Caitlin's Reviews > Breakdown

Breakdown by Sara Paretsky
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's review
Feb 12, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012

One of the things I admire most about Sara Paretsky is her ability to fully embrace the moment and the choices she's made. Like her character, V.I. Warshawski, she is smart, self-aware, passionate, and funny.

This is another series that I've been reading for a very long time. V.I. is great character and Paretsky has done a wonderful job of placing the books in the series close enough in time that Warshawski doesn't age out too soon, but far enough that she does age and we get to go there along with her as priorities shift, stories change, choices become different, and her love for her friends and neighbors remain a constant.

Breakdown is the latest in the series and covers a murdered body in a mausoleum near where some high school girls are playing shapeshifter. This would normally be an interesting occurence (I know I'd follow the story on CNN), but it's made more interesting because two of the girls come from very prominent, wealthy, and powerful families.

There are multiple subplots all swirling around each other, sometimes touching, sometimes not - interrelated, but not necessarily central to the fact of the dead guy with rebar through his chest. Paretsky handles all of this skillfully and I could not put this book down - and I do mean that. I read this everywhere and was fortunate enough to be about halfway through so I could finish it straight through on a Saturday. Yes, it was really entertaining.

I love the way Ms. Paretsky has allowed V.I. to mature - she's not the V.I. she was at the start of the series - she's acquired a certain amount of grace, common sense, and even dignity - this is especially noticeable in this book - which may be one of the very best in the whole series. Must read.

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