Synopses & Reviews
Her office building is falling down, the unpaid bills are mounting up. V. I. Warshawski needs a lucrative case and needs it fast. Instead, her most important client demands that she find a community service job to keep his computer-hacking son out of jail.
At the same time, V. I. is worried about a homeless family she found in the basement of her office building. Her search for emergency shelter sends her to Home Free, a charitable organization for the homeless headed by an old college flame. She's puzzled by Home Free's cold response, and even more troubled when they start giving the runaround to a group of tradeswomen she knows.
Hard up for money, V. I. resists investigating Home Free until one of its board members is murdered in the detective's own office. The track she follows leads her to the trail of tormented runaways, abused spouses, and a cynical financial fraud that stretches from Chicago's banks to the halls of Congress.
As she nears the dramatic climax of her punishing case, with her emotional and physical resources taxed to the limit, V. I. finds she must choose between her private happiness and her sense of justice...and learns that the hardest questions she must answer are the ones she asks herself.
"V. I. Warshawski remains an appealing character, a soft-boiled detective who ages with time, who bruises when punched and who still misses her mother...best of all, she gets mad when pushed around or patronized, and goes to work determined to get even." The New York Times
"Articulate and independent...Warshawski never wears thin." San Francisco Chronicle
Stubbornness has landed private eye V.I. Warshawski in big trouble at her Chicago office. With her grand old Loop building set to be razed, she's become a hold-out tenant amid frayed wiring and scary, empty corridors. Then she finds a homeless woman with three kids in the basement, and before she can rescue them, they disappear. Worst of all, she's been implicated in a murder--after the body of Deirdre Messenger, a prominent lawyer's wife, turns up sprawled across her desk.
V.I., who had volunteered with Deirdre at a women's shelter, suspects her death is linked to a case of upper-class domestic abuse so slickly concealed that the police refuse to believe it. Increasingly at odds with the cops, V.I. is blindly plunging ahead after the truth. And her path may lead to corruption at the highest levels.or deep into the abandoned tunnels beneath Chicago's streets, where secrets are hiding in the dark like a child's--or V.I.'s--worst nightmare.