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Chicago’s V. I. Warshawski “is at her stubborn, reckless, compassionate best in this complicated page-turner about selfish secrets passed down through generations” (Booklist).
In 1939, Dr. Lotty Herschel, V. I. Warshawki’s closest friend in Chicago, escaped the Holocaust in Vienna with her childhood playmate, Kitty Saginor Binder. Though the two drifted and animosities grew between them over the years, when Kitty’s daughter finds her life in danger, she turns to Lotty for help. In turn, Lotty summons V. I. to take the case.
The threats on the daughter’s life at first seem a simple case of bad drug dealings, but V. I. soon discovers that they are just the tip of an iceberg of lies secrets and silence whose origins trace back to the deadly race among America, Germany, Japan, and England to develop the atomic bomb. And while the secrets may be old, the people who continue to guard them will do anything to make sure they stay buried...
V.I. Warshawski helps out her closest friend, Vienna-born Dr. Lotty Herschel, when an unwelcome figure from Lotty's past resurfaces in MWA Grand Master Paretsky's stellar 17th novel featuring the Chicago PI (after 2012's Breakdown). Lotty and another Viennese girl, Kitty Binder, were sent to London in 1939 on the Kindertransport. After the war, Lotty settled in Chicago, while Kitty arrived in the area some years later. Lotty gets in touch with V.I. after Kitty's drug-addicted daughter, Judy, leaves a message claiming that she and her college-age son, Martin, whom she had left in Kitty's care, are in danger. Judy then vanishes. V.I.'s investigation takes her from the high-tech world of computer engineering to a literally stinking meth pit in a farm town outside Chicago, on the hunt for the now-missing Judy and Martin. V.I. also unearths WWII secrets related to the race to build an atomic bomb. Paretsky builds the suspense by deftly weaving the contemporary narrative with flashbacks to Lotty's Austrian childhood. Author tour.