From Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Paretsky tracks the poisonous residue of racial hatred that still seeps into Chicago life and politics in her fine 13th novel to feature gutsy PI V.I. Vic Warshawski, last seen in 2005's Fire Sale. In her search for a black man who disappeared in 1967, Lamont Gadsden, Vic reconnects with some of her father Tony's old police colleagues; pays a prison visit to Johnny Merton, a notorious gang leader she once defended in her lawyering days; and tracks down Steve Sawyer, who disappeared following a murder conviction. Vic confronts an ugly period in Chicago's history, a peaceful march in 1966 by Martin Luther King that resulted in a white riot and the murder of a young black woman, Harmony Newsome. Digging into this ancient history stirs passions and fears of what secrets might be revealed. The apparent kidnapping of Vic's fresh-out-of-college cousin, Petra, who's come to Chicago to work on a senatorial campaign, raises the ante. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sara Paretsky is on top form ... HARDBALL is a haunting novel, skilfully combining power politics and intensely personal events Joan Smith, Sunday Times 'HARDBALL is a standout ... an ambitious novel, layered in the grit of recent American racial history' National Public Radio, USA 'V.I. Warshawski, one of fiction's best female sleuths' Saga Within a racial melting pot, Paretsky hits her own personal best; HARDBALL takes the thinking woman's detective to a new level of excellence Financial Times Weekend 'The author's skill in tackling these topics [politics & feminism] in a subtle way is impressive, and the fact that she manages to couch it all in a breakneck-thriller plot is testament to her skill as a storyteller.' Big Issue on HARDBALL Paretsky has evoked - and celebrated - the multiplicity of Chicago's neighbourhoods, its old and new immigrants and its tragic history of race relations; and these years of America's financial and political decadence seem to have rekindled her passion for social justice. Times Literary Supplement HARDBALL is a big, chewy, old-fashioned yarn about a P.I. looking into a sprawling, decade-spanning web of police corruption. But when it's this entertaining, there's nothing wrong with that at all Metro Another hard hitting thriller by a doughty crusader Literary Review She is writing with the kind of passion for social justice that inspired Chandler and Hammett ... a narrative as gripping as it is emotionally wrenching. Joan Smith, The Sunday Times A strong, well-constructed novel, firmly founded in Chicago and its politics, past and present. Paretsky's plot combines racism, police corruption and family secrets - including Warshawski's - and the lost idealism of the 1960s provides a haunting backdrop. Some crime series grow stale over time, but there's no sign of fatigue here. This is partly because the recurring characters continue to develop and engage the reader, and partly because of the moral intelligence that informs the writing. Spectator Details are so rich and the dialogue so snappy that the mystery whizzes by. Guardian Packed with social themes and moral energy, held together by humor, compassion and sheer feistiness, this novel shows why Paretsky and her heroine are such enduring figure in American detective fiction Publishers Weekly (starred) With the creation of V.I. Warshawski, Sara Paretsky did more than anyone to change the face of contemporary women's fiction. Express on Sunday Tough, complex and moving, Paretsky is still at the top of her crowded genre. Bookseller The thing about Sara Paretsky is, she's tough ... she doesn't flinch from examining old social injustices others might find too shameful (and too painful) to dig up ... it's a distinct pleasure to hear her unapologetically strident voice once again The New York Times Paretsky seems incapable of writing a disappointing book. What she does consistently is to turn an unwavering gaze onto a nation's troubled history and equally troubled present. And she never loses sight of the fact that ordinary people are the victims of corruption and social injustive. www.reviewingtheevidence.com Although it's much harder to pull off something astonishing in a longstanding private-eye series, Sara Paretsky manages to do just that in her new V.I. Warshawski novel The New York Times Notable Crime Book of 2009
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
See all Editorial Reviews