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Hard Time (V.I. Warshawski Novels) Mass Market Paperback – September 12, 2000
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As she has done throughout the series, Paretsky brilliantly juxtaposes strikingly different environments. Here she contrasts the dilapidated environs of the jail with the exorbitant homes of Chicago's filthy rich. In fact, readers who have anxiously awaited V.I. Warshawski's return will be glad to find that little has changed in her world. Mitch and Peppy the wonder dogs are as endearing as ever, her landlord, Mr. Contreras, is his normal fearless self, and V.I. is victorious. It really is like coming home. --Naomi Gesinger --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
V I is the quintessential urban woman. She grew up in the shadow of the old steel mills on Chicago's Southeast side and knows her way around every alley in town. She's a street fighter, a singer, a bit of a clothes horse, and a woman of great intensity and passion.
So how much like V I is her creator? They certainly come from very different places. Sara grew up in rural Kansas where she attended a two-room school. She continues to believe the high point of her life came at the age of twelve when she was picked to play third base for the Kaw Valley District 95 baseball team.
Bleeding Kansas, Sara's 14th novel, is set in the part of the Kaw River Valley where Sara grew up.
Sara first came to Chicago in 1966 to do community service work in the same neighborhood where Martin Luther King was organizing. It was a time of fierce passions in the city and in the country as people fought over racial justice, the rights and wrongs of the war in Vietnam, and women's rights. Sara has always felt that that summer changed her life forever, and when she finished her undergraduate degree at the University of Kansas, she came back to make Chicago her home. Some of the history of that summer is recounted in her essay collection, Writing in an Age of Silence.
Like V I, Sara likes to sing, in an amateur way, has a hopeless passion for the Cubs, loves Italian shoes'and is obsessed by the search for the perfect cappuccino, so much so that she even went to cappuccino school.
In other academic ventures, Sara received a PhD in American History and an MBA from the University of Chicago. In 1976, she married physics professor Courtenay Wright. The two live in the city of Chicago with their wonder dog Callie. Their lives are made brighter by their adored granddaughter, Maia.
Sara shares V I's passion for social justice. She founded Sisters in Crime in 1986 to support women readers and writers in the mystery world. To give back to the community, Paretsky established the Sara and Two C-Dogs Foundation, which primarily supports girls and women in the arts, letters, and sciences. She has endowed several scholarships at the University of Kansas, and has mentored students in Chicago's inner city schools. She serves on the advisory boards of Literature for All of Us, a literacy group for teen moms, and Thresholds, which serves Chicago's mentally-ill homeless.
Sara has received numerous awards, including the Diamond Dagger for Lifetime achievement from the British Crime Writers Association, the Gold Dagger for best novel for her book Blacklist, and the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from several different universities. Sara's books have been translated into almost thirty languages.
Top Customer Reviews
The book starts off with VI almost running over the body of an "escaped" woman prisoner and rapidly develops into a complex web of Chicago politics, media scheming, and win at all costs capitalism. All without Paretsky losing her lightness of touch and humorous prose.
Although the final third of the novel becomes rather uncomfortable because of the unremitting terrors of the womans' prison scenes, the book achieves important social commentary without being exploitive or in your face. As VI points out, this is an area of society that we non criminals never think about and if we do we reflexively agree that it should come with truckloads of punishment.
The key villain and wife, Eleanor, seem too evil to be real and the final confrontation in church is a little too contrived and symbolic. Overall though I gave it five stars for being a real page turner.
One thing: I started reading this series years ago. V.I. ages, but Golden Retreiver Peppy must be about 20 years old by now. Similarly, Old Lottie and Mr. Contreras must be about 100.
Nontheless, for fans of Sara Paretsky, her books are too few, and too far between. This is one of her best.
VI is in top form in Hard Time. Things have changed as we learn her relationship with Murray is much strained as a result of the takeover of the leading Chicago news outlets since her last book. Mr. Contreras is still looking out for her and VI is still getting herself into hot water with the local police. Yet, as usual, she prevails. A great return. Let's have more VI on a regular basis now that Paretsky has experimented with a couple of other writing genres for the past few years! VI reigns!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another great adventure with as usual, with Politically relevant subject matterPublished 5 months ago by marilyn brandt
This is my favorite VI mystery. It involves a lot of corruption in state politics. I'm from Illinois. I know Illinois has more corrupt politicians than any other state. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Martha Miller
Paretsky is writing great stories with good social awareness content. Hope she keeps adding to the discourse on abuse in society. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mary B. Briggs
Awesome story. Even by Paretsky standards. I wish I could actually meet Vic. This book is one of the best V.I. Warshawski books.Published 10 months ago by Nancy Fox
Sara Paretsky writes mystery/crime novels as gritty and realistic as Steve Martini or Robert B. Parker, but with the added ingredient of feminism. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Gregory Crispell