The darkest and most disturbing case report from the files of Kinsey Millhone begins in 1979, at an elite private school that sets a high bar for academic achievement and turns a blind eye to the risky behavior and social sabotage students use to get what they want.
With absentee parents and the money to make mistakes disappear, they are free to make their own rules.
That is, until four teenage boys sexually assault a freshman – and film the attack.
Not long after, the tape goes missing and the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. In the investigation that follows, one boy turns state's evidence and two of his peers are convicted; however, the ringleader disappears without a trace.
Now it's ten years later and one of the perpetrators, Fritz McCabe, has been released from prison. Moody, unrepentant, and angry, he is a stunted child expecting to pick up his old friendships – until a copy of the missing tape arrives with a ransom demand. That's when the parents call Kinsey Millhone for help. As she is drawn into their family drama, she keeps a watchful eye on Fritz. He's not the only one being haunted from the past, however. The vicious sociopath last seen in X has a grudge against Kinsey and is leaving traces of himself to find. . .
(Description/synopsis, presumably provided by the publisher, slightly edited from book jacket flap.)
As most people know, Sue Grafton died this past month on December 28th, so sadly this will be the last of her alphabet mystery series. It's fitting that she went out in grand style. I have read some reviews that criticized the book for being too long, and while it may, in fact, be a tad long, it didn't affect the pleasure I got from reading the book. I have read also some reviews that criticized the book for its two story lines, commenting that it complicated the narrative. Posh, I say. Both story lines interested me.