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Breakdown (2012)

de Sara Paretsky

Séries: V.I. Warshawski (16)

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4824138,737 (3.69)24
When the teenage daughters of some of Chicago's most influential families discover the body of a ritually murdered victim, investigator Warshawski explores theories that the killing is linked to a hostile media campaign against a senatorial candidate or a wealthy patriarch's childhood in Nazi-occupied Lithuania.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 45 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This series was recommended to me a long time ago as being similar to the Kinsey Milhone Alphabet series. Now that the Alphabet Series has concluded, I decided to give this series a shot and see.

Given how often V. I.'s written about cases include pro bono work and how much she ignores her paying clients while she's on the trail of the mystery, I sometimes wonder how her business survives.

V. I. does seem to have tamed her mouth to some extent. In earlier books, she just used to blurt out her uncensored thoughts and it usually got her into trouble. At least at this point in the series, she's starting to sometimes think about what she says before deciding to say it.

Once again though (for the third or fourth time in the so-far-fifteen-book-series) she's involved in a case that involves children--in this case, girls from her niece's book group.

She also reunites briefly with a former-law-school friend (whom we've never heard about before to my recollection). This friend has a mental illness (though is still a member of the bar). Despite most people thinking the friend was just spouting gibberish, V. I. pieces together that the friend had actually discovered evidence to clear a man incarcerated with diminished capacity of murder.

The plot seems very convoluted. I listened to this as an audiobook and, as usual, I thought the case was wrapped up but still had 2 CDs to go. In this case, that was wrapping up the second part of the story, part of which was intertwined with the first. ( )
  JenniferRobb | Aug 19, 2020 |
Not going to write a long review. This was not a good book. Seriously just skip it and if you really do want to read it, borrow it from the library.

Once again we have VI investigating something no one asked her to and I had a really hard time with most of the characters in this one. They all felt way too cartoonish to me.

And VI's love life is limping along with a guy who does not seem up to her level.

I should have put this down once I saw that Petra was littered all over this one.

Paretsky could have shined a light more on the problem with the 24 hour news cycle and some far left and far left personalities attacking each other via the media to score points with their followers. However, this book seemed to have everyone who did not agree with VI as the enemy. We eventually have people sitting around listening to a Holocaust victim's memories and the whole thing made me uncomfortable. Not because of the subject, but because we had VI demanding that she somehow be told about what was a painful period in his life. At that point, I was 100 percent done with this character. I will probably pick up the remaining books in this series some other time. But as of now, I need a break from VI. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Paretsky's Warshawshi is in vintage form in this novel, and is able to solve the case with her usual flair. A very good read. And completely nails the stupidity of teens all over America, today, spot-on. ( )
  stephanie_M | Apr 30, 2020 |
An exciting story that fits the American Midturn election. Two candidates fight with different machinations for the election. While some use the media to defile the other party, the patriarch of the other party tries to protect the family. It turns out that everyone has something to hide from their past. V. I. Warshawski has her hands full discovering the ghosts of the past. ( )
  Ameise1 | Nov 4, 2018 |
V.I.'s cousin Petra is working with teen girls, and runs a book group about a shapeshifter. When some of the girls break curfew and go to a cemetery for a midnight ritual, V.I. is sent to find them, and finds herself embroiled in a series of events that kills several people. ( )
  lilibrarian | Aug 16, 2018 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 45 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
With almost 75 pages to go in Breakdown, Sara Paretsky flashes her readers a metaphorical wink, smile and nudge in the ribs.

Like the majority of Paretsky’s 18 earlier novels, Breakdown features the feisty Chicago private eye V. I. (for Victoria Iphigenia) Warshawski. Also like the previous novels, Breakdown’s narrative is so tangled, involving enough suspects to populate a dozen less ambitious novels, that readers may feel tempted to give up and jump ship.

It’s at this point of potential reader abandonment in the new book that Paretsky sneaks in a sly scene that lets us know she feels our pain. In the scene, Warshawski reveals to a wise friend her analysis to date of the murder that has baffled all of Chicago. The wise friend replies to V. I. with a hopeless but justified cry of despair.

“It’s too complicated,” he wails. “X hires Y to murder Z, then Y blackmails X. This sounds like Agatha Christie, Victoria, which I can never follow when I’m wide awake, and I’m very nearly in a coma right now.”

In fact, compared to Paretsky’s Warshawski novels, Christie’s mysteries were models of logic and common sense. The Warshawski books fly far off the grid of normal sleuthing, threatening to sink in an excess of elusive clues, red herrings and false leads.

But two things keep the Paretsky books on the rails and just about guarantee that the readers will bend their heads over the pages. One is the force of Paretsky’s narrative. As an author, she remains forever bold and determined, willing the readers to stick to their guns. The other lasting appeal lies in the character of Warshawski.

Multi-faceted doesn’t begin to describe V. I. She holds a law degree, has a bawdy sense of humour and a blazing temper, can sing Stravinsky’s setting of “Psalm 39,” devotes her energies to liberal politics, is a natural born nosy parker and supplies enough personality to glue the Paretsky plots together.

Plenty of mucilage is needed — and supplied — in Breakdown. The dead body at the centre of the sleuthing belongs to a private eye of the less principled sort. Dozens of characters may be involved in the murder, and we meet them all. But those who most stick in the brain as authentic bad guys (and girls) belong to the politics of the far right. The odd thing is that no character Paretsky invents seems as nutty as the real thing. Should she have even tried to match Ron Paul’s creepy past or Michele Bachmann’s cheerfully dingbat personality? Probably not.
adicionado por VivienneR | editarThe Toronto Star, Jack Batten (Jan 6, 2012)
 

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When the teenage daughters of some of Chicago's most influential families discover the body of a ritually murdered victim, investigator Warshawski explores theories that the killing is linked to a hostile media campaign against a senatorial candidate or a wealthy patriarch's childhood in Nazi-occupied Lithuania.

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