Fiction: “Deadlock” by Sara Paretsky

DeadlockIt’s funny – I returned this book to the library a week ago and almost completely forgot that I needed to review it.  My bad, guys; sorry.

(Also – and I’m super excited about this – I’m in the process of transferring pictures from my phone to my computer, and because the phone is a piece of shit [I regularly call it SNASA, because it is stupid enough to believe in a Secret NASA] I can’t actually transfer the pics via a USB cord, so I have to email them to myself and then download then and extract the files and guys, I am getting a new phone today and the victory tastes like peaches.  But the process to that victory may make this review even more disjointed than usual.  So, caveat lector.)


ANYWAY.  Deadlock is the second novel in Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski novel series, and also one of the few titles I didn’t own.  Seriously, I have been looking to buy this novel for at least two years.  (Wait, when did I read Indemnity Only?  Holy shit, almost four years ago??  I suck)  So luckily, I was able to find a copy at the library and eventually, I’ll buy it to complete my collection, but at least I was able to read it now.

Looking back over my review of Indemnity Only, I realize that I never actually told you about V.I. Warshawski.  She is a former lawyer-turned-private detective, and she usually investigates white-collar crimes – embezzlement, insurance fraud, etc.  In Deadlock, V.I. (Vic to her friends) investigates the death of her beloved cousin, former Chicago Blackhawk player Boom-Boom Warshawski (yes, he is referred to throughout the novel as Boom-Boom).  Following an injury, Boom-Boom retires from hockey and tries to find work in the private sector.  He eventually finds work in the office of Eudora Grain, and dies when he falls off a slippery pier and drowns under a shipping barge.  V.I. received a message from Boom-Boom prior to his death, but she had been out of town on another case and wasn’t able to respond.  Oh, and this takes place in the early 80s (as it was written in 1981, I believe) so there aren’t cell phones or text messages.

V.I. is convinced where no one else in her family is that Boom Boom’s death was not an accident.  So she takes on her cousin as a client and investigates the circumstances surrounding his death.  What she finds involves a ballerina with ulterior motives, a rivalry between two CEOs, and an explosion in a canal.  This is the part where I’d go into more depth, but a) I’m trying to not ruin things ahead of time for people (I can be Harry Burns myself, but I don’t want to be Harry Burns to other people), and b) I returned the book to the library a week ago, so I can’t exactly look things up again.

Overall, the story moves quickly, and you’re kept guessing as to whodunit.  As I mentioned before, V.I. is a tough broad who’s unafraid to get her hands dirty.  She has a strong sense of justice and honor, and can tell when people are lying to her.  In addition, she loves high-end Scotch and her apartment is just as cluttered as mine.

I feel somewhat bad that it’s taken me four freakin’ years to read this next novel in the series, but I took a glance at my bookshelf and it appears that this was the only title I’ve been missing, so be prepared to see more of this author and series.  I know I’m not doing the character of V.I. justice in my reviews, but she’s a great detective, and I really enjoy reading this series.

Grade for Deadlock: 3 stars


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