Detective saves the day

2008-01-16 00:00

THE latest in the Kinsey Millhone “alphabet” series pits the feisty, fallible — and thus very likable — private eye against a sociopathic adversary who is almost more than a match for her.

In T is for Trespass, Kinsey comes up against a woman calling herself Solana Rojas, apparently a nurse specialising in geriatric care. However, she’s not what she seems. In reality she’s an identity thief who preys on frail old people who are in need of home nursing, stripping them of their assets and, in more than one instance, hastening their deaths.

When Kinsey’s elderly neighbour Gus has a bad fall and can no longer manage on his own, his niece organises a nurse (Solana) to help him. The niece asks Kinsey to do a background check on Solana, which reveals nothing suspicious. However, Gus’s recovery seems to take longer than it should, and when his condition starts to deteriorate, the investigator’s instincts kick in and she starts digging a bit deeper. It doesn’t take long for Solana to figure out that she’s under surveillance but she’s already discovered that Gus’s seemingly humble home is worth a great deal of money and so she’s not going anywhere. Quite the opposite, in fact. She sets out to discredit Kinsey and to set in train the legal processes that will allow her take full control of Gus’s assets — and his life.

Realising that expressing “neighbourly concern” is not going to get her in the front door to see Gus, Kinsey turns to less orthodox (read illegal) means to check out what’s going on… and finds herself in a whole bunch of trouble. And in the meantime, it’s business as usual as she also tries to find a missing witness to a motor vehicle accident which has resulted in a huge insurance claim that reeks of fraud. Kinsey’s fans certainly won’t be disappointed and new readers who are fans of detective mysteries will enjoy an excellent example of the private-eye genre.

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