Excerpt from O Is For Outlaw by Sue Grafton, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

O Is For Outlaw

by Sue Grafton

O Is For Outlaw
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 1999, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2001, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


I parked my car in the lot and pushed into the place, scanning the few patrons for someone who fit his description. He'd indicated he was six foot two and movie-star handsome, but then he'd snorted with laughter, which led me to believe otherwise. He'd said he'd watch the door for my arrival. I spotted a guy, who raised a hand in greeting and beckoned me to his booth. His face was a big, ruddy square, his sunburn extending into the V of his open-collared denim work shirt. He wore his dark hair combed straight back and I could see the indentation at his temples where he'd removed the baseball cap now sitting on the table next to him. He had a wide nose, drooping upper lids and bags under his eyes. I could see the scattering of whiskers he'd missed during his morning shave. His shoulders were beefy and his forearms looked thick where he had his sleeves rolled up. He'd removed a dark brown wind breaker that now lay neatly folded over the back of the booth.

"Mr. Rich? Kinsey Millhone. How are you?" We shook hands across the table and I could tell he was sizing me up with the same attention to detail I'd just lavished on him.

"Make it Teddy. Not bad. I appreciate your coming." He glanced at his watch as I slid in across from him. "Unfortunately I only got maybe fifteen, twenty minutes before I have to take off. I apologize for the squeeze, but right after we spoke, I hadda call from some guy down in Thousand Oaks needs an estimate on his roof."

"You're a roofer?"

"By trade." He reached in his pants pocket. "Lemme pass you my card in case you need somethin' done." He took out a slim Naugahyde case and removed a stack of business cards. "My speciality is new roofs and repairs."

"What else is there?"

"Hey, I can do anything you need. Hot mops, tear offs, torch downs, all types of shake, composition, slate, clay tile, you name it. Corrective and preventative is my area of expertise. I could give you a deal...let's say, ten percent off if you call this month. What kind of house you in?"

"Rented."

"So maybe you got a landlord needs some roof work done. Go ahead and keep that. Take as many as you want." He offered me a handful of cards, fanned out face down like he was about to do a magic trick.

I took one and examined it. The card bore his name, telephone number, and a post office box. His company was called Overhead Roofing, the letters forming a wide inverted V like ridge line of a roof. His company motto was: We do all types of roofing.

"Catchy," I remarked.

He'd been watching for my reaction, his expression serious. "I just had those made. Came up with the name myself. Used to be Ted's Roofs. You know, simple, basic, something of a personal touch. I could have said 'Rich Roofs,' but that might have gave the wrong impression. I was in business ten years, but then the drought came along and the market dried up--"

"So to speak," I put in.

He smiled, showing a small gap between his two front lower teeth. "Hey, that's good. I like your sense of humor. You'll appreciate this one. Couple years without rain and people start to take a roof for granite. Get it? Granite...like the rock?"

I said, "That's funny."

"Anyways, I've had a hell of a time. I hadda shut down altogether and file bankruptcy. My wife up and left me, the dog died, and then my truck got sideswiped. I was screwed big time. Now we got some bad weather coming in, I figured I'd start fresh. Overhead Roofing is a kind of play on words."

"Really," I said. "What about the storage space business? Where did that come from?"

"I figured I hadda do something when the roofing trade fell in. 'As it were,'" he added with a wink at me. "I decided to try salvage. I had some cash tucked away the wife and the creditors didn't know about so I used that to get started. Takes five or six thousand if you want to do it right. I got hosed once or twice, but otherwise I been doing pretty good, even if I do say so myself" He caught the waitress's attention and held his coffee cup in the air with a glance back at me. "Can I buy you a cup of coffee?"

Copyright Sue Grafton. Excerpted with the permission of the publisher - Henry Holt

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Stalin's Daughter
    by Rosemary Sullivan
    "There is something fatal about my life. You can't regret your fate, though I do regret my ...
  • Book Jacket: A Certain Age
    A Certain Age
    by Beatriz Williams
    Lovers of high-society gossip, there's a new set of players in town. A good 20 out of 23 of our...
  • Book Jacket: The Romanovs
    The Romanovs
    by Simon Sebag Montefiore
    The Romanovs chronicles the reigns of the 20 individuals who were considered members of that dynasty...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    All Is Not Forgotten
    by Wendy Walker

    This is fast-paced psychological suspense/thriller at it's very best.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Secret Language of Stones
    by M. J. Rose

    "A fantastic historical tale of war, love, loss and intrigue."
    – Melanie Benjamin

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Girl Waits with Gun
by Amy Stewart

An enthralling novel based on the forgotten true adventures of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!