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Summary and book reviews of Hard Time by Sara Paretsky

Hard Time

by Sara Paretsky

Hard Time
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 1999, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2000, 255 pages

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Book Summary

V.I. Warshawski returns in a case that forces her to go head-to-head with one of the world's largest providers of private security and prison services.

Among the first, and perhaps the most compelling, female private investigators of contemporary fiction, Sara Paretsky's incomparable character V. I. Warshawski at last returns to the page in her first full-length appearance since 1994's Tunnel Vision. Hard Time is the work of a master--a riveting novel of suspense that is indisputably Paretsky's best V.I. Warshawski novel yet.

Multimedia conglomerate Global Entertainment has purchased the Chicago Herald-Star, forcing the paper's staff to scramble to stay employed. Reporter Murray Ryerson, V.I.'s longtime friend and sometime rival, manages to reinvent himself as the host of a television show on Global's network. On her way home from a party celebrating Murray's debut, V.I. almost runs over a woman lying in the street. Stopping to help, V.I. soon learns that her Good Samaritan act will drop her squarely in a boiling intrigue.

In a case that forces her to go head-to-head with one of the world's largest providers of private security and prison services, a case that exposes dark hidden truths behind the razzle-dazzle of the entertainment industry, V.I. will be ahead of the game if she gets out alive.

Media Circus

Lacey Dowell clutched her crucifix, milky breasts thrust forward, as she backed away from her unseen assailant. Tendrils of red hair escaped from her cap; with her eyes shut and her forehead furrowed she seemed to have crossed the line from agony to ecstasy. It was too much emotion for me at close quarters.

I turned around, only to see her again, red hair artlessly tangled, breasts still thrust forward, as she accepted the Hasty Pudding award from a crowd of Harvard men. I resolutely refused to look at the wall on my right, where her head was flung back as she laughed at the witticisms of the man in the chair opposite. I knew the man and liked him, which made me squirm at his expression, a kind of fawning joviality. Murray Ryerson was too good a reporter to prostitute himself like this.

"What got into him? Or more to the point, what got into me, to let him turn my bar into this backslapping media circus?"

Sal Barthele, who owned the Golden Glow, had snaked ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Newsweek

Paretsky's books are beautifully paced and plotted, and the dialogue is fresh and smart.

The Washington Post Book World

Paretsky is still the best . . . she doesn't pull punches.

Los Angeles Times Book Review

Sara Paretsky has hit the big time . . . she gets better and better!

Library Journal

Since the publication of Paretsky's non-Warshawski novel, Ghost Country, the many fans of the Chicago private detective have been eagerly awaiting the new V.I. Warshawski novel, and by and large they won't be disappointed.

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