Hardball (V. I. Warshawski Series #13)

Hardball (V. I. Warshawski Series #13)

3.9 46
by Sara Paretsky, Susan Ericksen
     
 

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The long-awaited return of V.I. Warshawski

Chicago politics-past, present, and future-take center stage in New York Times bestselling author Sara Peretsky's complex and compelling new V.I. Warshawski novel. When Warshawski is asked to find a man who's been missing for four decades, a search that she figured would be futile becomes lethal. Old

Overview

The long-awaited return of V.I. Warshawski

Chicago politics-past, present, and future-take center stage in New York Times bestselling author Sara Peretsky's complex and compelling new V.I. Warshawski novel. When Warshawski is asked to find a man who's been missing for four decades, a search that she figured would be futile becomes lethal. Old skeletons from the city's racially charged history, as well as haunting family secrets-her own and those of the elderly sisters who hired her-rise up with a vengeance.

Editorial Reviews

Victoria Iphigenia Warshawski has a gold-plate name that she doesn't use and a gritty street sense that makes her a modestly successful Chicago private investigator. On her latest Windy City assignment, V.I. (as she's universally known) learns that even a routine four-decade-old missing person case can escalate into matters much more immediate, deadly, and personal. A powerful urban thriller with an unforgettable female main character.
Marilyn Stasio
The thing about Sara Paretsky is, she's tough—not because she observes the bone-breaker conventions of the private-eye genre but because she doesn't flinch from examining old social injustices others might find too shameful (and too painful) to dig up…While her themes here are familiar…she gives them a personal spin by drawing on her own experiences as a community organizer during the summer of 1966 and sharing them with a large cast of voluble and opinionated characters, whose memories are as raw as her own. There's a real sting to both the anger of a black man who took care of a friend beaten to insensibility by racist cops and the grief of an old white woman displaced from her family home. Voices like these can ring in your ears for—oh, 40 years and more.
—The New York Times
Maureen Corrigan
This is an ambitious novel layered in the grit of recent American racial history. Paretsky has always written intelligent mysteries, but sometimes—as she did in Blacklist, her excellent 2003 Warshawski novel that wrestled with the legacy of McCarthyism—she strives for more, realizing the potential of the homegrown hard-boiled detective genre to investigate the more troubling mysteries at the heart of our national identity…V.I. may be graying and sometimes a tad grim, but she's still the gal you want beside you in a fight, be it short, dirty and physical or a longer campaign for social justice. In Hardball—a standout, nuanced mystery about civil rights struggles past and present—V.I. demonstrates, once again, that when push comes to shove, the scrappiest street fighters are from Chicago.
—The Washington Post
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.)
Library Journal
Fans of Chicago sleuth V.I. Warshawski will cheer her return (after Fire Sale) as she handles a case steeped in local politics and civil unrest. V.I. accepts a cold missing-persons case and immediately begins to unearth memories that might better stay buried deep in the past. Her own family is brought up in this investigation: her father was the arresting officer on a related case; her young cousin Petra (in town working for a rising-star politician with family ties to V.I.'s uncle) takes a sudden interest in Warshawski family history and Vic's life; and V.I. has to balance her solitary bristle with a desire for connection with the past. VERDICT Packed with Chicago history and racial and personal conflict, this story picks up quickly and is a finely honed mystery with serious depth. Expect high demand from series fans. This will also appeal to any local-crime or social- issue mystery readers. Race riots, police brutality, political bribery, Chicago's dirty history—this one has it all. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/09.]—Julie Kane, Sweet Briar Coll. Lib., VA
Kirkus Reviews
V.I. Warshawski's 13th case (Fire Sale, 2005, etc.) drags her back to Chicago's tumultuous summer of 1966. Pastor Karen Lennon, chaplain to Lionsgate Manor nursing home, wants V.I. to help elderly Ella Gadsden and her ailing sister Claudia Ardenne with a little pro bono work. The assignment-track down Ella's missing son Lamont-would be simple, if the boy hadn't vanished more than 40 years ago, and if Chicago's finest had shown the slightest interest in his disappearance. As V.I. is settling into this cold, cold case, life goes on happening in the present. She breaks up with her most recent lover. Her cousin Petra, a bright-eyed college grad from Kansas City, pops up, lands a job working on charismatic Brian Krumas's senatorial campaign and showers V.I. with questions about their family. Lamont's surviving friends stonewall and revile V.I., even if they're in jail. Yet the draw of the past is paramount. A nun who shared murdered civil-rights activist Harmony Newsome's last moments at a Martin Luther King-led march in 1966 is murdered under V.I.'s nose. Evidence links her beloved cop father to a cover-up of police torture. And Petra disappears hours after she enters V.I.'s home with a mysterious pair who turn it upside down looking for something-a plot twist Paretsky begins with and then spends 270 pages working back up to. A tormented, many-layered tale that seems to have been dug out of Chicago history with a pickax. Readers who persevere through that interminable first-half flashback will be rewarded with the tremendous momentum of the second half.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781469272603
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
12/01/2012
Series:
V. I. Warshawski Series , #13
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Sara Paretsky is the author of sixteen books, including her renowned V. I. Warshawski novels. Her many awards include the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for lifetime achievement from 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/

