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T is for Trespass    by Sue Grafton order for
T is for Trespass
by Sue Grafton
Order:  USA  Can
Putnam, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

Sue Grafton has made steady progress through the alphabet, and now she gives readers T is for Trespass, private investigator Kinsey Millhone's latest thought-provoking adventure.

When Kinsey's curmudgeonly and fiercely independent neighbor Gus Vronsky falls and injures himself, the crusty old man suddenly finds himself reluctantly relying upon the assistance of long-term home-based health care. Based upon inquiries by his east coast niece and basic background investigation by Kinsey, Gus will depend upon fifty-two year old Solana Rojas, a single mother and a bona fide nurse with impeccable credentials and plenty of experience.

There is, however, a serious problem that neither Gus nor Kinsey has anticipated. Solana is an imposter. And soon, with Gus under her control, the predatory woman calling herself Solana Rojas begins to isolate and take advantage of the nearly friendless senior citizen.

The sociopath Solana's abusive and manipulative duplicity knows no limits, and - in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, stunning discoveries, and incredible dangers - Kinsey may be the only person who can stop the determined Solana and save the paradoxically helpless Gus.

Readers looking for a story with a social message rather than an old-fashioned whodunit mystery will enjoy Grafton's assault upon the 'malfunctions of our elder care system', including the 'sins of omissions in nursing homes' and the 'sins of commission in home care.' And Kinsey, in an uncharacteristic Pollyanna moment, sums up her attitude and her adventure near the end: 'I don't want to think about predators. I know they exist, but I prefer to focus on the best in human nature ... but I do hold to the good, working whenever possible to separate the wicked from that which profits them.'

With T is for Trespass, Grafton is clearly closing in on the end of the alphabet, and - at least for this reader - perhaps the author has forgotten the keys to her earlier success because many of her earlier entries in the series are far superior to, and far more interesting than, this current offering. Here's hoping that the forthcoming U through Z mysteries will be more reminiscent of Grafton's earlier tales.

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