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‘A novel full of surprises… It’s vintage Paretsky, and hard to put down’ – The Sunday Times

Top 10 Thriller of 2020 (The Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews)

Chicago is the city of broad shoulders, but V.I. Warshawski knows its politics: “Pay to Play”. Money changes hands in the middle of the night; by morning, buildings and parks have been replaced by billion-dollar projects.

Private investigator V.I. gets pulled into one of these clandestine deals when her impetuous goddaughter Bernie tries to rescue a famed singer-songwriter, now living on the streets. Thanks to Bernie, V.I. finds herself in the path of some developers whose negotiating strategy is simple: they bulldoze – or kill – any obstacle in their way.

Questions pile up almost as fast as the dead bodies. When she tries to answer them, the detective finds a terrifying conspiracy stretching from Chicago’s parks to a cover-up of the dark chapters in the American government’s interference in South American politics. Before finds answer, V.I. will be pushed closed to breaking point. People who pay to play take no prisoners.

Reviews

As usual, Paretsky is less interested in identifying whodunit than in uncovering a monstrous web of evil, and this web is one of her densest and most finely woven ever.So fierce, ambitious, and far-reaching that it makes most other mysteries seem like so many petit fours
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
V.I. Warshawski is as dogged and ferocious as ever. So is Sara Paretsky, who is at the top of her crime novel game.
C J Box
Series bar-raiser . . .a high point in Paretksy's long-running and much-loved series.
Booklist (starred review)
Paretsky is justly praised for referencing vital social issues in her mysteries, but here we also get a taste of her flair for creating offbeat but believable characters. Zamir is her own strong person, as are other players. As always, though, V. I. remains the most vivid participant in this case, stubborn as a mule - although she sees herself as another animal entirely. "Pretend I'm a dog," she advises a new acquaintance. "Half Rottweiler, half pit dog. I'm loyal but fierce." And valiant. Don't forget valiant.
Marilyn Stasio, New York Times
A novel full of surprises... It's vintage Paretsky, and hard to put down
The Sunday Times
another triumph for V I Warshawski
Anna Giles, Bookwitch