When private eye V.I. Warshawski is called out to a derelict drug house in a rural town just south of Chicago she discovers something she wasn't expecting: the mutilated corpse of a man dumped in a cornfield.
It is a discovery that throws V.I. into the fascinating world of physics and invention: a design which sparked the construction of the computer as we know it the development of nuclear weapons the wonder of Newton's prisms and a train of dramatic events that occurred in war-time Vienna over seventy years ago.
With a range of suspects too scared to open up V.I. must delve deep into the past to find clues. Someone holds the answers to her questions - someone who will stop at nothing to prevent the truth from resurfacing . . .
Packed with Paretsky's masterfully crafted suspense and offering an illuminating insight into some of the greatest scientific developments of the twentieth century this is set to be V.I.'s most enlightening - and exhilarating - adventure yet.
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.