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Publisher's Summary

Of number-one New York Times best-selling author Sue Grafton, NPR's Maureen Corrigan said, "Makes me wish there were more than 26 letters." With only two letters left, Grafton's many devoted listeners will share that sentiment.

X: the number 10. An unknown quantity. A mistake. A cross. A kiss.

X: the shortest entry in Webster's Unabridged. Derived from Greek and Latin and commonly found in science, medicine, and religion. The most graphically dramatic letter. Notoriously tricky to pronounce: Think xylophone.

X: the 24th letter in the English alphabet.

Sue Grafton's X: Perhaps her darkest and most chilling novel, it features a remorseless serial killer who leaves no trace of his crimes. Once again breaking the rules and establishing new paths, Grafton wastes little time identifying this sociopath. The test is whether Kinsey can prove her case against him before she becomes his next victim.

©2015 Sue Grafton (P)2015 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,979
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    1,065
  • 3 Stars
    393
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    113
  • 1 Stars
    68

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    735
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    253
  • 2 Stars
    55
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    44

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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My X-pectations were too high

Many of the complaints I read about this book centered around the fact that there was “too much filler” but that didn’t bother me at all! I like the filler and I like the way it makes me feel like I am just hanging out with Kinsey. Had the book just all been filler I think I would have enjoyed it much more.

What disappointed me was the general lack of a good story. I didn’t get the point of any of it, it felt too jumpy and disjointed… I had trouble following.

Also, I found it particularly annoying how easily EVERYBODY blabs. People she just met and to whom she posed just one question all spill their beans to her on the spot; too easy.

Ah well, win some – lose some. I’m still in for Y in 2017!

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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What a disappointment

What disappointed you about X?

3 different story lines that were of no real mystery. Not at all what I have come to expect from this story. It's as if the author ran out of steam. Boring, Boring, Boring.

What was most disappointing about Sue Grafton’s story?

I would give away too much but the story was just silly and not at all the interesting mystery that I enjoy in this series.

Would you be willing to try another one of Judy Kaye’s performances?

Not sure

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

disappointment

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Really? Not that good!

Like most of Kinsey's big time fans -- I've read/listened to the whole series, most of them twice, several three times -- so I was really looking forward to this book. Heck -- I look forward to ANY of them, but this one I bought and then "saved" for awhile, to enjoy at some time when I really could savor it. And when I finally started in, right from the beginning, I was disappointed.

Were my expectations too high? Or did the book just seem flat? Hard to say, but there wasn't any sizzle in this one. It just sort of plodded along, Kinsey being Kinsey, which is enough to rate three stars, but .... not a memorable story. Aside from one small moment at the end, nothing exciting ever happened. (Want a really really good one in the series? Go for "C" -- I just reread that one, and realized again what a truly great book that one is.)

Maybe it's tough to make real estate interesting. Or maybe having characters messing around with paintings is inherently dull. Whatever, there just wasn't any there, there. Nothing caught my attention to the point that's I'd do anything to keep on listening. I had no problems walking away from it when I had to, no great expectations coming back.

The only matter of interest -- at least for us die-hard fans -- is that Kinsey encounters a computer for the first time. And she's actually entertaining thoughts of being nice to a cat -- continuing her liberation from "W" -- something highly unlikely for this confirmed animal dis-liker.

No matter what any of we reviewers say, Grafton's millions of fans will read this one anyway -- which is fine. But beware: this isn't the best of the series. Far from it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Beth
  • Green Bay, WI, United States
  • 08-27-15

Not as advertised

The blurb for the book couldn't be more misleading! Just dive in and enjoy what we love about Kinsey, her tenacity and humor. While it feels a little like it's a buildup for "Y", it's still a great ride.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Another winner!

I've seen some reviewers posting that they did not think this book was as good as her other books, but I disagree. It held my attention to the end and her description of the 1980's every day life was spot on! And as always the characters were real and either likeable or unlikeable.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Jacque
  • Lander, WY, United States
  • 08-30-15

Good Kinsey Milhone

These books are always a treat. I've come to love the repeat characters. This particular story was a bit long, but the complicated plot may have required that. The 1989 setting startles with its lack of technology we've come to expect.




