Chicago’s V. I. Warshawski confronts crooked politicians and buried family secrets in this gritty mystery from New York Times bestselling author Sara Paretsky.
No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but she’d happily avoid tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s what she ends up doing when she responds to a plea for help from an old high school flame, Frank Guzzo.
Frank’s mother Stella was convicted of killing his kid sister, but now that she’s out of prison, she’s looking for exoneration. Even though the Warshawskis and Stella never got along, V. I. agrees to make a few inquiries after she sees how hard life has been on Frank and her other childhood friends.
Only, that small favor leads her straight into the vipers’ nest of Illinois politics—and soon her main question isn’t about Stella’s case but whether or not she’ll make it out of this investigation alive...
A Washington Post Best Mystery of 2015
Chicago PI V.I. "Vic" Warshawski's 18th anticrime foray takes her back to her old neighborhood and her second recorded case, the murder of her beloved cousin, hockey great Boom-Boom Warshawski (the basis for the plot of 1984's Deadlock). Frank Guzzo, her flame, approaches Vic with a sensitive issue: his mother, Stella, just finished 25 years in prison for murdering Frank's younger sister, Annie, and she's now proclaiming her innocence. Vic agrees to look into the matter, but is floored when Stella accuses the detective's beloved late cousin of having a hand in Annie's murder. Actress Peakes, assuming reading duty from Susan Ericksen, has the narrator-sleuth sounding a little younger and speaking a little faster, with the angry edge that was previously part of the characterization now reserved for the times when Vic really is angry. As for the other players, Peakes smoothly adds to Frank's weakness under pressure with stammering and halted speech, manages a bit of gravitas when limning the lawyers and rabbis on Vic's info-gathering list, and does a fair imitation of the Windy City Irish accent during her visits to the old neighborhood. A Putnam hardcover.
The Boring Chase Scene
It seems every murder mystery now comes with a chase scene. Do editors now require this because chase scenes make popular movies? They don't impress me. I skipped a major portion of the ending because of the worthless addition. Didn't VI get beat up enough?
The whole under the bleachers hunt could have been omitted. I figured out where to look for the diary so could VI without her godchild being kidnapped. Even so, this was a good read.
The complexity of the characters and all the twists and turns in the plot make for entertaining reading.
The Reader Is Right Over Her Shoulder
My main standard for a good book is how close to the action I feel. In this novel, Sara Paretsky made me feel as if I were right next to Vic Warshawski every moment. Ms. Paretsky's writing style is so intimate and seductive that you live and breathe every moment of the story. Many of this author's books are good. This is excellent!