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on 14 February 2016
Nothing wrong with this if you like Warshawski .... Nothing to make it stand out either
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 August 2016
This book, the fourth in the series, was published in 1987 and it is interesting to consider the way in which advances in technology and medicine have affected crime book plots over the last two or three decades.

The focus of the book is on possible medical negligence and abortion, and the latter topic may deter some readers – moreso on the other side of the Atlantic, especially as the author does not hide her pro-life opinions [the local anti-abortionist leader Dieter Monkfish heads Ick-Piff, the Illinois Committee to Protect the Fetus, who ‘included a number of college-age young men, all fervently committed to carrying their own pregnancies to term, and a variety of middle-aged women, whose faces seemed to say: “My life was made miserable by maternity, and so should everyone else’s be”.’] If this bias seems excessive, it was certainly brave in the mid-1980s.

Academically-gifted teenager Consuelo Alvarado is swept off her feet by a minor criminal and becomes pregnant. She is determined to keep the baby but is rushed to the private Friendship hospital where she loses her baby and her life, rather to her boyfriend’s relief. PI V. I. Warshawski, who is close to the Alvarado family, looks into the death and is concerned that her treatment might have been delayed until details of the medical insurance were cleared up with fatal results. Once again the harshness of US private medicine is revealed.

Much action, including a car chase, an orphaned dog, a romance and some excellent twists is contained within just over 200 pages and this concentration removes a degree of flabbiness that characterise some of the author’s later books.

However, by the end I found that the author’s division of the characters into good and bad with little intermediate shading [the extreme case of the former being Warshawski’s friend Lotty who comes across as little short of Mother Theresa] proved less than satisfying. Apart from the advantages of its length, I would not recommend new readers to begin with this particular book, 7/10.
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on 20 February 2013
I am working my way through Paretsky's back catalogue having heard a novel adapted for radio. Never disappoints. Strong characters and faultless plot.
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on 5 October 2013
Always able to deliver a tight well researched storyline with believable characters and good pace building up tension to sustain till the end.
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on 4 October 2013
as always an excellent crime/murder PI story
this author just never lets you down
great read and and story to keep you guessing
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on 9 October 2015
Fantatstic! Yet another cracking, blood racing, edge sitting thrilling story from Sara Paretsky. Kepp'em coming, please!
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on 24 September 2011
These detective stories set in Chicago are engrossing. Ok, so I don't now anything about Chicago and the main character doesn't even have a mobile phone - these books predate the cell and other techno stuff - but the plots are good, the characters engaging and the language vibrant. I'm working my way through them all.
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on 19 February 2014
Brill read easy not too long one of her better ones can't wait to read next one roll on peppy
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on 19 February 2003
The novel follows Warshawski through her investigations, but the pace is slow, the incedents dull and few. Her portrayal of many of the events seem unreal and as a reader you feel distant from them. The pace is kept similar all the way through without changing pace even at the threatening events. We get a sence of her proud self and strength, but less of her feelings and emotions, which makes for a less than intriguing novel.
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