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FIRE SALE by Sara Paretsky Kirkus Star


by Sara Paretsky

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-399-15279-2
Publisher: Putnam

Corruption and deception are never far behind as V.I. Warshawski (Blacklist, 2003, etc.) goes back to her South Chicago roots.

Basketball players aren’t what they were when Warshawski played for Bertha Palmer High. Center Sancia’s got two kids, and Celina Jackman and Theresa Diaz are gang members who constantly fight with April Czernin. Still, when her cancer-stricken former coach Mary Ann McFarlane asks Vic to take over, she can hardly say no, and soon she’s in way over her head, practicing the fast break while keeping the girls from rumbling and helping guard Josie Dorrado’s mother Rose find out why someone is sabotaging the Fly the Flag factory, where she earns barely enough to feed her family of six. Trying to promote enough cash to pay a real coach, Vic visits the corporate headquarters of By-Smart, a discounter that employs most of her players’ families at minimum wage. And though her plea is briskly rebuffed by the Bysen family, richer than the God they invoke at every turn, they eventually hire her to find their youngest son Billy, missing after a dustup between his grandfather and community activist Pastor Andres. Once she has the bit between her teeth, nobody—not her current lover Morrell, her former lover Con Rawlings, her stubborn neighbor Mr. Contreras, or golden retrievers Peppy and Mitch—can stop Vic from seeing justice done.

Warshawski’s tense, sharp 11th shows that you really can go home again.