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Summary

Summary

LEE CHILD says she's "a genius."

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.


Author Notes

Author Sara Paretsky was born in Ames, Iowa on June 8, 1947. She received a degree in political science from the University of Kansas and ultimately completed a Ph.D. in history at the University of Chicago; her dissertation was entitled "The Breakdown of Moral Philosophy in New England Before the Civil War." She also earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. She married a professor of physics (University of Chicago).

The protagonist of all but two of Paretsky's novels is V.I. Warshawski, a female private investigator. V. I. Warshawsky shows a female detective succeeding a traditionally male role.

Paretsky has won numerous awards for her work including the Silver Dagger Award for Toxic Shock, the Gold Dagger award for Blacklist, and the Diamond Dagger for Lifetime achievement from the British Crime Writers Association.

Her title Brush Back made the New York Times Best Seller List in 2015.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Hard to believe anything could drive V. I. Warshawski out of Chicago, but here she is, in this eighteenth series entry, in Lawrence, Kansas. The case starts in Chicago, where she's hired to track down a missing film student and a black actress popular in the 1980s. The pair have headed to Kansas, the actress' childhood home, to film her life story, so V. I., along with her dog, Peppy, hits the road. In Lawrence, V. I.'s search pulls her into conflicts with the military at nearby Fort Riley, with the county sheriff, and with a suspicious agribusiness with government connections. Racial tensions still simmer in this outwardly liberal bastion that was founded by abolitionists, and V. I., the outsider from Chicago who makes no adjustment to her brash style, is not viewed positively by anyone. She learns of secrets, murders, and unsolved disappearances related to 1980s protests against a missile silo, and, since these turn out to be critical to her current case, she persists, putting her life in jeopardy. The result is addictive storytelling with Paretsky in fine form. Vic may not know the country, but Paretsky, who grew up near Lawrence, is on home turf. She describes the landscape and its denizens with the same affection and sharp eye with which she depicts Chicago neighborhoods. Paretsky is at the top of her game here, evidenced by the satisfying, layered puzzle peopled by a vividly described and intriguing cast.--Saricks, Joyce Copyright 2017 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In MWA Grand Master Paretsky's intriguing, if flawed, 19th V.I. Warshawski novel (after 2015's Brushback), the Chicago PI looks into the disappearance of August Veriden, a quiet young man with dreams of working behind the camera. She learns that August became enamored of Emerald Ferring, a black actress well known in her community but little known to white people. With some cajoling, Warshawski persuades Emerald's close friends to let her follow August and Emerald's path to the University of Kansas in Lawrence, where Emerald was once a student and August was planning to film a documentary about her. On arrival in Lawrence, the detective is welcomed with less-than-open arms. Unfortunately, Paretsky loses the Emerald thread midway as Warshawski becomes entangled in small-town politics, particularly those involving the mentally ill daughter of an eminent scientist and the town's history as a spot for anti-nuke protests in the 1980s. Sharply drawn characters partly compensate for a plot that's fascinating when it stays on track but too often meanders. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Agency. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

In the latest addition to the V.I. Warshawski canon (after Brush Back), the Chicago sleuth hits the road after Bernie, her cousin's goddaughter, pleads with her to take a case. Bernie's friend, budding filmmaker August, has gone missing, and a break-in at the gym where he works has alarmed her. As V.I. soon discovers, August isn't the only one missing. On an odd trail, she packs up her dog Peppy and sets off on a journey to Kansas to find the hometown of former film star Emerald Ferring, hoping her fanboy filmmaker is with her. Taking V.I. on tangents from her original quest, her Kansas trip spawns inquiries she never anticipated, leading her into the realm of one town's deeply buried family secrets, racial division, murders old and new, corporate land grabs, and a little bioterrorism to shake things up for good measure. True to V.I. form, she follows her investigation to wherever it leads, no matter how bumpy or dangerous. Verdict Paretsky's novels are never dull, but this one, marking the author's debut with a new publisher, is particularly involved and multifaceted. Mystery/detective/crime novel fans will relish this satisfyingly hefty tale. [See Prepub Alert, 10/17/16.]-Julie Kane, Washington & Lee Lib., Lexington, VA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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