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In the Wind Hardcover – April 29, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Chicago PI Anni Koskinen investigates a case ranging from the Vietnam era to a current FBI manhunt in Fister's explosive follow-up to 2002's On Edge. As a favor, Koskinen agrees to take Rosa Saenz, one of her friend Father Sikora's community center volunteers, to Bemidji, Minn. That innocent errand sets the ex-cop on a path that will bring her into conflict with FBI agents, her former Chicago police colleagues and even her mentor, FBI Agent Jim Tilquist. In 1972, Tilquist's FBI father, Agent Arne Tilquist, was murdered, and the bureau is still tracking his killer. Fister expertly brings the turbulent past into focus with emphasis on Ishkode, a militant splinter group of AIM (the American Indian Movement), and the FBI's questionable responses to such movements. The Windy City already has plenty of fictional PIs, but they'll have to make room for the gutsy and appealing Anni Koskinen. (June)
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"Barbara Fister is the heir apparent to Sara Paretsky.  IN THE WIND is an intriguing mystery, filled with great characters, an interesting and needed perspective on the city of Chicago, and a strong grounding in the politics and history of the past thirty years.  Read it.  You'll love it."--Kris Nelscott Edgar and Shamus award nominated author of the Smokey Dalton series
“An engaging character, a fast-paced plot, and a story that draws thought-provoking parallels between the turbulent 1970s and the world we live in today.  An excellent second novel!” – Marcia Muller, creator of the Sharon McCone series
"A tour de force of masterful storytelling, with scar tissue strong enough to stretch from the Vietnam era to today's assault on civil liberties. And Anni Koskinen is just the character to pull it all together - strong, honest, and caring - and all too capable of demonstrating both the power and danger of past mistakes. With In The Wind, Barbara Fister has created a vivid, intricately plotted and emotionally resonant novel that will stay with you a long, long time." –Louise Ure, Shamus Award-winning author of The Fault Tree

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312374917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312374914
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,875,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A native of Madison, Wisconsin, I've lived in Kentucky, Texas, the Middle East, North Africa, and on the coast of Maine. Now I live in rural Minnesota, where I work as an academic librarian at a liberal arts college. My research interests are wide, not to say idiosyncratic, but they all have to do, one way or another, with how various media shape our understanding of the world. I'm particularly interested in the role of anxiety in the formation of social issues - in life and in fiction. I explore the way communities sometimes embrace oversimplified expanations for evil in On Edge and how anxiety becomes a device for the suppression of dissent in In the Wind.

Good crime fiction is immensely satisfying. It's entertaining, has well-paced, involving stories and intriguing characters. It provides that little rush of adrenaline - which, as Val McDermid has said, is "a fabulous drug. It produces a great high, it's legal and it's free." For many readers, crime fiction is reassuring because in the end order is restored. But the best crime fiction does more than reassure. It helps form our understanding of social issues, and by drawing us into an exploration of that which disturbs us, it can give our deepest fears narrative form and meaning.

The photo of me was taken by author Mark Coggins at LCC Denver and is used with his blessing. You'll find some of his fine photography adorning his equally accomplished mysteries.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Mann on May 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book should get an Edgar. Barbara Fister proves herself once again to be not just an skillful weaver of multiple strands of plot but also a novelist of extraordinary character-insight. Her people are real: complicated, flawed, injured, hopeless, loving, funny, petty, and noble, frequently in succession but always believably so, even down to little details, quirks, and reactions. Her main character Anni Koskinen, a resigned (more like "forced out") Chicago cop turned PI, is entirely different from Fister's previous sleuth Konstantin Slovo in her 2002 book _On Edge_; and Slovo was a real piece of work unto himself, well worth your acquaintance.

The plot, although quite intricate in involving a score of characters with distinctively different motivations, is coherent in a way that reads as organically developed rather than mechanically impelled; and it all culminates in a climax that, while stunning, is (in retrospect) well prepared for by earlier clues--which, of course, Koskinen picks up on while the rest of us are just swept along.

But it's not just the characters and the plot that work so well: it's also Fister's _writing_. She has a way of striking off deft descriptions that repeatedly make you want to write "Yes!" in the margin; here's just a very small sample:

"I knew him from working in Area 4. He was one of those guys with big feet who worked the phones and typed reports with two fingers, collected his paycheck, and counted the days to retirement, which would be spent in a rustic cabin in Wisconsin, where shellacked fish decorated knotty-pine walls."

"He was a weedy-looking guy, the kind you'd expect to get picked on in school, or made someone's punch the first day in the joint.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Miz Ellen VINE VOICE on April 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Anni Koskinen had to blow the whistle on a fellow Chicago cop and it cost her her career. As she's in the process of hanging out her shingle as a private eye, she gets a call from the priest of her neighborhood church. A church worker needs a lift - could Anni oblige? She does only to discover that the woman she has aided is a 60s radical wanted by the FBI for the murder of an agent. To make matters worse the dead man is the father of Anni's mentor, the man who convinced her to become a cop in the first place. As Anni reviews that old investigation she notes things that just don't add up and she becomes convinced that the woman she helped was innocent of the murder. But as she tries to uncover the truth she runs afoul of the present polices of Homeland Security - and no one connected to her is safe from retribution.

This dynamic thriller will keep a reader locked to its pages as the author has a gift for creating real people facing modern dilemmas. The pacing of the plot is the imperative. One is so caught up in the story one scarcely has time to note that the author is touching on both the raw wounds of the past and the controversies of the present.

One of the shining aspects of this novel is the sensitive way the author treats the character of Martin, Anni's autistic older brother. Barbara Fister, in only her second mystery novel, has shown she can write a suspenseful thriller that leaves the reader thinking.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on August 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Barbara Fister is a powerful emerging voice in the mystery genre. She is a rising star with her intriguing, fast-paced plots and her rich and fully developed characters. Her heroine is smart, strong, honest and tough, and she's not afraid of a fight.

Anni Koskinen is a cop's cop. She loves her job (it's the only one she ever wanted) and because of her pride in her profession and honesty she's been forced from the life she loves. After testifying against a fellow officer, she's forced out and into the big bad world of `what am I going to do and do I want to do it?'

Anni decides to use her talent and work as a private investigator. She receives a call from her priest. Anni is needed to help out a woman by the name of Rosa Saenz. Anni learns that Rosa is a former radical who is wanted by the FBI for a 30-year-old murder. To further complicate things, the murdered man is the father of Anni's mentor.

Annie reopens the old murder case in the attempt to clear the former radical's name. As she follows history, it becomes clear that the authorities have a great need to find Rosa guilty-not find the murderer. If Anni isn't careful, her digging into the past could mean her demise.

When you close the book, you'll want more of Barbara Fister's wonderful novels.

Armchair Interviews says: In the Wind is a thriller that will grab your attention and keep you turning the pages.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Julie Campbell on May 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In This Wind works on multiple levels. As a straight up mystery, Fister gives us a fascinating cold case that is both a whodunnit and a whydunnit. On a psychological level it's also a study of people who live their beliefs and what happens when diametrically opposed beliefs clash. Lastly, on a political level, it demonstrates what happen (and has happened in the past) when security trumps freedom. As a bonus it gives us a set of the most rounded, developed characters I've read about in a long time. Love them or hate them, they are real.
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