New book – P is for Peril by Sue Grafton (Pages 1 – 64)

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Publishing year: 2000

A new case for Kinsey Millhone.

This time she is hired by Fiona Purcell, whose ex-husband Dr Dowan Purcell has been missing for nine weeks. Dr Purcell specialises in geriatrics, and the night he disappeared, he left his clinic late, and since then nobody has heard from him. Fiona, who is quite a stiff character, tells Kinsey that this is not hte first time that Dowan has gone missing. While they were married, he did it twice, and he always returned without an explanation, just telling her that he needed some time away. Fiona thought that this time would be the same, but as the weeks succeeded, she realised that this was different. She decided to hire a detective since she thinks that the police are doing nothing. Kinsey learns that Dowan left Fiona for his present wife Crystal, who used to be a stripper, because the man started to have some very peculiar sexual tastes, and Fiona wouldn’t want any part in it. Now Fiona claims that Dowan was not happy in his new marriage, and he implied so when they talked last.

Kinsey takes the case reluctantly because she knows it will be almost impossible to succeed where the police haven’t so far. After Fiona, she talks to the policeman in charge, and he tells her that Dowan had a savings account, and in the last year he withdrew 30,000 dollars. Apart from that, nobody knows anything.

Kinsey also talks to Crystal, the man’s present wife. Crystal and Dowan have a two-year-old son, and Crystal has another daughter from a previous relationship. When Kinsey talks to her, Crystal tells her that she thinks something has happened to her husband, or else he wouldn’t have gone. The reason why she is so sure is their son, who she claims was his whole life. Like Fiona has done previously, Crystal is quite critical in her opinions about her husband’s previous wife, saying that he was unhappy as Fiona and her two daughter only took from him.

Interesting. I wonder who is right here in her opinions, Fiona or Crystal? Or maybe neither of them.

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