06 February, 2010

Book 45 - "I don't know how you stay in business, Warshawski. You seem to reason with your endocrines instead of your synapses."

An update, just three days since the last! I know, I'm as surprised as you are.

Title: Tunnel Vision (1994)

Author: Sara Paretsky

Why this book?
I've read a few of Paretsky's books and enjoyed them, on the whole. This one I picked up in a second hand bookshop when I was hunting for Agatha Christies.

So what's it all about? V. I. Warshawski is a P.I. with more than a few problems. Looming largest is the fact that the building she works in is falling apart, and she can't afford to move. One of her clients has suggested - well, OK, decided - that she's going to be in charge of the rehabilitation of his delinquent college son. There's a family of homeless kids living in her basement who are too scared to seek the help of the state. Oh, yeah, and the dead body of a former law school buddy's wife has just turned up in her office.

Who killed Deirdre? Her husband, Fabian, who likes to keep up appearances when guests are visiting, but beats his wife and abuses his kids behind closed doors? Or her daughter Emily, whose own wants and needs have been suppressed for years, and who can't remember exactly what happened that night? Or is this something else, something even more sinister - something to do with the construction company that V.I. has been trying to investigate, even though everyone who knows anything has been telling her the case is too hot, that she better just give it up?

V.I. doesn't give up that easily - but then, neither does Deirdre's killer. V.I. is walking head-first into trouble, and if she doesn't back-off someone's going to get hurt - and this time, V.I. might not escape with her life...

The Good and the Bad First of all, ugh. I don't know what it was about this book, but I just couldn't get into it. I usually love Paretsky's books - I've been reading them since I discovered her short stories at high school, but this one just didn't click for me. I usually like V.I., but she was just too hard in this story - something which does have consequences for her, but it just sort of made it difficult to like her. And the plot I just found to be too confusing - V.I. is investigating several things for several clients at once, and I could never straighten out who was who in the huge cast of characters. A thumbs down, then, albeit a reluctant one.

So should I read it or what? Obviously this is not a book that I am enamoured with, but I hate to think that this review would put anyone off Peretsky's books, because usually I really enjoy them. Instead, I'll say - don't read this, but do read other books in the V.I. Warshawski series - I particularly enjoyed Fire Sale (2005) in which she goes back to coach her old high school basketball team and gets involved with local corruption and teenage romance.

Link of the day: How about some fanfiction? In this highly enjoyable Futurama fic, the Planet Express crew are attacked by space ninjas - Just Desserts.

1 comment:

Sadako said...

That fanfic looks hilarious!

Fun review, maybe I'll give it a whirl sometime.