Nancy's Reviews > Breakdown

Breakdown by Sara Paretsky
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's review
Jul 17, 2012

really liked it
Read in July, 2012

Paretsky at the top of her form, which is very good indeed.

Things I liked about the book: the layered revelations of how the bad guys' paths and motivations were crossed. The usual daily interactions with her neighbor and two little girls who may or may not be undocumented immigrants, and V.I. Warshawski's human kindness--woven into some really scary plotting and tough-guy wisecracking.

Paretsky is, as always, relentless with detail. Occasionally, it makes the reader weary. Every single lead is run down. Every single possibility explored--and from every angle. It's as if Paretsky starts writing and knows her characters and story details so thoroughly that she has to share them all, every last possibility, every potential killer, every imaginable and layered combination of motivations and actions. It adds perhaps 50 pages to an already-long book (and I love long, detailed books). Paretsky also seems to have adopted ludicrously over-the-top endings lately, as well.

In Breakdown, a particular pleasure is Paretsky's spot-on characterization of an obnoxious right-wing, family values broadcast corporation and its smarmy newscasters and "news" gathering techniques. She gets that absolutely right.
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