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Brush Back: Book summary and reviews of Brush Back by Sara Paretsky

Brush Back

A V.I. Warshawski Novel

by Sara Paretsky

Brush Back by Sara Paretsky X
Brush Back by Sara Paretsky
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  • Published Jul 2015
    480 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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About this book

Book Summary

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she'd be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that's precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo's plea for help.

For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full twenty-five years for her daughter's murder.

Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. V.I. doesn't want to get involved. Stella hated the Warshawskis, in particular V.I.'s adored mother, Gabriella.

But life has been hard on Frank and on V.I.'s other childhood friends, still stuck on the hardscrabble streets around the dead steel mills, and V.I. agrees to ask a few questions. Those questions lead her straight into the vipers' nest of Illinois politics she's wanted to avoid. When V.I. takes a beating at a youth meeting in her old hood, her main question becomes whether she will live long enough to find answers. 

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Electrifying…Paretsky never shies from tackling social issues, and in this installment she targets political corruption without ever losing sight of her dogged sleuth's very personal stake in the story." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. A satisfyingly complex story of decades-old murder, family loyalties, dirty politics, and gangsters…A certain summer hit…V. I. Warshawski remains one of the most-loved characters in crime fiction, and this episode, drawing as it does on Warshawski's personal history, will be of particular interest to fans looking for backstory." - Booklist

"Starred Review. Paretsky's novels are never boring, but this one is particularly well executed, combining family and city history with local political intrigue and a jaunt into the tunnels under Wrigley Field. The author's many fans won't be let down, while readers new to the series will be able to follow the story line without difficulty." - Library Journal

"Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed. The results will be especially appealing to baseball fans, who'll appreciate the punning chapter titles and learn more than they ever imagined about Wrigley Field." - Kirkus

This information about Brush Back was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Sara Paretsky Author Biography

Before there was Lisbeth Salander or Stephanie Plum, there was V.I. Warshawski. Sara Paretsky revolutionized the mystery world in 1982 when she introduced V.I. in Indemnity Only. By creating a believable investigator with the grit and the smarts to tackle problems on the mean streets, Paretsky challenged a genre in which women typically were either vamps or victims. Hailed by critics and readers, Indemnity Only was followed by nineteen more best-selling Warshawski novels. The New York Times writes that Paretsky "always makes the top of the list when people talk about female operatives," while Publishers Weekly says, "Among today's PIs, nobody comes close to Warshawski."

Called "passionate" and "electrifying," V.I. reflects her creator's own passion for social justice. As a contributor ...

... Full Biography
Link to Sara Paretsky's Website

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