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Reading Slothfully

I was told in elementary school that I only could read at half the speed for success in college. Oh well, one benefit of slow reading is you get to live with the characters a longer period of time. I read in a vain attempt to better understand people. At my other homes, I'm known as a spouse, pop, guy in the choir, physical chemist, computer/web dilettante and child-care provider. In theory, I'm a published author, if you consider stuff like Quenching Cross Sections for Electronic Energy Transfer Reactions Between Metastable Argon Atoms and Noble Gases and Small Molecules to count as publications. I've strewn dozens of such fascinating things to the winds.

Currently reading

A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
The Way Some People Die
Ross Macdonald
Envy of Angels
Matt Wallace
The Fellowship of the Frog
Edgar Wallace
Code of Conduct (The Jani Kilian Chronicles Book 1)
Kristine Smith
A Good Death
Christopher R. Cox
The Black Cargo
John P. Marquand
A Highland Christmas
M.C. Beaton
Tales from Moominvalley
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
Moominland Midwinter
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton

U is for Undertow (Kinsey Millhone, #21)

U is for Undertow (Kinsey Millhone, #21) - Sue Grafton For a short time at the beginning of this book, I was wondering why I'd decided to revisit Kinsey Millhone quite so quickly. Then the story drew me in and I found it a compellingly GoodRead.

Kinsey is visited by a young man, Michael Sutton, who claims to have suddenly remembered, after reading a story about a young girl's abduction and subsequent disappearance, of having, at the age of six, seen two men burying "something". He decided it was the body of the young girl who had been abducted, because he felt that the dates matched up. The police had long since given up on that case, and they sent the young man to Kinsey Millhone. She decided his description of the setting was sufficiently detailed that she convinced the police to dig around the site the young man pointed out. All they found was the body of a dog, along with the dog's tag.

Kinsey gets curious about why the dog tag indicated that the dog didn't live anywhere near the back woods in the tony community where its remains were found. So, one thing leads to another and all becomes clear by the end. I won't tell you anything more. You should read the book yourself.

One thing I found interesting is that the book jumped back and forth between Kinsey's mucking about in April, 1988, to the lives of three, not obviously related, people living in 1963, 1967 and also, some of the time in 1988 while Kinsey was following her investigations.

So, we have a disaffected high school student, Jon Corso, whose mother dies from some illness, like old-time consumption, when he was ten, and while his father was away. The father subsequently marries a toxic woman, one bent on total control of all around her. When Jon first met her, he was reminded of a black wasp, ready to sting anything in her way. She banishes the boy to an attic suite over the garage, so as to keep him away from her daughters from a prior marriage.

Then, we have a couple, the Unruhs whose son, Greg, turns into a hippie and parks out in their driveway in a yellow school bus along with a dominating, "go with the flow, dude" nature woman, "Destiny", and her 8-or-so-year-old son, "Sky Dancer". The hippie woman gives birth and a few days later and then packs up Greg and her own son and abandons her new-born daughter, "Rain". Baby Rain had been a pain in the ass because she didn't take to nursing immediately, and so cried a lot from hunger and lack of nurture. The Unruhs adopt Rain, and she subsequently thrives.

Finally, we have a successful banker, Walker McNally who "drinks a bit". He promises his spouse he will lighten up, perhaps even go "sober". But one weekend, while his spouse and child are away, he falls off the wagon and kills a young woman in a car accident.

So what, if any, are the relationships between Michael Sutton, the Unruhs, The hippies in the yellow school bus, Jon Corso, and Walker McNally that tie them together in the story? Well, that's for you all to find out. Hope y'all have as much with that process as I did.