Customer Reviews for

Blacklist (V. I. Warshawski Series #11)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2004

    V. I. at top form, classy, sassy and spirited┬┐

    Dzien dobry, Sara Paretsky and Detective Warshawski¿ from a survivor - thank you for noting 9/11. So, V.I., you are off on another assignment in BLACKLIST. Hired by long-time client, Darraugh Graham to investigate 'goings on' at his family's old home near Anodyne Park in New Solway. Darraugh's feisty mother Geraldine now lives in an apartment near the property and has seen lights in the attic of the empty house, imagination or fact? On the second late-night property stakeout, Detective Warshawski encounters a young teenage female heading toward the entry of the house. The teenager takes flight and escapes during pursuit, unfortunately. Giving chase, Detective V.I. falls into five feet of murky, weedy, pond water located on the property. As she rises out of the clay-like soil, she finds a drowned male body; attempts CPR but to no avail. The dead man is identified as freelance reporter Marcus Whitby. Cause of death is listed as 'drowning' after consumption of alcohol, probably. His parents come to Chicago to claim the body and are eager to return home for burial ceremonies. Sister of Marcus engages V.I. to intervene for an autopsy to determine cause of death, officially. Why was he at the property? How come his automobile was not nearby? Why was there no identification on him other than a very wet matchbook and a pencil? Warshawski learns the identity of the teenage trespasser who is linked to an affluent Chicago family, a publishing firm owned by the Bayard's. Interrogation of young Ms. Bayard brings shallow results. The news media reports on the mysterious disappearance of a young, male Egyptian named Benjamin Sadawi. Added to the building suspense are reports of terrorist activities under investigation, adding fire and energy of implications wrought in BLACKLIST. And¿, more turmoil runs amok when 'authorities' want to gain access to student files in the elite Vina Fields Academy on Chicago's Gold Coast. The momentum builds with V.I. not deterred by any subtle hints or threats to her investigation. Suddenly, however, her employer Darraugh Graham instructs V.I. to put a halt to the investigation of the once family-owned property. Warshawski fans know that such moments of 'halt commands' only provide fuel to V.I.'s detective energy. Meanwhile, Warshawski's love of her life, Morrell is on assignment in Afghanistan. To friend and neighbor, Mr. Contreras (God love him), V.I. is known as 'doll' or 'cookie', and he continues his vigil of watching over her. Providing chicken soup, and a breakfast of French toast with bacon to maintain her well-being. As always, Sara Paretsky gives credence to the story with well-described, scenic places in Chicago, lovable and not-so-lovable characters -- some have been with Warshawski for years as others come and go. Along with the plots, questionable circumstantial deaths, and a not-to-be defeated Detective Warshawski, BLACKLIST will keep you reading through wonderfully captioned-chapters, such as: 'House of the Dead'; 'Crocodile In the Moat'; 'Stiffed at the Morgue'; 'Terrorist on the Run', and 'Shootout at the Eagle River Corral'. In true Paretsky definitive style, V.I. Warshawski continues with question upon question of what she is getting for responses - sly, half-truth, no-truth answers. To readers - check out Sara Paretsky's website¿ www.SaraParetsky.com. Review based on hardcover 2003 edition.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2004

    Gotta Get Beyond the Cold

    Sara Paretsky¿s skill as a writer surfaces through her ability to create strong empathy between reader and character. This is no more evident than by the events of Chapter 4. Our favorite character, V.I. Warshawski, catches cold pulling a dead man out of a pound. As she drags fanny, so does the reader. But when our investigator returns to form, the intensity of the plot follows suit, eventually clipping along at a pace that kept this reader turning pages well into the wee hours of the morning. By the end of the story, no character is left dangling. The reader knows the who, what, and why. However, nagging thoughts persist about how our lives fit in a country fraught by paranoia. As V.I. goes about her business of investigating, she is ¿ indeed ¿ a mellower private eye, using clever interrogation skills, rather than ¿lip,¿ to drag answers from the unsuspecting instead of alienating them. I like this deeper Warshawski. On the other hand, V.I. remains true to form by going where her case leads her, deliberately shoving aside warnings to ¿back off¿ despite threat to body and business. The author uses ¿the case¿ to explore the darker sides of Homeland Security and the power of the ultra-wealthy. V.I., herself, becomes the target of over-jealous protectors of the homeland, and the reader is reminded of just how easy it is for very real civil liberties to be trampled. Readers are also exposed to the inworkings of high-society, and how ¿different¿ they think and operate from the rest of society. I applaud this book. It takes the reader places that few would imagine when seeking to be entertained by the familiar antics of our beloved V.I. Warshawski. Blacklist not only entertains, but makes the reader look at our country in the wake of 9/11.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2003

