Breakdown (V. I. Warshawski Series #15)

Breakdown (V. I. Warshawski Series #15)

3.9 30
by Sara Paretsky, Susan Ericksen
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

When a group of Chicago tweens holds a ritual in an abandoned cemetery, they stumble on an actual corpse—stabbed through the heart in a vampire-style slaying. V.I. Warshawski arrives on the scene to escort the girls home–but protecting them places her at the tangled center of the investigation. And the girls include daughters of some of Chicago’s

…  See more details below

Overview

When a group of Chicago tweens holds a ritual in an abandoned cemetery, they stumble on an actual corpse—stabbed through the heart in a vampire-style slaying. V.I. Warshawski arrives on the scene to escort the girls home–but protecting them places her at the tangled center of the investigation. And the girls include daughters of some of Chicago’s most powerful families: the grandfather of one, Chaim Salanter, is among the world’s wealthiest men; the mother of another, Sophy Durango, is running for the United States Senate. For V.I., the questions multiply faster than the answers. Is the killing linked to a hostile media campaign against Durango—or to Salanter’s childhood in Nazi-occupied Lithuania? As V.I. struggles to find an answer, she finds herself fighting enemies who are no less terrifying for being all too human.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At the start of MWA Grand Master Paretsky’s riveting 15th novel featuring Chicago PI V.I. Warshawski (after 2010’s Body Work), Warshawski goes in search of several 12- and 13-year-old girls, members of her cousin Petra’s book club, who are out after curfew. Warshawski finds the girls in a cemetery, steps away from a recently deceased man, Miles Wuchnik, who she later learns was an unscrupulous PI. Media attention on two of the girls—the daughter of Sophy Durango, a liberal U.S. Senate candidate, and the granddaughter of Chaim Salanter, a wealthy Jewish businessman linked to Durango’s campaign—intensifies an already mudslinging political race, particularly when it’s revealed that the girls were trying to perform a “vampire” ritual from their favorite supernatural novel. Meanwhile, bigoted TV host Wade Lawlor attempts to derail Durango’s campaign and slander Salanter with unfounded accusations about Salanter’s treatment under the Nazis. Amid all the ugly politics, Warshawski once again proves a dogged champion for the truth at any cost. Agent: Dominick Abel. (Jan.)
Booklist
Both Paretsky and her sharp-tongued justice-seeker, V. I. Warshawski, remain formidable in the masterfully suspenseful fifteenth novel in this superb and adored Chicago-set series. Smart and pugnacious PI V. I. continues to follow leads no matter how many cherished outfits get ruined by mud, blood, sweat, and puke, including the evening gown she wears to a glitzy gala for Wade Lawlor, the star rabble-rouser and slanderer on GEN, a shrill right-wing network. V. I. is called away by Petra, her young cousin, now a regular in the series, to look for the teenage girls Petra works with in a program that brings together daughters of penniless immigrants with daughters of privilege. V. I. finds them in a cemetery, performing a ritual inspired by their ardor for a series of vampire novels. She also finds a dead man with a metal rod driven through his heart. The ensuing morally reprehensible case, which V. I. compares to a Rubik's Cube, involves class divides, a state mental hospital, warped brother-sister relationships, a tricked-out Camaro, a Holocaust survivor's tale, a wrongful murder conviction, and the politics of hate. V. I. reigns as crime fiction's spiky, headstrong warrior woman of conscience, and Paretsky, classy champion of the powerless, has never been more imaginative, rueful, transfixing, and righteous. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Named 2011 Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, bestselling crime writer Paretsky always draws readers en masse. — Donna Seaman
From the Publisher
"With a satisfying array of baddies and the same comfortable heroes, Sara Paretsky gives her fans all they could ask for and everything they should expect."—Chicago Sun-Times

“One of the many pleasures of Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski novels is that the sharp-tongued, short-tempered detective often seems to be following clues that lead not just to the heart of whatever mystery is at hand, but also into the red-hot center of the zeitgeist itself."—Los Angeles Times

