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Publisher's Summary

Dr. Dowan Purcell had been missing for nine weeks when Kinsey got a call asking her to take on the case. A specialist in geriatric medicine, Purcell was a prominent member of the Santa Theresa medical community, and the police had done a thorough job. Purcell had no known enemies and seemed content with his life. At the time of his disappearance, he was running a nursing care facility where both the staff and the patients loved him. He adored his second wife, Crystal, and doted on their two-year-old son.


It wasn't Crystal who called Kinsey. It was Purcell's ex-wife, Fiona. Everything about their meeting made Kinsey uneasy. Fiona's manner was high-handed and her expectations unrealistic. Kinsey's instincts told her to refuse the job, yet she ended up saying, "I'll do what I can, but I make no promises." It was a decision she'd live to regret.


Pursuing the mysterious disappearance of Purcell, Kinsey crashes into a wall of speculation. It seems everyone has a theory. The cops think he went on a bender and is too ashamed to come home. Fiona is sure he ran off to get away from Crystal, and Crystal is just as sure he's dead. The staff at the nursing home is convinced he's been kidnapped, and one of his daughters, having consulted a psychic, is certain that he's trapped in a dark place, though she doesn't know where. Kinsey is awash in explanations and sorely lacking in facts. Then pure chance leads her in another direction, and she soon finds herself in a dangerous shadow land, where duplicity and double-dealing are the reality and, with the truth glinting elusively out of reach, she must stake her life on a thin thread of intuition.


©2001 by Sue Grafton; (P)2001 Random House, Inc.; Random House AudioBooks, a Division of Random House, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Unlike many detective series, Grafton's seems only to get better each time out." (Entertainment Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Inga Duncan on 06-26-03

Unabridged all the way!

In a Sue Grafton, nothing is irrelevant! I love what Judy Kaye does with the character's voice and tone. This was a great read.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By Bill on 09-10-12

Grafton Continues to Shine ~ A Creditworthy Peril

The second half of the alphabet seems to be Sue Grafton's friend. The series faithful have watched her skills and her characters develop and Peril continues this creditworthy trend.

Gone is the formulaic "Respectfully Submitted By" conclusion. Gone are many of the unnecessarily snarky Kinsey-isms. And gone are the predictable plots and stagnant characters. The faithful endured all that in the early books. Now is the pay off.

Kinsey is MUCH more rounded. Her emotions and actions more understandable. Her skepticism and irony much more realistic and appropriate, no longer overdone or superfluous. And even her more off-putting revelations (did we really need to know her panties were warm and damp at one point) are believably Kinsey-ish.

Secondary characters are better drawn, more fully developed, less predictable and much more realistic. They "could" be real people ~ they have character flaws and idiosyncrasies and often behave just a little unexpectedly. Once revealed, their motives make more sense and are not simple devices to get us to the end of the story, as has sometimes been the case in this series.

This is an easy, diverting listen, well narrated. We aren't talking Dickens or Twain here, but you don't expect that from Sue and Kinsey. You expect an interesting escape and with Peril, you have a fine one.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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