    Thanks, Sara

    Thanks, Sara, for exceeding my expectations! Two of my favorite authors, Sara Paretsky and Patricia Cornwell came out with new books...Blowfly by Cornwell was completely disappointing - horrible! But Blacklist might be the best Warshawski novel yet - exciting, well-written and with a timely message. Thanks, Sara!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2003

    First time is a charm!

    This is my first experience with the writer and I am totally hooked. The book is also altogether different from what I have read in the past. It was a wonderful read, could hardly put it down. As I got closer to the end, I slowed down my pace in order for the wonderful story to go on and on

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Sheer brilliant storytelling

    The impact of 9/11 even in the heartland continues to have impact on residents. While her lover writer is in the Afghanistan or is that the Ubekistan area, private investigator V.I. Warshawski agrees to accept a strange case, at least from this particular client, longtime corporate customer Darraugh Graham. His ninety-year-old mother insists that she has seen lights looking out from her room in a nursing home from inside the nearby abandoned Larchmont Hall.<P> V.I. goes to the deserted building anticipating running into either homeless or teens, but instead finds the corpse of T-Square magazine reporter, Marc Whitby. Apparently, he was investigating 1950s dancer Kylie Ballantine, a victim of Olin Taverner's witch-hunt. The county declares Marc killed himself, but his wife Harriet hires her because she wonders if government officials murdered him. V.I. accepts the case though the FBI and local law enforcement want her to step back because they are investigating a case involving a possible terrorist that might have a bearing on the reporter¿s death.<P> BLACKLIST is Sara Paretsky¿s best tale in several years as the author effortlessly brings out the caring side of her sleuth without diminishing the strength of V. I. All that is placed inside a political thriller wrapped around a fast-paced who-done-it. This well written exquisitely exciting hooks the reader while also providing a warning message that the witch hunts of Salem and McCarthy are not isolated aberrations. They are a consistent part of history ( especially when people allow the flag and ¿security¿ to warp freedoms. After a dozen or so books, Warshawsky hopefully has more adventures like this one that is if she can avoid vanishing in front of a military tribunal.<P> Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2003

    Exceptional Book

    In Blacklist, we find V. I. unable to return to normal after the shock of 9/11 as long as her reporter boyfriend is still in Afghanistan. Eager for a distraction, she accepts a case from an old client. The client wants her to check out an old empty mansion that is adjacent to the retirement home in which his mother resides. His mother has reported seeing lights on the grounds and claims the local authorities think she is imagining things. Expecting to find teenagers lurking about the grounds, she is surprised to find a dead body. The body turns out to be a reporter who had been investigating events from 45 years ago. V.I. is quickly sucked into a history of secrets and betrayal crossing four generations in two great Chicago families. In the course of the investigation she accidentally becomes involved in the search for a missing Egyptian boy. The boy is believed by our government to have connections to terrorists. As she works the two cases, she discovers that wealth can bring with it a terrible price and that patriotic scoundrels exist in our past, present and undoubtedly in the our future. Sara Paretsky exhibits the best of her writing talent in Blacklist. Not only is this a compelling story, but in the aftermath of 9/11, it makes us examine our own fears and actions. I became so engrossed in the story that I couldn't put it down until I had finished the book. I completely agree with the publisher that Blacklist is a stunning achievement for Sara Paretsky.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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