Blacklist (V. I. Warshawski Series #11)

Blacklist (V. I. Warshawski Series #11)

by Sara Paretsky
4.3 20

Paperback(Large Print)

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Blacklist (V. I. Warshawski Series #11) by Sara Paretsky

This is a story of secrets and betrayals that stretch across four generations-secrets political, social, sexual, financial: all of them with the power to kill. Eager for something physical to do in the spirit-exhausting wake of 9/11, V.I. accepts a request from an old client to check up on an empty family mansion; sub-sequently surprises an intruder in the dark; and, giving chase, topples into a pond. Grasping for something to hold on to, her fingers close around a lifeless human hand.

It is the body of a reporter who had been investigating events of forty-five years earlier, during the McCarthy era, and V.I.'s discovery quickly sucks her into the history of two great Chicago families-their fortunes intertwined by blood, sex, money, and the scandals that may or may not have resulted in murder all these years later. At the same time, she inadvertently becomes involved in the story of a missing Egyptian boy whose possible terrorist connections make him very much sought after by the government. As the two cases drive her forward-and then shockingly tumble together-she finds that wealth and privilege, too, bear a terrible price; and the past has no monopoly on patriotic scoundrels. Before everything is over, at least two more people will lie dead . . . and V.I. might even be one of them.

A novel as passionate, complex, and powerfully entertaining as its acclaimed heroine, Blacklist is a stunning achievement.

Author Biography: Sara Paretsky is the author of twelve previous books, including ten V. I. Warshawski novels. She is the winner of many awards, including the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for lifetime achievement from the British Crime Writers' Association.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594130465
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 08/31/2004
Series: V. I. Warshawski Series , #11
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 720
Product dimensions: 5.54(w) x 8.48(h) x 1.27(d)

About the Author

Sara Paretsky is the New York Times bestselling author of the renowned V.I. Warshawski novels. Her many awards include the Cartier Diamond Dagger Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Crime Writers' Association and the 2011 Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master Award. She lives in Chicago.


Chicago, Illinois

Date of Birth:

June 8, 1947

Place of Birth:

Ames, Iowa


B.A., Political Science, University of Kansas; Ph.D. and M.B.A., University of Chicago

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Blacklist 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been a long time reader of V.I. Warshawski books, and I have to say that this is tops. As far as plotting and complexity of story line, it is definitely the best. The strange thing is, I have never liked Vic, the main character - she is rude and abrasive, and someone I can't identify with. In previous works the author's plots and taut writing style have carried the books beyond Vic's irritating personality. This book is probably the best example of that. It is well written and far more detailed than some of her earlier work. Vic has mellowed somewhat, but not much. She is still a witch. That can be, and sometimes is, used with great humor, but even in this latest book the humor all too often crosses into obnoxiousness. For a supposedly intelligent detective,Vic wastes a lot of time alienating people who could help her. I believe the author intends this as proof of a hard-boiled, confrontational character who is her own woman. Actually, she's just annoying. However, I really enjoyed the story, which highlights the current paranoia of post 9-11 government policies. I especially liked the irony of comparing the present-day Patriot Act to McCarthy-era witch hunts. There is ample proof that the author did her homework of the political climate of that time. Curiously, there were numerous small errors in references to turn- of-the-century social life of the very rich -it seems as if the author felt these details didn't matter. Well they don't, not for the plot line in general, but they still caught my eye. Another quibble is that the V.I. books are constantly going on about Vic's illnesses / injuries in excruciating detail. Blacklist is no exception, wasting pages on poor Vic's bad cold. We've all had colds and they are not fun; they are even less fun to read about. And contrary to popular belief, a full-blown cold does not arise immediately from a cold-water ducking. To be that sick that fast Vic must have been exposed to a virus several days previously. Then there is the obligatory injury later on - again, references to it go on for several chapters. It seems too much like a sympathy play for an unsympathetic fictional character. My final quibble was with the made-up, extremely wealthy western suburb of New Solway 'near Naperville'. Having grown up there, I recall a lot of crop farms and a few small dairy and trail horse concerns, often struggling and none of them owned by anyone remotely rich until they sold out to become shopping malls. The real old-money, horse country wealth was actually much further west - too far for fictional V.I. to commute to on a daily basis. But I suppose that naming a real town, complete with inbred aristocrats and close-minded cops (and they really ARE like that) might end in a legal challenge. Quibbles aside, this is a good book, and well worth reading. I don't think it's a super-terrific great book, but it is certainly better than most of its genre. It is also the best of Sara Paretsky's work to date.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
TdeV More than 1 year ago
Sara Paretsky’s BLACKLIST ©2003 could have been written today; it doesn’t seem like we’ve learned very much in nearly fifteen years. Our Islamophobia today sounds as rabid as shortly after 9/11/2001. Private Detective V.I. Warshawski is shocked by just how many freedoms Americans gave up with the Patriot Act. Several storylines start in the mid-twentieth century, when McCarthyism and segregation were rampant. Activists and writers and dancers pushed xenophobic publishers, patrons and politicians. There is a very clear distinction between the supremely wealthy and the rest of us poor souls, in the past and the present. Seems like we haven’t learned much in the last sixty or seventy years. And yet, this isn’t a political rant; or to be fair, the political message is what resonates when the story fades. The story gracefully unravels so many secrets until we are left with stark passion, and the heavy motivation to keep those betrayals hidden. You will ponder over BLACKLIST for a while. If you’re one of those people who like a Cast of Characters, you’ll find an easily downloadable one of BLACKLIST by Sara Paretsky on the review page on my website. Or write to me and I’ll email it to you. In case you’ve never heard why I think ALL authors should add a Cast of Characters EVERY TIME, my reasons are on my website ReviewsByTdeV dot com, search for "open letter to authors". Thanks.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Past and present collide in Sara Paretsky’s Blacklist, as the rich and famous enjoy their luxurious abodes while a poor black journalist dies. V.I. Warshawski balances truth and justice as she strives to learn what happened and why, but influential antagonists seem eager to silence her. Rich old ladies are sometimes sweet, sometimes sour, tea is served, and legacies from the McCarthy era loom. The story’s told evocatively and powerfully, in the voice of a very believable protagonist. Chicago’s streets and buildings are convincingly portrayed, together with the hills and mansions of the rich, the changing weather, and the machinations of police districts and procedures. Meanwhile discoveries are perfectly timed, bringing thought-provoking echoes of McCarthy in 911's Patriot Act. Blacklist may be long, but it’s a fast exciting read, filled with fascinating twists and turns and mystery that’s deeper than it seems. Lives and decisions, past and present, are never simple, and the race to judgment is never safe. It’s a truly enjoyable, satisfying novel, with just the right blend of action, personal narration, and thought. Disclosure: A friend gave me a copy, guessing correctly that I’d love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always, Sara Paretsky is at her best with her V.I. Warshawski books. Hard to put it down I try to make sure I do not miss one that is in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I started this book, I had high hopes of an interesting read and the expectation of another fine storyline in line with past Paretsky novels. I was sorely disappointed. This book had a convoluted plot and was extremely long-winded. I just kept hoping something would hurry upand happen already. Unfortunately, that was not to be. I slogged through the rest of the story like it eas a punishment and, when the end finally came, it proved to be highly inadequate. Questions were left unresolved but I no longer care. At least it is finally finished. Stephanie Clanahan
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BookAddictFL More than 1 year ago
I found the plot overly complicated, with a tangled web of people that it was often difficult to keep straight. Most of the characters had very little depth and not a lot to either love or hate. The writing is good and the book had moments that captured my attention.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
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¿ Review based on hardcover 2003 edition.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
harstan More than 1 year ago
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.

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.

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.

Harriet Klausner