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Sara Paretsky
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Blacklist (V.I. Warshawski #11)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  3,321 Ratings  ·  233 Reviews
Every new Sara Paretsky novel is an event, the chance to re-encounter her beloved heroine, V. I. Warshawski - ""a private eye with the sharpest tongue and hardest head in Chicago"" (The New York Times Book Review) - a cause for rejoicing. But Blacklist is something special. This is a story of secrets and betrayals that stretch across four generations - secrets political, s ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 2003)
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Dec 22, 2016 Phrynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book number eleven in this series and still going strong. Vic is still the same, determined to get to the truth even at great cost to herself financially and physically.
As usual the story line is good and full of action. Vic breaks into houses, searches a small lake herself when the police will not do it, steals a car, harbours a fugitive and generally breaks the law at random. At least she is understanding when the police get angry with her. And she does solve the crime.
Sadly her developing lo
Book Review
4 out of 5 stars to Blacklist, the 11th book in the "V.I. Warshawski" thriller and mystery series, written in 2004 by Sara Paretsky. What a fantastic book! It had everything from murder to corporate espionage to communism. Spanning a history of nearly 50 years, the story puts VI in the most scary of situations, and it allows Paretsky to truly tell a tale of remarkable prominence. There are so many connections and seedy things happening, you're not sure how to begin figuring it out
Jun 15, 2017 Obsidian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Wow. You would think Sara Paretsky had a crystal ball and could look into the future of America with this book.

"Blacklist" taking place in a post 9/11 America where everyone who is a Muslim is automatically a terrorist is starting to wear on VI. Due to her protesting during her college days, she knows what a slippery slope the US is in right now with allowing The Patriot Act to allow the government to spy on its citizens all for the great good of security. When VI is asked by one of her long-st
Larry Bassett
Jan 16, 2012 Larry Bassett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Larry by: Diane Colborn
Shelves: mystery
One of the reasons I am fond of Sara Paretsky is her ability to locate her stories in the political and social events of the day. In the first chapter of Blacklist, set in 2002, she reflects on the World Trade Center, the Taliban, Afghanistan and anthrax. V.I. Warshawski leans to the left and I like her take on events from that point of view.

V.I. is also personally connected with world events by a boyfriend (whom she liberally – way to go V.I. – refers to as a lover) who is a journalist current
Mary JL
Apr 16, 2010 Mary JL rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any mystery fan
Recommended to Mary JL by: I am a fan of this author
Shelves: mystery-horror
Yes, I know--another Paretsky. I really like her stuff, and this is one of the best.

The above blurb gives a good summary of the book. The really interesting part was the parallels Paretsky draws bettween the McCarthy era blacklists and the more troubling aspects of the current Patriot Act.

I am going to paraphrase V. I. here--" What if he is a terroirst and he kills an innocent? But, what if he is just a young kid who forgot to renew his visa--a young kid with the wrong sort of name? The governme
Jul 14, 2009 Janice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was a bit unsure of whether to read this book, because I've been disappointed by the more recent books by Patricia Cornwell and wondered whether V.I. Warshawski would have weathered well. However, I was delighted to find that this is a belter of a novel. Set in a Chicago reeling from 9/11 and a terrorist witchhunt, it neatly links back to a blacklist of the 1930s and the secrets of the rich first families of 'New Solway'. Of course it was linked together by a murder and Victoria breaking the r ...more
Nov 19, 2012 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, fiction, crime
Some long books are enticing enough to be devoured whole others require a dutiful grinding stamina of their readers. This book is a grind which yields very little as you follow the private detective in her attempts to solve the murder of a journalist. It's not that the plot is bad, it has power, money, McCarthey trials and betrayal all packaged in, but the heroine is a bore recounting in numbing detail every facet of her day, her urgent need for a osteopath, the occasional excursion to a soap bo ...more
Jul 18, 2009 Johnny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Not being a regular reader of Paretsky or her protagonist, V. I. Warshawski, there were times when I was surprised by her illegal actions and very legal connections. However, I was delighted by the descriptions of Chicago--both historical and modern Chicago. The history surrounding Bronzeville particularly resonated with me since we had recently heard the "African-American Symphony" composed by a former resident of that all-black community and had listened to the official Chicago historian talk ...more
Jul 20, 2010 Jerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Confusing and very tedious plot makes 415 pages go slow...

