Summary and book reviews of Blacklist by Sara Paretsky

Blacklist

By Sara Paretsky

Blacklist
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  • Hardcover: Oct 2003,
    416 pages.
    Paperback: Aug 2004,
    480 pages.

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Book Summary

This is a story of secrets and betrayals that stretch across four generations--secrets political, social, sexual, financial: all of them with the power to kill. Eager for something physical to do in the spirit-exhausting wake of 9/11, V.I. accepts a request from an old client to check up on an empty family mansion; subsequently surprises an intruder in the dark; and, giving chase, topples into a pond. Grasping for something to hold on to, her fingers close around a lifeless human hand.

It is the body of a reporter who had been investigating events of forty-five years earlier, during the McCarthy era, and V.I.'s discovery quickly sucks her into the history of two great Chicago families—their fortunes intertwined by blood, sex, money, and the scandals that may or may not have resulted in murder all these years later. At the same time, she inadvertently becomes involved in the story of a missing Egyptian boy whose possible terrorist connections make him very much sought after by the government. As the two cases drive her forward—and then shockingly tumble together—she finds that wealth and privilege, too, bear a terrible price; and the past has no monopoly on patriotic scoundrels. Before everything is over, at least two more people will lie dead . . . and V.I. might even be one of them.

A novel as passionate, complex, and powerfully entertaining as its acclaimed heroine, Blacklist is a stunning achievement.

Chapter 1
A Walk on the Wild Side

The clouds across the face of the moon made it hard for me to find my way. I'd been over the grounds yesterday morning, but in the dark everything is different. I kept stumbling on tree roots and chunks of brick from the crumbling walks.

I was trying not to make any noise, on the chance that someone really was lurking about, but I was more concerned about my safety: I didn't want to sprain an ankle and have to crawl all the way back to the road. At one point I tripped on a loose brick and landed smack on my tailbone. My eyes teared with pain; I sucked in air to keep from crying out. As I rubbed the sore spot, I wondered whether Geraldine Graham had seen me fall. Her eyes weren't that good, but her binoculars held both image stabilizers and night-vision enablers.

Fatigue was making it hard for me to concentrate. It was midnight, usually not late on my clock, but I was sleeping badly these days--I was anxious, and feeling alone.

...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Kirkus Reviews

Paretsky takes up for the little guy once more. A compelling tale of secrets that can't stay buried.

Library Journal - Leslie Madden

This may be Paretsky's most complex novel to date. It will have particular resonance post-9/11, as readers recognize more easily what it was like for past generations to live in fear. Highly recommended for popular reading collections.

Publishers Weekly

Top-notch. A riveting exploration of guilt and fear

Booklist

A stellar entry in a celebrated series. This enticing mix of history and mystery showcases sharp, clever, vulnerable V.I. at her best.

Newsweek

Sara Paretsky turns the genre upside down.

Bookpage

...a compelling mystery and an indictment of the McCarthies of all era. Who could ask for more?

People

V.I. is A-1

Reader Reviews
John Baldry

Blacklist was a disappointment after all the other V I novels - and I've been a great Warshawski fan for many years. I find all the rich folks drearily boring, and have much more time for Mr Contreras, Father Lou, the poor Latinos and the social ...   Read More

Josephine Anna Kaszuba Locke


V. I. at top form, classy, sassy and spirited…

Dzien dobry, Sara Paretsky and Detective Warshawski… from a survivor - thank you for noting 9/11...

So, V.I., you are off on another assignment in BLACKLIST. Hired by long-time client, Darraugh Graham to...   Read More

dawn bazely

Blacklist - the latest V. I. Warshawski novel. As usual, Sara Paretsky has not just written a great detective novel, but has also tackled far broader issues - in this case everything from terrorism, current attitudes towards muslims, the blacklists ...   Read More

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