12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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eXcellent

I am a HUGE fan of these novels. I really feel that this is one if not the best. It only makes me worry that we might be coming close to the end. What do we have after Y and Z. If the next two are like X, lucky us. It's been a wonderful collection of wonderful reads. Thank you Sue Grafton

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 09-07-15

Exciting

Kinsey is helping Ruth, Pete Wolinsky’s widow; find financial records for a pending IRS audit. Kinsey finds a list of numbers that turn out to be a code, when Henry breaks the code it turns out to be a list of women’s names.

Ruth’s house is broken into and then Kinsey’s office. The IRS agent turns out to be bogus. Kinsey discovers some the women on the list are dead or missing and all had contact with Ned Lowe. Kinsey also learns of many missing young girls that went missing after last in contact with Ned. Is he a sociopathic serial killer and can Kinsey prove it before she gets killed.

We get to visit with some of the regulars of the series, Kinsey’s landlord Henry, local pub owners William and Rosie and police office friends Cheney and Dietz. Henry has new neighbors that turn out to be neighbors from hell. The story is still placed in the 1980s and we find that Kinsey traded in her Mustang for a 1983 Honda.

The story, of course, is well written. The pace is fast and there is lots of suspense and humor to keep the reader’s attention. Judy Kaye narrates the story.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Loved it!

Having lived in the 80s, it's nice to visit and see the simpler,
yet exciting life that Kinsey leads.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Is one of the good ones, not the great ones

The book is divided in three different stories.
It is a compelling book with interesting characters, but it feels unfocused and rushed at the end.
Don't believe the hype that this is the darkest book, is just marketing.
Low your expectations and you will enjoy it better

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Purple Sandra
  • 01-16-16

I Must Be Missing Something........

Would you try another book written by Sue Grafton or narrated by Judy Kaye?

Yes definately

What was most disappointing about Sue Grafton’s story?

I found it pretty much a non-story. There were kind of three threads all at the same time - but the two main ones had non of the usual investigative detail this series usually has. All of the ideas were great - i just found them lacking.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Nothing particularly stands out.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Nope - but nothing to do with this book - I never go and see a film if I have read the book. I find that the films are always disappointing. I guess that when reading you form your own idea of how things look etc but then when you see the film things are nothing like you imagined. Details are always missed out or the focus is on another character as you are viewing someone elses vison of the book not your own.

Any additional comments?

Love most of the Sue Grafton Kinsey series - I just felt that this one was written to fill a contractual obligation rather than with heart. It certainly won't stop me reading her next book :-)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Sue
  • 09-14-15

Another Sue Grafton Cracker!

I absolutely loved this. As an avid fan of Sue Grafton's alphabet series I was really looking forward to this and wasn't disappointed. Judy Kaye's narration was brilliant, the story gripping and I finished it in record time. My only disappointment is that's there's only another two to come before the series of books comes to an end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • san2har
  • 08-29-15

Another excellent story in the series

I can never wait for the next book in the series. This did not disappoint

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ann Speakman
  • 02-21-18

My Favourite Private Detective!

I am a confirmed fan of the late Sue Grafton and this book was hard to put down. Judy Kaye’s narration was perfect for me and Sue Grafton’s plot and characterisation has me hooked! I have read paper copies of all the Kinsey Millhone books and now intend to listen to all the Audible versions! What a treat. If you are a fan of American detective novels please listen to Sue Grafton’s audible collection. You will not be disappointed. Sadly, Ms Grafton has left us and she will be sorely missed. Thanks for the hours of pleasurable reading and listening Sue Grafton!

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  • mrs
  • 03-05-16

Love her books

Where does X rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Up to Sue Grafton's usual entertaining standard. Always a shame to get to the end of her books.

What did you like best about this story?

I've read or listened to all her books. The narration is really true to the character and the storyline and details make for a great book.

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  • Ms. M. Simpson
  • 09-06-15

There don't seem to be any black people in Grafton

sadly the ABC stories are getting tired, formulaic and rather empty as they near the end. Generally black people don't play a prominent role in Sue grafton's books but I didn't notice any at all in this story.

1 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • LUCY
  • 06-28-17

Loved it

Have always enjoy Grafton's work.
From the cosy humble lifestyle created to the intricate plots. Absolute comfort food.