"Breakdown's riveting plot mixes the mania for vampire and supernatural novels, especially among tweens, virulent TV broadcasters, tabloid journalism, xenophobia and dirty politics.” —Sun Sentinel (South Florida)

Library Journal
Fans of V.I. Warshawski will breathe a sigh of relief as she returns in another novel filled with action, plot twists, and political maneuverings sure to set the brain and heart on edge. V.I. is called to round up teenage girls who are out in a cemetery past curfew. The girls are initiating a new member into their secret club celebrating a beloved author, and they believe they will become shape-shifters just like their favorite fictional character. Their ritual, however, is ruined when they stumble upon a very real murder victim, killed with a stake through the heart. As the investigation plays out, bodies pile up, and V.I. unravels the strings that lead from the girls and their powerful families through competing political campaigns, growing anti-immigrant sentiment, historical involvement through generations, and resurfacing stories from German-occupied Lithuania. VERDICT The 14th V.I. Warshawski title (after Body Work) is nothing less than riveting, which is what Paretsky fans expect. Lots of topical moments and references to the current sociopolitical atmosphere keep this book charged and moving. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 7/5/11.]—Julie Kane, Sweet Briar Coll. Lib., VA
Kirkus Reviews
V.I. Warshawski's 14th case entangles everyone in Chicago from a murdered private eye to a pair of Senate candidates and the world's 21st-richest man. Little do the seven tween girls invoking the spirit of that famous fictional vampire Carmilla, Queen of the Night, at a secret ceremony in Mount Moriah Cemetery know that only a few yards away lies the fresh corpse of one Miles Wuchnik, very recently added to the rolls of the dead. V.I., leaving a high-rolling party for right-wing media darling Wade Lawlor to respond to her cousin Petra's plea to find Kira Dudek, one of the tweens, wakes up the next morning to learn that although she succeeded in getting the girls away from the murder scene before the police arrived, Lawlor and all his dittoheads are implicating her in the murder of the colleague she never met. It's entirely plausible that V.I. might be taking money from billionaire Chaim Salanter to protect his granddaughter Arielle Zitter, another of the tweens. And since Salanter is a prominent contributor to the senatorial campaign of University of Illinois president Sophy Durango, it figures that Lawlor, a big booster of Sophy's opponent, creationist Helen Kendrick, would go after both Salanter and V.I. But the sad fact is that Salanter hasn't hired Warshawski (Body Work, 2010, etc.); in fact, he meets with her repeatedly only to warn her to stay off the case. Not that she's not distracted all on her own, since her old law school friend, bipolar attorney Leydon Ashford, has just been thrown from a height at Rockefeller Chapel and lies near death. Leydon's last cryptic message--"I saw him on the catafalque"--seems to connect the attack on her to Wuchnik's murder. Can V.I. put together the pieces in time to save the young witnesses from the killer? Plotted with all Paretsky's customary generosity, this standout entry harnesses her heroine's righteous anger to some richly deserving targets, all linked together in a truly amazing finale.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455823727
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
01/03/2012
Series:
V. I. Warshawski Series, #15
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.37(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"With a satisfying array of baddies and the same comfortable heroes, Sara Paretsky gives her fans all they could ask for and everything they should expect."—Chicago Sun-Times

“One of the many pleasures of Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski novels is that the sharp-tongued, short-tempered detective often seems to be following clues that lead not just to the heart of whatever mystery is at hand, but also into the red-hot center of the zeitgeist itself."—Los Angeles Times


"Breakdown's riveting plot mixes the mania for vampire and supernatural novels, especially among tweens, virulent TV broadcasters, tabloid journalism, xenophobia and dirty politics.” —Sun Sentinel (South Florida)

Meet the Author

Sara Paretsky is the author of eighteen books, including her renowned V. I. Warshawski novels. She was named 2011 Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, and is also the recipient of the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award given by the British Crime Writers’ Association. She lives in Chicago.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Chicago, Illinois
Date of Birth:
June 8, 1947
Place of Birth:
Ames, Iowa
Education:
B.A., Political Science, University of Kansas; Ph.D. and M.B.A., University of Chicago
Website:
http://saraparetsky.com/

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >