In 1939, Dr. Lotty Herschel, V. I. Warshawki’s closest friend in Chicago, escaped the Holocaust in Vienna with her childhood playmate, Kitty Saginor Binder. Though the two drifted and animosities grew between them over the years, when Kitty’s daughter finds her life in danger, she turns to Lotty for help. In turn, Lotty summons V.I. to take the case.
The threats on the daughter’s life at first seem a simple case of bad drug dealings, but V.I. soon discovers that they are just the tip of an iceberg of lies secrets and silence whose origins trace back to the deadly race among America, Germany, Japan, and England to develop the atomic bomb. And while the secrets may be old, the people who continue to guard them will do anything to make sure they stay buried...
Tracking down missing persons is part of V.I. Warshawski’s job. But Lamont Gadsden has been missing for more than forty years—last seen heading out into the 1967 blizzard, in the midst of Chicago’s racial unrest. V.I. figured the search would be futile. She didn’t realize it would be lethal...or lead to troubling discoveries about her own family. And when her young cousin Petra disappears, an angry preacher, a jailed gangbanger, and politics from both past and present interconnect—and plunge V.I. into a mystery as unsettling as the ’60s themselves.
A New York Times Notable Crime Book of the Year
One of NPR’s Top Five Crime Novels of the Year
In Kansas, on land that once saw some of America’s bloodiest antislavery battles, three families have coexisted for more than one hundred fifty years: the Grelliers, the Fremantles, and the Schapens. Once allies in the fight against slavery, today the Schapens and the Grelliers disagree on every subject, from organic farming to the war in Iraq, but above all on religion.
Into their lives comes Gina Haring, a relative of the Fremantles who is house-sitting the derelict family mansion while she puts her own life in order. Her lifestyle and beliefs will put her at odds with her neighbors...and test the mettle of a community being swept up in events beyond its control.
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.
P.D. JAMES called her "the most remarkable" of today's suspense writers.
STIEG LARSSON loved her work so much, he named her in his novels.
And now SARA PARETSKY returns with the most extraordinary novel of her legendary career: FALLOUT.
Before there was Lisbeth Salander, before there was Stephanie Plum, there was V.I. WARSHAWSKI. To her parents, she's Victoria Iphigenia. To her friends, she's Vic. But to clients seeking her talents as a detective, she's V.I. And her new case will lead her from her native Chicago... and into Kansas, on the trail of a vanished film student and a faded Hollywood star.
Accompanied by her dog, V.I. tracks her quarry through a university town, across fields where missile silos once flourished — and into a past riven by long-simmering racial tensions, a past that holds the key to the crimes of the present. But as the mysteries stack up, so does the body count. And in this, her toughest case, not even V.I. is safe.
Exciting and provocative, fiercely intelligent and witty, FALLOUT is reading at its most enjoyable and powerful.
No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but she’d happily avoid tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s what she ends up doing when she responds to a plea for help from an old high school flame, Frank Guzzo.
Frank’s mother Stella was convicted of killing his kid sister, but now that she’s out of prison, she’s looking for exoneration. Even though the Warshawskis and Stella never got along, V. I. agrees to make a few inquiries after she sees how hard life has been on Frank and her other childhood friends.
Only, that small favor leads her straight into the vipers’ nest of Illinois politics—and soon her main question isn’t about Stella’s case but whether or not she’ll make it out of this investigation alive...
A Washington Post Best Mystery of 2015
From the Paperback edition.
Meeting an anonymous client late on a sizzling summer night is asking for trouble. But trouble is Chicago private eye V. I. Warshawski’s specialty. Her client says he’s the prominent banker John Thayer. Turns out he’s not. He says his son’s girlfriend, Anita Hill, is missing. Turns out that’s not her real name.
V. I.’s search turns up someone soon enough—the real John Thayer’s son, and he’s dead. Who’s V. I.’s client? Why has she been set up and sent out on a wild-goose chase? By the time she’s got it figured, things are hotter—and deadlier—than Chicago in July. V. I.’s in a desperate race against time. At stake: a young woman’s life.
“Takes off with a bang—literally...V. I. remains a paragon among PIs, and Fire Sale is one of Paretsky’s best books yet.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A conscience can weigh a PI down more than the heaviest firearm—and get her into more trouble too. It’s that nagging conscience that makes V. I. Warshawski agree to fill in as coach for the girls’ basketball team at her South Chicago alma mater—which in turn leads her to the headquarters of By-Smart, the global retail empire where V. I. hopes to get some desperately needed funds for the struggling squad.
But conscience seems to be in short supply at By-Smart...with the exception of Billy Bysen, the earnest teenage grandson of the chain’s gruff, tightfisted founder. And when Billy disappears—along with a mysterious document much desired by By-Smart’s management team—V. I. is hurled onto a twisted, body-strewn path that runs through Chicago’s dirtiest places and reveals some of its dirtiest secrets...