Main characters: Kinsey Milhone, Bobby Callahan
Time and place: the 80s (1982?), Santa Teresa (California)
Summary: Bobby Callahan is a rich 23-years old who’s recovering after a horrible car accident. He is convinced someone has tried to kill him by pushing his car off a cliff on purpose, he remembers thinking he was in trouble — but he doesn’t remember anything else. Which is why he hires Kinsey to unearth the details and find out “who did it”. Unfortunately in just a few days Bobby is involved in a second car crash, this time fatal. Although everyone expects Kinsey to abandon her investigation, she doesn’t, out of loyalty for her erstwhile friend.
Kinsey is the same “lonely wolf”-like person I’ve grown to know and love. Same quirks, same courage, same persistence. I was a bit disappointed by the fact that in this volume she reveals only a few more things about herself; nevertheless one of them is very intriguing: a mention of the fact that Kinsey is the mother’s maiden name (so her real name isn’t actually Kinsey). I wonder whether this particular subplot will be developed in the future (allowing the readers to find out Kinsey’s actual name and the reason she changed it) or dropped.
In my opinion the plot idea was particularly interesting, and I congratulate the author for thinking of it. Kinsey’s whole case is based solely on what one person knows, only the person has parts of his brain (and as such important, relevant memories) missing after the accident he was involved in. Bobby remembers seeing his assailant, but not much else. A great way, in my opinion, for the author to give Kinsey just enough info for her to find her way around things. I mean, how many books have you seen where the sole witness is also a partial amnesiac?
It is perhaps amusing to notice how in every book so far the author has mingled a whiff of romance too. After Kinsey’s going through two short lived relationships (in books one and two), it is now her landlord’s turn to hopelessly fall in love. This particular subplot has been quite interesting for me (Lila Sams was that annoying that I couldn’t help hoping that something bad will eventually befall her, thus getting poor Henry Pitts out of her malevolent clutches :) ). I have a theory about who will be involved in the relationship in the next book (Kinsey and the guy in book two perhaps?) but I’m probably wrong and the author will surprise us (the readers) once again.
Once again I caught myself, when Kinsey was in trouble, keeping thinking Kinsey should just call someone from her cellphone already (only managing to remember after a few split seconds that, well, they had no cellphones back then). Interestingly enough I am not bothered in the least by Kinsey’s typing her reports on a type writer instead of on a computer, but the idea “Kinsey should just use her cellphone” keeps passing through my head every now and then (speaking of which, I wonder whether Kinsey will ever buy a cellphone — given that the books so far have lasted only a few weeks each, plus another few weeks in between, I’d say her chances are quite slim; but who knows).
What I liked most: I am, as usual, extremely impressed by the fact that Kinsey never runs out of places to look/people to talk with next. Which is one of the things that make her such a great private investigator (and that show I would probably be a very lousy one :) )
What I liked least: First book in the series that’s been actually predictable. Oh well.
Recommend it? Yes :)
The links to amazon.com and bookdepository.co.uk are affiliate links. If you click one of them and buy something, I receive a small percentage of the purchase price. This being said, rest assured that the few cents I might thus make will never influence what I say or do not say about any book reviewed on the site.