We've had to wait a little over two years since Paretsky's last V.I. Warshawski private eye adventure ("Total Recall"), so we anxiously dove into this new one. Soon VI stumbles across the drowned body of an "African-American" reporter whose death is attracting virtually no police attention in the wealthy Chicago suburb where his remains were discovered. Hired to look into the matter by the family, VI spends day and night trying to find v
Carl Alves
This was the first V.I. Warshawski novel I’ve ever read and most likely the last. I was not remotely impressed by the writing style, the plot, or almost anything else about the novel. Set shortly after 9/11, V.I. Warshawski takes on an assignment investigating lights going on and off in a mansion late at night when she stumbles across a dead body. This leads to an investigation where she uncovers secrets from a group of elite, rich families in the Chicago area who have these incestuous relations ...more
Ryan Mishap
Aug 21, 2008 Ryan Mishap rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
Paretsky writes the best, most dense, and intriguing mysteries, for her hard-nosed detective, V.I. Warshawski. History and politics, race relations, art and human interaction, crime and corporate corruption, gender and sexuality—these are the usuals in her books rather than spectacles to drape a poorly conceived plot around. More than ever, in this story, she covers a lot of ground, from the loss of civil liberties post 9/11 and the atmosphere of hysteria/fear/vengeance (white) Americans and the ...more
Morgana Le
Jan 04, 2014 Morgana Le rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've never actually burned a book until tonight. Threw it in the fireplace without a second thought. What a shitshow this read was. If I could burn it twice, I would.
Laura Ruetz
I struggled to get through this book. Parts of it were interesting and then parts were just so tedious that I very nearly put the book down a few times but, rarely do I give up on a book and so I kept reading. I have not read others in this series but I know that they are popular however, for te life of me, after reading this book, I am not sure why.

It was a mishmash of characters and sub-plots, which almost seemed like they there thrown in there to mask the fact that the actual plot really was
Mar 23, 2008 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Solving murders through archival research? What's not to love!
Jun 16, 2012 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am not really sure how to start here. I have read Sara Paretsky's V I Warshawski novels in the past. I haven't read them in any particular order. I just pick them up at garage sales or ebay in wholesale lots etc. I have always enjoyed the ones I read in the past. For some reason they remind me a little of the Sue Grafton novels. But, just a little. This book - Blacklist- was published in 2003, while the event of 9/11 were still really fresh in our minds. V I's boyfriend, a reporter is in Afgha ...more
Dec 28, 2011 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I have been reading my way through Sara Paretsky's novels and have now read everything she wrote prior to Fire Sale, 2005, the one I read first. Her books are a journey through the major issues of the past 20 years, as well as an in depth look at the best features of a true liberal.

In Blacklist, the intrepid V I Warshawski is missing her boyfriend, the journalist Morrell, who is on assignment in Afghanistan and mostly out of touch. Meanwhile she finds herself tracking down the murderer of an Afr
Theresa de Valence
Sep 15, 2016 Theresa de Valence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Sara Paretsky’s BLACKLIST ©2003 could have been written today; it doesn’t seem like we’ve learned very much in nearly fifteen years. Our Islamophobia today sounds as rabid as shortly after 9/11/2001. Private Detective V.I. Warshawski is shocked by just how many freedoms Americans gave up with the Patriot Act. Several storylines start in the mid-twentieth century, when McCarthyism and segregation were rampant. Activists and writers and dancers pushed xenophobic publishers, patrons and politicians ...more
Gisela Hafezparast
Really enjoyed this. Read a few Sara Paretsky's by now and really love VI and her neighbour. This is so far the best I read as it has a decent crime story as usual, but this time the background of McCathyism, reaction and the use for political opportunism of the attacks on the World Trade Centre as well as the American Upper Classes is very well done. Great relaxing, entertaining read.
Kathryn Flatt
Aug 15, 2011 Kathryn Flatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best V.I. Warshawski novels. There's a message here about the kind of paranoia and prejudice that arose after 9/11, as well as giving V.I. a turn at historical detective, figuring out a motive from events that happened decades ago. A fascinating story.
Debra Battle
May 20, 2011 Debra Battle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now this is one of my fave I wish she would use some of the people in this book again.

