F Is for Fugitive

Sue Grafton, Author
Sue Grafton, Author Henry Holt & Company $27 (261p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0460-1
Reviewed on: 05/17/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Kinsey Milhone's sixth (beginning with ``A'' Is for Alibi ) alphabetically filed adventure takes her to the small California town of Floral Beach, where she's been hired to investigate a 17-year-old murder. Though innocent of the crime, Bailey Fowler was coerced to confess to it; he escaped from prison soon after his sentencing and lived a quiet life under an alias until the cops picked him up on a fluke and discovered his convict status. Bailey's father Royce, now dying of cancer, hopes Kinsey will find the real murderer and save his son from returning to jail. During her investigation, Kinsey lives at the Fowlers' beach motel with Royce, his demanding, hypochondriacal wife and their resentful, middle-aged daughter. The experience puts Kinsey in a dark mood, reminding her of her own short-lived family (she was orphaned at age five). Nor does the case itself bring joy, as she unearths the ugly secrets of many of Floral Beach's respected citizens--the hypocrisy of the unctuous minister; the philandery of the local doctor and the violence-prone schizophrenia of his wife; the sad secret of the high-school principal; and, of course, the intentions of the murderer, who kills again as Kinsey draws near. With this complex mystery and her ever-deeper glimpses into its heroine, Grafton's series promises to hold readers all the way to Z. 100,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo; author tour. (May)
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