- Paperback: 560 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (25 May 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141007133
- ISBN-13: 978-0141007137
- Product Dimensions: 11 x 4 x 17.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 936,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Total Recall Paperback – 25 May 2002
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Age and experience has not withered VI Warshawski. In Sara Paretsky's latest tale, Total Recall, the uncompromising and wildly unconventional private investigator chases leads and suspects around Chicago "like a pinball, careening around the city", despite the fact that she is now positively the wrong side of 40. Paretsky's heroine is called in to investigate a seemingly simple case of insurance fraud (one of her specialities), when things get rather more complicated. At a conference on Christian-Jewish relations, the media is attracted by two very different stories: while protesters outside call for the recovery of Holocaust assets from insurance companies in denial, inside, a middle-aged Jewish man--helped by a recovered-memory therapist--recalls a childhood devastated by Nazis.
Warshawski soon becomes involved in both stories. As her journalist boyfriend prepares for a trip to Afghanistan to investigate the dismal human rights record of the Taliban (a timely, if not prescient, angle from Paretsky), a friend of his staying from New York decides to embark on a book on recovered memory, inspired by a TV special on the therapist and her star client. Hired by the author to help check out the duo's authenticity, VI finds herself on a collision course between the past and the present and between her professional life and her close friendship with a group of Jewish friends. One of these, the spiky surgeon Lotty Herschel (a regular Warshawski character), is deeply disturbed to find her own past may be linked in some way to that of the troubled client.
With her sharp wit, cynicism and daredevil approach to her job, Warshawski is as annoyingly loveable as ever. There are enough twists and turns to this, her latest outing, to offer a challenging read to die-hard fans and newcomers alike. Irritatingly, however, Paretsky leaves some major strands of her story untied, leaving you wondering and, as ever, waiting anxiously for the next VI Warshawski adventure. --Carey Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In the latest acclaimed tale starring private eye V I Warshawski the story begins with a Holocaust conference in Chicago. An astonishing childhood is related there that has devastating consequences for Lotty Herschel, V I's cherished friend and mentor.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Total Recall is built around the theme of how our current behavior is held prisoner by our perceptions of the past. Ms. Paretsky does a fine job of making it clear that we should keep our eyes open, look around, and exercise an open mind instead.
The strength of this book is the way that many different story lines are intertwined in a way that keeps your attention and mostly make sense. Despite this successful plot design, I was disappointed that several promising themes were raised and not fully dealt with, such as "recovered" memory, what Holocaust survivors should and should not feel guilt about, and the need for proper management and regulation of insurance companies. I would have been glad to read another 100 pages of this fine work to explore more in these areas.
The book's key weaknesses were in two areas: First, the characters are developed in ways that make them less strong and heroic than you probably have thought of them based on earlier V.I. Warshawski novels, particularly Lotty. Ms. Paretsky seems to have a jaundiced view of the moral strength and courage of her characters in this book except for Vic, which left me feeling a little down at the end. To me, the book's portrayal of the ongoing characters in this series seemed inauthentic in terms of the earlier novels. Second, the ultimate resolution of who the "bad guys" are and why they have been misbehaving didn't seem quite believable. I would have liked a better "rabbit out of the hat" to explain all of the contemporary wrong-doing.Read more ›
However, it's a wonderful book nonetheless. I love Sara P. and Vic.
The story is unusual in having long flash-back scenes over many years which effectively show the effect of suffering on VI's friend. This helps to inform the current day storylines which demonstrate how difficult "Total Recall" can be.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not yet read them, but am avidly looking forward to doing so. I still recovering from reading Ghost City. What a dark tale, Intriguing, and compelling reading.Published 11 months ago by David T-C
Yet another great read from Sara Paretsky..A very intriguing and captivating story right till the end. I recommend this to anybody who likes detective stories.Published on 31 Jan. 2014 by growler
Having read every other VI book I waited desperately for this to be released, however I was incredibly disappointed. Read morePublished on 10 Jun. 2007 by S. Bradley
I've read and re-read all the VI novels and this has got to be my least favourite. It is difficult to stay focused on and remember all the characters as there are two stories going... Read morePublished on 25 Aug. 2006 by S. Bradley
I would have graded this book at 3.5 stars, if I could, so I rounded to the even number above as my math teachers always taught me to do. Read morePublished on 29 Jun. 2004 by Donald Mitchell