Fans of Sue Grafton will say that she never writes the same book twice and I agree with this but in S is Silence she definitely harkens back to a couple of her previous stories. The story immediately reminded me of Q is for Quarry and N is for Noose. That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book. I did. But for the first time I felt she was recycling ideas.
Kinsey is hired to find out what happened to Violet Sullivan 30-some years ago. She disappeared without a trace leaving a 7 year old daughter who, as an adult, needs to know what happened to her.
All the major players are still in the area and it’s a matter of getting them all to talk. All the old feelings come bubbling to the surface as Kinsey investigates and she stirs up some secrets that some people don’t want stirred up.
The thing that is quite different about this book is the technique Sue Grafton uses to write it. It flashes back and forth between the year of the murder and the present day. I think it works well for the story. I’ve read other authors who tried this and didn’t do it nearly as well. It’s an effective technique when done well and this is. While the story may be reminiscent of some earlier books, it’s still a very enjoyable read.