Had a couple of wisdom teeth out yesterday and I have been feeling rather battered, bruised and sorry for myself. But this morning I got notification from my library that Fallout was available for pickup and everything suddenly seemed a little bit brighter.
I've got a big bowl of home-made chicken noodle soup, some Vicodin for the pain, playoff hockey coming up on the TV, and Vic's latest adventure. What more could a girl want?
I have been told by many of my friends that once I got to "Burn Marks" I would love VI Warshawski. Since these books have been hit or miss with me I thought my friends were full of it. Happily, they were not.
"Burn Marks" delves once more into Victoria's messed up family. Her father's sister, Elena (who we have not heard of until now) is a barely functional alcoholic. She pops up on Victoria's doorstep at 3 am looking for a place to stay since the room she had in a single room occupancy (SRO) building caught on fire leaving her homeless. Victoria calls on her uncle (who sucks by the way) to help her out, but it looks like Victoria may be stuck with her aunt for sometime. Then her aunt shows up again with a friend who needs help saying that her baby died in the fire. Couple this with the fact that Victoria keeps getting warned off looking into a friend of hers background spells danger for Victoria.
Victoria is 37 in this one and feeling her age a bit. She's realized that kids and another husband are not in the cards for her. What I like though, is that it doesn't bother her at all. What made me laugh a bit about this book is that Victoria really doesn't want to be involved with looking into what her old friend is up to. But people keep acting like asses to her so she perversely decides to figure out what is going on. And for long time readers they know that Victoria is a feminist and went to school with like minded women. And the blow back she gets about not being there for women when she starts looking into what her friends is getting into felt raw and real. I love the line that she throws out that being a feminist does not mean just letting some other woman walk all over her and or turn a blind eye to whatever she's up to.
She also has a lot of guys thrown at her in this one, but resists a godson of Bobby's that is also on the police force. She realizes that her need to be independent will never work with his need to just have a woman sit there and be pretty.
And man oh man, I love that Victoria and Bobby once and for all have it out in this one. I really loathed this character (Bobby) for 6 books. His dismissing Victoria and always blaming her for being in danger (if she just get married and have kids, none of this would happen) finally hits a point that Victoria has to decide whether it is wise to even be in his life anymore.
We have appearances by Lotty and Mr. Contreras. I am really tired of the character of Mr. Contreras. Seriously. I have a bad feeling he is going to be in the rest of the books and I need him to go away.
I did laugh about the budding war between Victoria and her downstairs neighbor due to her and her late night visitors.
The writing in this one was really good and the flow worked very well. This book touches upon feminism, race, Chicago politics, etc. I can honestly say that I was wondering how everything was going to tie up in the end, but it does work wonderfully. I do wonder if Elena is going to pop up in any other books or not.
The ending left Victoria I think with finally getting some much needed respect from the police force. I do wonder though what is going to happen in the next book. Can't wait to read it.
Just figured I start and finish this one. Totally forgot I had it on hold at the library. So far for once it's moving at a nice clip and VI isn't a hot mess. Her father's sister comes a knocking one night looking to stay and VI isn't having it. Her family on both sides always sucks. No murder or crime yet.
Fallout ranks with the best of the VI Warshawski crime novels. From a simple break-in at a Chicago home, VI follows the leads to small town Kansas. From there, as usual with VI, things start to get complicated. And, as usual with VI, politics are the undercurrent The plotting is intricate but clear and the prose tight. At no time was I tempted to skim.
Here's the blurb:
A small Midwestern town is way outside VI Warshawski’s comfort zone, but in Fallout, the detective spends a month in Lawrence, Kansas, where author Sara Paretsky grew up.
At loose ends – her lover is in Switzerland while her beloved cranky neighbor, Mr. Contreras is on a Caribbean island with his niece –VI responds to a plea from a couple of college athletes: their trainer has disappeared. August Veriden is African-American and the two young women are sure he’s being framed for a drug robbery. VI starts searching, and learns that August has left Chicago, apparently accompanying an aging film star who wants young August to film her origins story.
VI tracks Veriden and the actress to Lawrence easily enough, but then she loses all trace of them. As she hunts in the town and the surrounding farms, VI starts finding dead or dying women; the local cops are suspicious of her role in their deaths.
Long-simmering conflicts in the town over an old protest at a nearby nuclear missile silo start coming to the surface, but locals won’t tell an outsider their secrets. Meanwhile, a distinguished scientist, a decorated Army colonel, and the head of a big-Ag company all seem bent on blocking the detective’s path. Who or what is the trio hiding? Are they covering up an ancient murder? Germ warfare? Missing nukes? Before long, it begins to look as though the next dead woman will be the detective herself.