by Sara Paretsky
Monday, February 2, 2004
VI was the first detective I fell thoroughly in love with almost ten years ago and it’s her fault that I’ve been reading up on every female detective out there and generally haunting the mystery world ever since. So I come at these new books thrilled that they are still going and fearful that they won’t live up to that first magic feeling that they induced in me when I read the whole back list back to back and was still hungry for some more.
VI went into exile for a while in the latter half of the nineteen nineties and came back two books ago as a slightly older and wiser version of herself but still throwing herself into scrapes as much if not more than ever. This though was the first book where I’ve felt that VI has actually slowed down a little and she doesn’t have to defeat the criminals by brawn alone. And on the whole I was pretty pleased with this book. I didn’t find it as exhilarating as some of the earlier books and I could put it down to go to sleep but I thought that the plot was just as interesting as ever and I didn’t have to get too annoyed at VI for trying to be superwoman too often (she is superwoman of course and I like her that way, I just like superwomen who know their limits and run into them sometimes.)
This is very much a story set in the aftermath of September 11th 2001 and deals with a Muslim boy who is suspected of terrorism as well as linking in a plot that goes back to Communist activities in nineteen fifties America and VI has plenty to say on the state of modern America at the moment. I love having VI in the very present day and hope she stays around for a long time yet.