First line: "I didn't recognize him at first."
"I've lived my whole life in this city, and I know too much about how business gets done here," proclaims V.I. Warshawski in Sara Paretsky's Brush Back. The experience of both protagonist and author with Chicago's political, criminal and athletic landscapes make the seventeenth novel of Paretsky's P.I. crime series a thrillingly convincing addition to the genre.
When Warshawski's old flame Frank Guzzo shows up in her office asking for help exonerating his mother--newly released from prison after serving 25 years for beating her daughter to death--the seasoned private eye has serious reservations. This woman treated Warshawski's family viciously, and Warshawski believes Stella Guzzo is guilty of the crime for which she was convicted. But her history with Frank Guzzo motivates Warshawski's agreement to look into the case. What she uncovers leads her and her loved ones into the dark, dangerous underside of Chicago politics...and Wrigley Field.
Through three decades of V.I. Warshawski, Sara Paretsky has portrayed the strong, independent female authentically. In Warshawski's sixth decade of life--the character is now in her fifties--Paretsky continues to draw a determined, believable hero. She bleeds when she's assaulted, aches the day after and admits fear of a corrupt social system much larger and more powerful than she. But she also perseveres, "'You know how it is. I was jumping over a tall building and forgot that it takes me two bounds these days.'"
With Warshawski working to brush back the bad guys, Paretsky scores another hard-boiled winner sure to make the fans go wild.
Brush Back is available in hardcover from Putnam (9780399160578) and as an unabridged audio (9781501231315), narrated by Karen Peakes, from Brilliance Audio.