BLACKLIST by Sara Paretsky

BLACKLIST

KIRKUS REVIEW

Paretsky exploits post-9/11 paranoia to take up for the little guy once more, as V.I. Warshawski gets her First Amendment rights stomped while fencing with obstructive witnesses and unreliable clients.

As her lover Morrell fights the good fight in Afghanistan, Warshawski (Total Recall, 2001, etc.) fancies herself a 20th-century Penelope with a p.i. license. She uses it to investigate longtime corporate client Darraugh Graham’s 90-year-old mother’s complaint that she sees lights from her nursing home window in long-abandoned Larchmont Hall next door. The first thing Vic finds is a scared teenager—Catherine Bayard, granddaughter of publishing giant Calvin Bayard and his wife Renee, who along with Geraldine and MacKenzie Graham formed the foundation of enlightened but proper society in old-money New Solway—whose journey down the politically progressive path of her grandparents has landed her in big trouble. The second is a dead reporter: Marc Whitby, who’d been working a story on dancer Kylie Ballantine, a casualty of Olin Taverner’s 1950s witch hunt, for T-Square, a magazine by and for young African-Americans. Soon Vic has a new client—Harriet Whitby, who thinks that the DuPage county coroner’s verdict of suicide is bunk—and she’s wanted by the FBI and the cops in two jurisdictions, her apartment ransacked, and her phone bugged, all for treading on the wrong toes.

Paretsky emphasizes the political but doesn’t neglect the personal here: a compelling tale of secrets that can’t stay buried.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-399-15085-4
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2003




SARA PARETSKY:

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Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >

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