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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Dead Land (V.I. Warshawski #20) by Sara Paretsky

Dead Land

ebook, 416 pages
Published April 1st 2020 by William Morrow

Goodreads synopsis: 
Chicago’s legendary detective, V.I. Warshawski, knows her city’s rotten underbelly better than most, but she’s unable to avoid it when her goddaughter drags her into a fight over lakefront land use, in this propulsive novel from New York Times bestseller Sara Paretsky.

Chicago may be the city of broad shoulders, but its political law is “Pay to Play.” Money changes hands in the middle of the night, and by morning, buildings and parks are replaced by billion-dollar projects.

Chicago PI V.I. Warshawski gets pulled into one of these clandestine deals through her impetuous goddaughter, Bernie Fouchard. Bernie tries to rescue Lydia Zamir, a famed singer-songwriter now living on the streets; Zamir’s life fell apart when her lover was murdered next to her in a mass shooting at an outdoor concert. Not only does Bernie plunge her and V.I. headlong into the path of some ruthless developers, they lead to the murder of the young man Bernie is dating. He’s a computer geek working for a community group called SLICK.

V.I. is desperate to find a mysterious man named Coop, who roams the lakefront in the middle of the night with his dog. She’s sure he holds the key to the mounting body count within SLICK. Coop may even know why an international law firm is representing the mass murderer responsible for Lydia’s lover’s death. Instead, the detective finds a terrifying conspiracy stretching from Chicago’s parks to a cover-up of the dark chapters in America’s meddling in South American politics. Before she finds answers, this electrifying novel pushes V.I. close to the breaking point: People who pay to play take no prisoners.


4.5 Stars

This is the twentieth book in the V.I. Warshawski series by Sara Paretsky.

It is hard for me to admit that I had never read a V.I. Warshawski novel until now. I have indeed heard of her over the years but never in enough detail to warrant reading one of her cases. This one was in a newer vein since Sara and her husband used to co-author these books and now she is doing it on her own.

This book is mostly set in Chicago and it reads a lot like a movie. It is easy to picture what is happening and how sometimes V.I. feels a bit like she is falling behind in all the technology. And in other ways she seems a master at figuring out whodunit. When she finally came to the realization of the killer, I was still clueless.

The only problem I had with this book was that it felt like it was 50 to 80 pages too long. They kept recapping things they had already said previously more than once. But the plot and storyline itself was beyond stellar. It felt like a plot pulled out of real life. And watching this all through V.I.’s eyes was quite an eye opener. 

I will definitely be picking up other books in this series. I am hooked and just want to know more about this intriguing character.

If you love a good mystery/PI/detective fiction, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

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