Kay's Reviews > Breakdown

Breakdown by Sara Paretsky
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's review
Feb 04, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: re-read
Read from February 04 to 06, 2012

V.I.'s hard edges grate more with her friends than they used to, and there is a sense the world has gotten nastier in this book. From the super-powerful liar who mesmerizes the thoughtless via mass media to the little girls who are enthralled with the shape-shifting novelmania of the moment, V.I. travels through a very complex maze of holocaust horror and present-day criminal escape via scapegoating. The sense that the bad guys are really more powerful than we are is stronger than ever from Paretsky, but that is just being realistic, isn't it. I was actually crying at the end, a first for all Paretsky's novels. Somebody has to do the digging to keep us safe from the Big Bad Guys who use money + the media to warp and twist our whole society, and I felt grateful to V.I. Her time with Jake is lovely but very short and not entirely redemptive. Pockets of love and loyalty from Jake, Lotty, Max and Petra are hopeful things, but the overwhelming feeling that the Bad Guys are winning hurts. Very well-paced book, moving at a fifty-year-old's pace? Satisfactory, as Nero Wolfe would say.
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