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Publisher's Summary

Reba Lafferty was a daughter of privilege, the only child of an adoring father. Over the years, he quietly settled her many scrapes with the law, but he wasn't there for her when she was convicted of embezzlement and sent to the California Institute for Women. Now, at 32, she is about to be paroled, having served 22 months of a four-year sentence. Nord Lafferty wants to be sure she stays straight, stays at home and away from the drugs, the booze, the gamblers.

It seems a straightforward assignment for Kinsey: baby-sit Reba until she settles in, make sure she follows all the rules of her parole. Maybe all of a week's work. Nothing untoward, the woman seems remorseful and friendly. And the money is good. But life is never that simple, and Reba is out of prison less than 24 hours when one of her old crowd comes circling around.

Readers have come to expect the unexpected from Sue Grafton, and R is for Ricochet is no exception. In it, a complex and clever money-laundering scheme is just a cover for a novel that is all about love: love gone wrong, love betrayed, love denied. And love avenged. For Reba Lafferty, its moral is clear: Sometimes what you hand out in life comes back to bite you in the ass. Sometimes the good guys win, even when they lose.

Don't miss the other titles in the Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mystery Series.
©2004 Sue Grafton; (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Sexy adventure....Grafton as usual creates believable and enduring characters and a strong sense of place in her town of Santa Teresa circa 1987." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Bill
  • Kailua Kona, HI, United States
  • 09-20-12

Kinsey in Love?

I have listened my way through Sue Grafton's alphabet and been rewarded with better and better tales. This is no exception.

This is a nice listen ~ an exciting story with engaging characters we can grow to care about.

Grafton is particularly successful in "maturing" Kinsey ~ the irreverence is still present, but it is less overpowering. Instead, we meet a more grown-up Kinsey, someone capable of really caring about others (even a cat!), of intense self-examination, of emotional growth and of committed romance. This is not the Kinsey of the early alphabet ~ this is a much more real character and one it is much easier to care for.

It is especially welcome to see Kinsey begin to develop friendships (romantic and otherwise). Such relationships have never seemed quite real in the past, in part because Grafton crafted Kinsey as a loner. Now the shell is cracking a bit, and a new Kinsey seems to be emerging.

The other characters are equally well developed. We can empathize with them, become frustrated by them, or disapprove of their behavior. We learn a bit more about the regulars (Henry, William, Rosie) and we meet some very well drawn episodic characters.

Grafton does an especially good job with the "villains" ~ both great and small. They are certainly bad enough, but Grafton gives them credible motivations for their behavior. No one likes to admit they are evil and these "bad guys" all have their own motivations and explanations that leave them less blameworthy, less evil (at least in their own eyes). This is how the real world works, and it is refreshing to see it reflected so aptly in fiction.

I've read through some of the other reviews and I do not understand the thoroughly negative ones. Grafton has never rushed her stories, and the extra details she offers help round out her characters and the world they inhabit. This leads to longish (11 hour) but certainly not overly long tales and, importantly, a series that develops and matures. Too long for you? Speed up your playback or shift to an abridged version.

For me, and happily for most other reviewers, this is just the right length and a creditworthy addition to the Kinsey Millhone series. With it, Sue Grafton is coming into her own. It almost makes you sorry the alphabet has only 26 letters.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Cynthia
  • Washington, DC, USA
  • 08-01-04

Laughed out loud

I've read all of Grafton's series, and I think I enjoyed this one the most so far. Her wry humor is really just clicking in this book, and I found I was giggling to myself in my car on the way to work.
It was also nice that Kinsey finally got to go shopping, and get out of those jeans and black turtlenecks! I liked the love story part of this, and I say it's about time she got to do some fun stuff.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dawn
  • Henrico, VA, United States
  • 09-15-04

Worth The Wait

It seems a long time since "Q" was published but "R" is worth the wait. The main plot with Reba was enjoyable and it was easy to share Kinsey's frustrations with her escapades. There were laugh out loud moments throughout the book in Ms. Grafton's typical fashion. It's nice that Kinsey had now has a romantic interest, and a nice guy at that. And the subplot with Henry and his brothers was amusing. Judy Kaye did a great job telling the story (as opposed to just reading it). She modulated voice and tempo to match the mood of the writing and brought the whole work alive.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • S.
  • Cupertino, CA, United States
  • 07-29-04

A good read!

I have read all of this series, and this is my first Audible version. I enjoyed it thoroughly. The narrator fit perfectly for Kinsey's character and attitude, and the other characters came through well also. The plot was a little different than her previous stories, and I enjoyed that change-up as well. Very readable, and I wanted to hear it all.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gene
  • Agoura Hills, CA, USA
  • 07-18-04

Disappointing, for Grafton

I've followed Grafton thru the alphabet, and this has her trademark style, with the usual beautiful narration. However, a love story takes a major slice of the story, and it's rather humdrum. One starts to suspect that Grafton has a contract with McDonald's, since she mentions it prominently in every book, and when she mentions going to some other fast food place, she calls it "a competitor" without mentioning it by name, as if that would violate the contract. This has the usual fun descriptions of California but the plot seems contrived. I eagerly await her next book, but for the present she seems a bit tapped out, creatively.

39 of 48 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

R is for Romance

I've listened to the first part and am so far underwhelmed. The plot development is SO slow as to be embarrassing. It's almost as though Grafton has become a romance novelist. Without giving away what plot there is, you will have to find the idea of embezzlement from a CPA's point of view exciting to believe there is any action in the book. If the next book is as bad, I'd say title it, "S is for Stop"

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Pamela
  • Gates Mills, OH, United States
  • 08-05-04

R is for Really great!!

This was such a fun book! I am a devourer of Sue Grafton books, and this one was awesome!! Fast, fun, full of interesting characters -- it didn't disappoint! I loved the addition of a romance - it was done with Kinsey's typical no-nonsense practical approach and tongue-in-cheek humor. Judy Kay is great narrator too, really getting the pace and irony of Kinsey. I recommend this download highly!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Stuart
  • MortlakeAustralia
  • 11-15-04

Don't bother

This title badly needs editing, it's 3-4 hours stretched to 11+ hours of filling (describing walking to the door, lighting cigarttes etc. and the 'love' tangles of three 85-year-old brothers - who cares!). There is no crime comitted in the first 4 hours! Is this a thriller at all? I read the first 4 or so books ages ago when they came out and they were OK. What's happened? If you like the crispness of Robert B Parker's Spenser novels you'll cringe at this effort.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Best One Yet!

This is the best of the alphabet series so far. It was worth waiting for. The plot is well executed and finally the character of Kinsey has some real definition.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Aaron
  • San Antonio, TX, USA
  • 10-19-04

Did I miss the point of a detective book?

There is not much detection in this book. Not much action, adventure of suspense either. Nothing much happens at all in the first 11 hours of this nearly 12 hour book. This entire story can be wrapped up quickly.
Kinsey is hired to watch after an ex-con and make sure she goes to parole meetings. Kinsey meets a new guy in her life once again. He has some sort of implausible plan for the ex-con to catch her former boss at money laundering. The ex-con does everything possible to screw up said plan. Everything works out.
All this without a shred of tension, suspense or anything at all interesting happening in the book. The only murder of interest in this book is the possibility of the reader dying of boredom.

Avoid at all costs. Sue Grafton no longer cares about this series or its characters and it shows in ever single scene in the book.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-04-17

One of my favourites

This is one of my most loved of the Grafton series. The characters are all wise-cracks and engaging, lively and memorable. I found it amusing to see Kinsey as an uneasy 'mother hen'. Also, Judy Kate is perfect as Kinsey, I couldn't imagine anyone better.