Gloria Feit's Reviews > Breakdown

Breakdown by Sara Paretsky
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's review
May 15, 2012

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Read in May, 2012

One thing we have learned in the previous 14 novels in the series: V.I. Warshawski is brash, rash and opinionated. So it should be no surprise that those characteristics continue in this, the 15th entry in the series. Unfortunately these traits also carry over to the plot, and that is unfortunate because otherwise it might have been an interesting novel. However, the book never seems to make up its mind whether it is a political tract, murder mystery or something else.

In fact this reader, at least, is hard put to try, even in a minimal way, to summarize the plot. It begins with a few young girls in an improbable setting (a cemetery) performing some sort of ritual, during which a murder takes place. Long diatribes against a Fox-like cable network and its right wing lead commentator, a couple of more murders or attempted assassinations, a senatorial campaign pitting a conservative against a liberal, and who knows what else. Enough? There’s probably more.

Just as an aside, detracting from the novel, in a finished copy, displays some very poor (or lack of) proofreading along the way. Needless to say, the novel gets off to a slow plodding pace, and only picks up speed at times beyond the middle and before the conclusion, which seems perfunctory at best.

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