The Hunt by Jennifer Sturman

7131270This is the last in the series of Rachel Benjamin mysteries and I think it ends in a good place. Also, as a completist, I’m happy that I’m done with the series because I’ve had it with Rachel and her “man problems.” The actual mysteries are fine, but her relationship drama is ridiculous.

This last novel takes place in San Francisco, but except for dropping some tourist attractions (and the horrible misuse of “the” in front of freeway names – I see you Southern California editors!), it feels like it could be set anywhere. Of course, it’s set in San Francisco because our mystery involves a Silicon Valley nerd on the verge of becoming a billionaire with his privacy software. He’s a totally weirdo and Rachel’s friend Hillary is totally going to write an article about him. But then Hillary disappears! Did Iggie kill her? Maybe her hot FBI boyfriend that she broke up with the night before she went missing? Is she even dead? Rachel takes the usual twists and turns to get to the answers and save the day.

But during the middle of this, she’s meeting Peter’s parents and realizing how “not normal,” she is. Though I appreciate their Pac Heights address, I have a hard time buying their “Upper East Side” shtick. I mean, I guess there are still old money snobs who live in Pac Heights, who register at Tiffany’s, go for half-marathon runs every Saturday morning and find it totally normal to belong to a tennis club in Palo Alto, but it just doesn’t feel authentic to me. Additionally, Peter is a weirdo, “daring” Rachel to do without Diet Coke (why?), forgetting to tell her that he used to date one of their party guests for FIFTEEN YEARS, and pulling off the side of the road to yell at Rachel and Luisa when they are sniping at each other. It’s hard to tell if Peter’s parents actually don’t like Rachel and want Peter with Caro or are just more reserved. And Rachel doesn’t stick up for herself at all and by the end, has of course, decided that she and Peter shouldn’t be engaged at all. What Peter does next shouldn’t surprise you, but I was just glad the book was over.