RATING: VERY GOOD
It seems that Kinsey’s line of inquiry goes to the dogs when Sutton’s brother and sister appear. They have information that renders Michael’s story impossible. When he turned six, which is the date he gave Kinsey as being staying with that friend, the whole family was in Disneyland. When Kinsey says that maybe he was wrong about the dates and it could have been the week after, Diana says that is also impossible. The father of the boy he was supposedly staying with was suspected to have embezzled thousands of dollars, and by that time he and his family have fled.
Kinsey feels furious with herself and stupid. When she tells Sutton, he is in disbelief. He knows that he saw two men digging on the property, but Kinsey doesn’t believe him. It is later when she tells Henry everything that the man suggests that maybe Michael saw the two men the week before, and they could be burying the money from Rain’s kidnap when they found out that the dollars were marked and they couldn’t use them. When Michael spotted them, they knew they couldn’t leave the money there and buried the dog.
Michael claimed that he had seen one of the ‘pirates’ when they were waiting for the police to dig up whatever was on the property. This time when he goes to pick up his friend from AA, he sees Walker there and knows that this is the man. Walker gets very nervous when he notices that Michael is following him, but in the end he manages to lose him. Yet, when he gets to his hotel, he calls Jon, and they meet. Walker tells him about Sutton recognising him, but Jon tries to calm him down, saying that the only thing they could be accused of is of burying a dog. We know from the chapters in the past that the idea to get the money by kidnapping Rain came from Shelly as she and Greg befriended Jon and Walker, who sold them dope. Jon had an affair with Shelly, who got too intense for his liking, and to help his friend, Jon just made a phone call to the draft recruitment office, which prompted the couple to leave. So a few days later when Jon’s father and his stepmother returned from their trip, Jon knew he couldn’t live with them any longer, so he told Walker that they could rent a place and share, but they didn’t have money. So then Jon came up with the idea of kidnapping Rain as Shelly had planned. Jon kept the girl in his room, and then they got the money, but when they learnt that the notes had been marked, they had to get rid of it. Then they tried to do the same with Mary Claire, but the girl was taking some medication, and when they gave her some Valium, she had a reaction and died. At the end of the book, the police finds the girl’s body buried where the water heater was in Jon’s old room.
When Walker talks to Jon about Sutton, he tells him that he wants to go to the police and fess up. Jon gets nervous because he knows that if Walker confesses, he is ruined and unlike Walker, he doesn’t feel guilty. The following day Kinsey gets a phone call: they have found Sutton shot dead. Kinsey already guessed that if Walker is behind the kidnappings, then he surely was in cahoots with Jon, who was his pal back then. So she finds out his home and as he watches from her car, he sees Jon carrying suitcases to his and driving off. The man picks up Walker, and Kinsey follows him to some deserted park. It is clear that Jon’s intention is to kill Walker, but Kinsey arrives in the nick of time and saves him. At the end of the book both Walker and Jon are in jail, expecting trial, but Jon still denies everything.
As for Kinsey’s family, previously in the book Kinsey contacts Hale Brandenberg, the private detective that her grandmother hired. The man is reluctant to tell her anything at first, but in the end he reveals that Grand hired him to investigate her daughter Virginia. Apparently, the woman suspected that her daughter was a Lesbian, and she thought that this will be a good reason to gain custody of Kinsey. Hale tells Kinsey that he never liked Cornelia Kinsey, and he told her that he wouldn’t fake the reality for her aims. Hale followed Virginia, and the woman discovered him and told him so, but even after this, she kept acting the same way. Hale eventually told Cornelia that there was nothing in her suspicions, and when Kinsey asks him if he lied, the man is vague about the matter.
At home Kinsey is curious about her aunt’s personal life, and she searches the trunk where she keeps things from her aunt. She finds some photographs, recognising some of her aunt’s friends, and then she finds an envelope that she had never seen before. Inside the envelope she finds photographs of her aunt hugging Hale Brandenberg, the private investigator, and there is even one in which Kinsey as a child is sitting on the man’s lap. That is why she thought that the man looked familiar. So Virginia and Hale had a relationship, but for some reason that didn’t last.
At the end of the book, Kinsey finally goes to the party where she had been invited. For the first time, she meets her grandmother, who on seeing her confuses her with her mother, Rita. The woman is thrilled and smiling, calling her Rita, and then she asks when she is going to bring her little girl, and Kinsey answers that Kinsey is all grown up but she is sure that she will come to see him soon.
I really loved the book. Kinsey’s case was fascinating and I’m glad that the bad guys were finally apprehended. I also enjoy the personal part about Kinsey finding out about her family. That was nice, and I really love the ending with Kinsey and her grandmother.