I meet Sara and she sign my copy of this book.
Jun 06, 2016 Rbucci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another action packed book by Sara Paretsky. I love the fast pace and intrigue.
Feb 21, 2009 Cathy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2004-books
A book publishing company and a rich girl who tries to shield a Muslim boy. Timely topic but a bit confusing.
Great blend of mystery & social commentary about the U.S. in the period after 9/11 (especially some of the scary aspects of the Patriot Act).
Oct 18, 2015 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
VI gets caught up in the 50 year old secrets of the rich and famous.
Lori Robinett
Jun 07, 2017 Lori Robinett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hadn't read a Paretsky book in ages . . . but am sure I'll read another before long. I love the way she mixes current issues into her writing, things that are relevant right now (this book was published in 2003 and the issues are still relevant). V.I. is hired to investigate the death of a black man in an exclusive enclave. She gets caught up in a tangled web of rich people and their problems. They were all entwined, with lovers and friends and controversy and jealousy. The history, which revo ...more
Christine Dosa
Never having read a Sara Paretsky mystery, but having heard of her V.I Warshawski detective series, I was anxious to find out what a book of hers was like. I guess this is number 11, so I'm coming in way after V.I. first appeared. I like her--she's tough, smart, persistent, not afraid to take a risk, and there's a lot of back story I wish I knew. This plot was interesting because of the creepy old house that was involved and the cranky old lady complaining about it that led to a body being found ...more
Mar 08, 2017 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blacklist is the 11th installment in the V.I. Warshawski series. Like most of the other books this one is ID difficult to believe. We have a ridiculous cast of characters that simply don't mesh no matter how much the author wants them to. The dialogue was wooden and the storyline was difficult to follow along with being boring.

On the bright side out heroine conducts herself much better than normal. There's quite a bit less of the cartoonish Mr. Contreras and there's almost none of the annoying L
Donna Siebold
V.I. is missing Morrell, who is in Afghanastan, in this novel set shortly after the World Trade Center Attacks. She takes on a personal job for one of her regular clients. In trying to determine if someone is in his former childhood home she stumbles across the body of an African-American journalist in the pond.

Of course, the police think it is a suicide but V.I. sees something more suspicious. I ask you, why do the police so resist her input? She is almost always correct and indeed it turns out
I wanted to like this book more than 3 stars, but it was just too darn long for me. It also seemed to be a slow moving plot and that made it difficult for me to get through it.
Aug 01, 2016 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I liked about this book right away was the description of the mood of America post-September 11th: “After a while, when we’d driven the Taliban into hiding and the anthrax looked like the work of some homegrown maniac, most people seemed to wrap themselves in red-white-and-blue and return to normal.” Looking back at that period from a 2016 perspective raises questions. Have things calmed down, or are they crazier than ever? Are we safer now, or in more danger? In some ways, it seems that th ...more
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Blacklilst 2 27 Jul 24, 2011 11:03AM  
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Sara Paretsky is a modern American author of detective fiction. Paretsky was raised in Kansas, and graduated from the state university with a degree in political science. She did community service work on the south side of Chicago in 1966 and returned in 1968 to work there. She ultimately completed a Ph.D. in history at the University of Chicago, entitled The Breakdown of Moral Philosophy in New E ...more
More about Sara Paretsky...

Other Books in the Series

V.I. Warshawski (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Indemnity Only (V.I. Warshawski, #1)
  • Deadlock (V.I. Warshawski, #2)
  • Killing Orders (V.I. Warshawski, #3)
  • Bitter Medicine (V.I. Warshawski, #4)
  • Blood Shot (V.I. Warshawski, #5)
  • Burn Marks (V.I. Warshawski, #6)
  • Guardian Angel (V.I. Warshawski, #7)
  • Tunnel Vision (V.I. Warshawski, #8)
  • Hard Time (V.I. Warshawski, #9)
  • Total Recall (V.I. Warshawski, #10)

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