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Still suffering from "exhaustion of the spirit" in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, V.I. is hired to find out who may be sneaking into a vacated suburban mansion. Geraldine Graham, the home's 91-year-old former owner, who still lives nearby, claims she's seen lights in the attic at night. Our heroine suspects this is simply a bid by the wealthy dowager for greater attention, but agrees to do some nocturnal prowling--only to stumble (literally) across the body of a dead black journalist, Marcus Whitby, in the estates ornamental pond and encounter a teenage girl fleeing the scene. The girl turns out to be Catherine Bayard, the granddaughter of Calvin Bayard, an unapologetically liberal book publisher who survived a hounding by the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee in the '50s without being blacklisted like so many of his authors. Digging deeper, V.I. learns that Whitby was doing research for a book about an African-American dancer and anthropologist who had enjoyed Bayard's support before she too was branded a Communist. Was Whitby killed en route to visit Bayard, one of Graham's neighbors--and a man who has strangely vanished from public view? And is there any connection between this murder and the disappearance of an Egyptian dishwasher, or the recent demise of a right-wing attorney and Bayard foe, in whose apartment V.I. is attacked by an intruder?
Except for a few astounding turns of luck (including the 11th-hour discovery of a revealing audiotape left in a car's player), Paretsky rolls out a credible yarn here, enriched by meticulous character development and an agreeably ambiguous conclusion. The author's intention to link McCarthy-era abuses with post-9/11 government assaults on civil rights is obvious, without being didactic, and it adds currency to a fictional investigation that's already rife with sex, betrayal, and long-held secrets among the rich. It's good to see that V.I. the P.I. hasn't lost the compassion or righteousness that first made her attractive two decades ago, in Indemnity Only. --J. Kingston Pierce
I can still see Kathryn as the vi warswski. Great novel. Love this series of books. The ending is great. Sorry to not know if reneges her just rewardPublished 1 month ago by Janet H. Hall
I am a busy writer not of mysteries but I have to give Ms. Paretsky 2 stars just because I finished this confusing book. Read more
One of the few books which I simply tossed into the garbage after forcing myself through it. I didn't figure any of my friends would be dumb enough to finish it as I did. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sandi Kay Wheatley
V.I. is supporting the ourse of justice in her own unique way, throwing up the dust and dirt in everybody's face, getting damaged in the process before leaving the world a cleaner... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Karen Svensson
This noirish PI novel is set in Chicago shortly following the September 11 attacks. It has far more depth than the typical detective novel with a backstory to the plot that starts... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Ed Reeves
I struggled to get through this book. Parts of it were interesting and then parts were just so tedious that I very nearly put the book down a few times but, rarely do I give up on... Read morePublished 10 months ago by L. Ruetz
I have been reading a lot of Scandinavian Mysteries since reading Stieg Larsson's Trilogy (Girl with the Dargon Tattoo and ...Played with Fire, and... Read morePublished 10 months ago by turtle
Too many characters. It was hard to keep track of them. She tends to confuse with all the names in her books.Published 14 months ago by Frederick Albert Fink