Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fire Sale

Another VI Warshaski novel, another good read. This time VI is thrust back into South Chicago (her childhood haunt) where a charitable stint as a high school basketball coach lands her in a web of corporate malfeasance, neighborhood activism, arson, and murder.

Religion takes a negative hit in this story, and I haven't really noticed if a negative view of religion is a common theme in Paretsky books. It was in both Ghost Country and Fire Sale, with religion and faith viewed antiquated, useless, hypocritical, or even harmful. Paretsky tries to be coy about it, presenting religion and faith in a matter-of-fact fashion with little narrative judgment, but we know that framing and lighting can be everything.

Regardless, the story is riveting. Another thing I'd like to point out is the fact the story is set in Chicago, as that is where VI hails from. But Chicago seems to be a commonly used back-drop. Chicago seems to be popping up everywhere for me. It's in all the Paretsky books I've read lately. Time Traveler's Wife was set in Chicago. And while watching the first episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century on Netflix instant view, it was revealed that Buck Rogers hailed from Chicago as well. What is it about this town? I was there twice while I lived in Madison, WI. My wife and I spent a weekend in the middle of winter there, walking around in the cold, eating at great restaurants, and riding around in the horse-drawn carriages. Then we spent some more time one summer with my eldest daughter (an infant then) visiting sites and museums. I do have a visceral infatuation with Chicago, and I'm not sure why. I think... I know that I will be spending some time there in the future, but I can't know why...

Anyway, thumbs up on this one.

Fire Sale - VI Warshawski
Sara Paretsky
Putnam 2005

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You write very well.