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Hardball (V.I. Warshawski Series #13) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
bibliotek More than 1 year ago
I have long been a fan of Sara Paretsky's detective, V.I. Warshawski, a no-nonsense, hardboiled female P.I. And this novel was a grand return of this intriguing character. The mystery is set in the city of Chicago and harkens back to a murder during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. The racial tensions of that period are almost palpable. Even a younger reader will feel the trauma of that painful time in our nation's history. The mystery of the story is a crackling one and quite intricate. It seemed like an onion, with so many layers which needed to be peeled to find the truth at the core. It was also fascinating to read about Vic's childhood and her recollections of her father, a police officer, and her mother, a frustrated opera singer from Italy. This book is quite long, at almost 400 pages. I found it to be a quick read, though, and I would have loved another 200 pages or so!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm so glad to have VI back. Ms. Paretsky is exploring new characters, and aspects of VI's family. VI's voice is still there, and I like the way characters are allowed to age and use current technology. Good book. I'm keeping it.
cewilch More than 1 year ago
It was so great to have the gift of another V.I. Warshawski novel that words can hardly describe my joy and delight in experiencing this tale! Sara Paretsky, you truly are a magnificient story teller . . your stories are so rich with detail, and alive with reality, so that not a word is wasted. A note to the author: you don't need to title each chapter like you did in this book (if you ever did this before I didn't notice, in my eagerness to get on with the story); your writing is good and clear enough that each chapter stands on its own and doesn't need the added distraction of a flippant title. I really needed this novel, at this time in my life, to bring up my spirits . . .this book will stay with me and keep me warm for days to come. My only regret is the long wait ahead for another installment in the V.I. Warshawski storyline. Thank you! Thank you!
KenCady More than 1 year ago
This one fooled me. I was ready to give it up after 60 or 70 pages as I just wasn't getting into it. There was only one review here, and that was about some other book than this one. So I re-read Marilyn Stasio's comments and stuck with it since Stasio hasn't let me down yet. Sara Paretsky took her time building her story, and I liked that it features many women in heroic roles, but it finally started taking me in only with the depth of its characters, and the honesty of the storyline. By the finish I felt quite rewarded for having read an interesting tale of crime and corruption being battled yet again by decency and honor. So you can't always tell from the beginning that a writer is going to play Hardball with your views.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to say this book started pretty slow but it picked up the pace eventually to become a fantastic read. Paretsky is still injecting too much of her own liberalism for my taste but, if you can overlook this small flaw, you will be rewarded with an enjoyable plotline. I wish all of Paretsky's books were this well thought out and interesting Good job on this one. Stephanie Clanahan
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LinnKS More than 1 year ago
These are all very good books. If you like mysteries these are some of the best.
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ANNAMARIE GOESSEL More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Very well written, with alot of history of chicago in it, but entertaining history, not the kind that drags on that you wish you could skip. Definitely ready for another v.i. book
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