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Brush Back is the 17th book in Sara Paretsky’s series featuring private detective V. I. Warshawski. However this book does not require any prior knowledge to this character and her history. Anything you need is provided for you in the story itself. V.I. is asked by a high school boyfriend, Frank Guzzo, to look into the murder of his sister after his mother has been released for serving time for the murder. Of course, the case isn’t this simple, as V.I.’s family and the Guzzos have a long and complicated relationship, including his mother hating V.I. and her mother. Chicago plays a critical role in both the story and the characters. From the crooked politicians to the police officers you aren’t sure if you can trust, the story travels throughout the entirety of the city cover the unique characteristics that it brings to the table. It is clear that Sara Paretsky knows and loves Chicago because every scene is filled with a different neighborhood and treats that neighborhood’s character as their own. By the end of the book, Sara Paretsky is able to perfectly tie together all of the different elements in ways you don’t expect. This book will work best for people who love gritty, detailed mystery novels. V.I. is a character who doesn’t take crap from anyone and has no problem questioning authority and doing what needs to get done to get the case solved and to help out her clients, her friends, and her family. If you love reading Sue Grafton’s, Kathy Reichs’, or Linda Barns’ mystery series, you will enjoy this book.
In this explosive sequel to Natchez Burning, how far will Southern lawyer Penn Cage go to protect those he loves?