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Fire Sale: A V. I. Warshawski Novel (V.I. Warshawski Novels)by Sara Paretsky
Synopses & Reviews
V. I. Warshawski may have left her old South Chicago neighborhood, but she learns that she cannot escape it. When V. I. takes over coaching duties of the girls' basketball team at her former high school, she faces an ill-equipped, ragtag group of gangbangers, fundamentalists, and teenage moms, who inevitably draw the detective into their family woes.
Through young Josie Dorrado, V. I. meets the girl's mother, who voices her worries about sabotage in the little flag manufacturing plant where she works. The biggest employer on the South Side, discount-store behemoth By-Smart, pays even less, and Ms. Dorrado doesn't know how she'll support her four children if the flag plant shuts down.
The elder Dorrado's fears are realized when the plant explodes; V. I. is injured and the owner is killed. As V. I. begins to investigate, she finds herself confronting the Bysen family, who own the By-Smart company. Founder William "Buffalo Bill" Bysen, now in his eighties, has four sons who quarrel with each other and with him; the oldest, "Young Mr. William," is close to sixty and furious that his father doesn't cede more power to him. And then, there's "Billy the Kid," Young Mr. William's nineteen-year-old son, whose Christian idealism puts him on a collision course with his father, his grandfather, and the company as a whole.
When Billy runs away with Josie Dorrado, V. I. is squeezed between the needs of two very different families. As she tries to find the errant teenagers, and to track down a particularly cruel murderer, her own life is almost forfeit in the swamps that lie under the city of Chicago.
"Private eye V.I. Warshawski takes a break from tony Lakeview to fill in for her old high school basketball coach on Chicago's South Side in her 12th adventure. Vic starts her volunteer stint looking for a team sponsor at megadiscount store By-Smart, whose founder, Buffalo Bill Bysen, is a fellow alum. Of all Bysen's cutthroat, cost-cutting family, only idealist 19-year-old Billy shows any interest in helping the team. When he disappears, his frustrated father hires Vic to find him. The mother of a high school basketball player also hires Vic to investigate sabotage at the flag factory where she works — an investigation cut short when the factory blows up before Vic's eyes. Things go no better at school or at home, and clues pile on but they don't add up. Vic takes her lumps as she makes her way from a fundamentalist church, where the pastor goes to extremes for his flock, to the city dump, where villains try to bury their secrets. Paretsky has recently tackled the Holocaust (Total Recall) and globalization (Hard Time); here she explores the struggles of the working poor and the schemes of the rich and infamous. Packed with social themes and moral energy, held together by humor, compassion and sheer feistiness, this novel shows why Paretsky and her heroine are such enduring figures in American detective fiction. Agent, Dominick Abel. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[O]ne of [her] best....Paretsky has never been better than she is here at evoking a sense of place....Nothing seems forced as Paretsky plays socioeconomic realities against a universal story of passion and jealousy..." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Warshawski's tense, sharp 11th shows that you really can go home again." Kirkus Review
"Curl up with the newest V.I. Warshawski adventure...and welcome back an old friend for a tumultuous summer visit. Sara Paretsky has fashioned another gripping chapter in the ongoing adventures of the Chicago private investigator..." Chicago Sun Times
"Fire Sale is the 12th outing for Sara Paretsky's intrepid and sharp-tongued private eye, and while V.I. Warshawski may be older and even wiser, she's lost none of her trademark wit or moral indignation..." Chicago Tribune
"Fast-paced and as entertaining as any entry in the series, this installment will please fans. Recommended." Library Journal
"In Fire Sale, as in her past three books, Paretsky shows increasing mastery of the mystery as a vehicle for social criticism....While the plot relies a little too heavily on coincidence, it moves well." Boston Globe
"[A] moving and multilayered novel that is an improvement over Sara Paretsky's last few, sluggish efforts....Or maybe it's the plot that has more energy — single and stubborn V.I. has always been able to handle herself." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"V.I. continues to be an admirable main character. She is human and flawed, yet acts from a strong crusading sense of social justice, fighting for the helpless. Fire Sale is an excellent read." BookReporter.com
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.…
Warshawski takes over coaching duties of the girls' basketball team at her former high school. Shortly after the mother of one of the players voices concerns about sabotage in the manufacturing plant where she works, a deadly explosion occurs. A "Chicago Tribune" Best Book of the Year. Premium edition.
About the Author
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.
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