather nasty one) about Violet’s character.
The options for Violet’s disappearance are many. She could have either run away with her secret lover (since her marriage was hitting the rocks) or she could’ve been murdered. As Kinsey goes deeper into the case she suspects many people with a motive to kill Violet. Some secrets are being hidden. What they are, Kinsey needs to find out.
But someone seems to be stalking Kinsey too. Her room and car are tempered with. But towards the end Kinsey manages to solve the mystery, almost getting herself killed in the process.
S for Silence makes for a cool crime-detective novel. The action shifts between two different time frames. A different approach by Grafton compared to her previous 18 novels.
The plot gradually unravels, keeping the readers hooked on till the last page. But funnily, Kinsey’s conclusions and interpretations are based on her instinct. Rather unusual for a PI of Kinsey’s caliber. Overall, this is an interesting (stand-alone) novel in the alphabet series of Sue Grafton.