Cover image for Dead land
Title:
Dead land
ISBN:
9780062435927
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
405 pages ; 24 cm.
Geographic Term:
Summary:
Chicago may be the city of broad shoulders, but its political law is "Pay to Play." Money changes hands in the middle of the night, and by morning, buildings and parks are replaced by billion-dollar projects. Chicago PI V.I. Warshawski gets pulled into one of these clandestine deals through her impetuous goddaughter, Bernie Fouchard. Bernie tries to rescue Lydia Zamir, a famed singer-songwriter now living on the streets; Zamir's life fell apart when her lover was murdered next to her in a mass shooting at an outdoor concert. Not only does Bernie plunge her and V.I. headlong into the path of some ruthless developers, they lead to the murder of the young man Bernie is dating. He's a computer geek working for a community group called SLICK. V.I. is desperate to find a mysterious man named Coop, who roams the lakefront in the middle of the night with his dog. She's sure he holds the key to the mounting body count within SLICK. Coop may even know why an international law firm is representing the mass murderer responsible for Lydia's lover's death. Instead, the detective finds a terrifying conspiracy stretching from Chicago's parks to a cover-up of the dark chapters in America's meddling in South American politics. Before she finds answers, this electrifying novel pushes V.I. close to the breaking point: People who pay to play take no prisoners.
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Summary

Summary

"V.I. Warshawski is as dogged and ferocious as ever. So is Sara Paretsky, who is at the top of her crime novel game."

-- C.J. Box

Chicago's legendary detective, V.I. Warshawski, knows her city's rotten underbelly better than most, but she's unable to avoid it when her goddaughter drags her into a fight over lakefront land use, in this propulsive novel from New York Times bestseller Sara Paretsky.



Chicago may be the city of broad shoulders, but its political law is "Pay to Play." Money changes hands in the middle of the night, and by morning, buildings and parks are replaced by billion-dollar projects.

Chicago PI V.I. Warshawski gets pulled into one of these clandestine deals through her impetuous goddaughter, Bernie Fouchard. Bernie tries to rescue Lydia Zamir, a famed singer-songwriter now living on the streets; Zamir's life fell apart when her lover was murdered next to her in a mass shooting at an outdoor concert. Not only does Bernie plunge her and V.I. headlong into the path of some ruthless developers, they lead to the murder of the young man Bernie is dating. He's a computer geek working for a community group called SLICK.

V.I. is desperate to find a mysterious man named Coop, who roams the lakefront in the middle of the night with his dog. She's sure he holds the key to the mounting body count within SLICK. Coop may even know why an international law firm is representing the mass murderer responsible for Lydia's lover's death. Instead, the detective finds a terrifying conspiracy stretching from Chicago's parks to a cover-up of the dark chapters in America's meddling in South American politics. Before she finds answers, this electrifying novel pushes V.I. close to the breaking point: People who pay to play take no prisoners.


Author Notes

Author Sara Paretsky was born in Ames, Iowa on June 8, 1947. She received a degree in political science from the University of Kansas and ultimately completed a Ph.D. in history at the University of Chicago; her dissertation was entitled "The Breakdown of Moral Philosophy in New England Before the Civil War." She also earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. She married a professor of physics (University of Chicago).

The protagonist of all but two of Paretsky's novels is V.I. Warshawski, a female private investigator. V. I. Warshawsky shows a female detective succeeding a traditionally male role.

Paretsky has won numerous awards for her work including the Silver Dagger Award for Toxic Shock, the Gold Dagger award for Blacklist, and the Diamond Dagger for Lifetime achievement from the British Crime Writers Association.

Her title Brush Back made the New York Times Best Seller List in 2015.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

In MWA Grand Master Paretsky's solid 21st V.I. Warshawski novel (after 2018's Shell Game), Warshawski's goddaughter, Bernadine "Bernie" Fouchard, persuades her to attend a meeting of the South Lakefront Improvement Council (SLICK), a Chicago community group. On the group's agenda is the Chicago Parks District's plan to fill in part of the lake to create a beach. The meeting erupts in protest, led by the mysterious Coop. Later, Warshawski and Bernie seek to help Lydia Zamir, a former famous singer-songwriter now living on the streets and suffering from the aftershock of the murder of her lover, Hector Palurdo, in a mass shooting. Warshawski looks into who killed Hector while also investigating the actions of SLICK after two of its speakers are murdered. Could Coop be involved? Warshawski knows well the shady politics that drive Chicago and the city's "pay for play" policies, but she wasn't expecting to uncover a conspiracy that reaches into South America. Never mind that the plot occasionally becomes mired in repetitious action. Warshawski's spirit and strength still shine. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (Apr.)


Booklist Review

In this series bar-raiser, dauntless private detective V. I. Vic Warshawski digs into a famous musician's disappearance and uncovers a web of greed linking the South Side of Chicago, rural Kansas, and a Chilean mining town. As Vic awaits a community group's recognition of her goddaughter Bernie Fouchard's soccer team, the South Lakefront Improvement Council's (SLICK's) landfill-proposal presentation erupts into chaos, sparked by the enraged protests of local hothead Coop. Trekking to their cars, Vic and Bernie encounter a homeless woman pounding soulful music on a toy piano. Bernie insists that the woman is a famous musician, Lydia Zamir, who disappeared after her boyfriend, a migrant-workers' advocate, was murdered. Ignoring angry warnings from Coop, Bernie attempts to draw the musician off the streets. Coop's concern rings true when a young SLICK intern, whom Bernie was dating, is murdered near Zamir's camp, Bernie is targeted in a violent home invasion, and Zamir and Coop disappear. Vic responds, determined to run down the connections between SLICK, Zamir, and a high-powered law firm intensely interested in her investigation. Paretsky is celebrated for bringing Chicago to life through Vic's investigations into corporate wrongdoing and political corruption; here, while again mining that territory, she also offers a full-sensory foray into rural Kansas as Vic hunts for Zamir and Coop while dodging an assassin who somehow predicts her every move. A high point in Paretsky's long-running and much-loved series.--Christine Tran Copyright 2020 Booklist


Kirkus Review

V.I. Warshawski's search for a homeless woman with a fraught past leads her deep into a series of political conspiracies that stretch over generations and continents. Bernadine Fouchard, V.I.'s goddaughter, thinks that Lydia Zamir, whose songs about strong women she reveres, was shot dead along with her lover, Hector Palurdo, at a Kansas fundraiser four years ago. She's only half right. The 17 victims ranch hand Arthur Morton shot in Horsethief Canyon include Palurdo but not Zamir, whom V.I. and Bernie happen to hear banging out haunting tunes on a toy piano under a Chicago railroad viaduct. But they glimpse her only momentarily before the traumatized musician flees and eventually disappears. Soon afterward, Bernie finds herself in trouble when the young man she's been dating--Leo Prinz, a summer employee of SLICK, the South Lakefront Improvement Council--is murdered and she becomes a person of considerable interest to Sgt. Lenora Pizzello. The search for Lydia Zamir morphs into an investigation of her relationship with Palurdo, an activist against the Pinochet regime in Chile long before he was shot apparently at random. In the meantime, the disappearance of Simon Lensky, one of SLICK's elected managers, throws a spotlight on the organization's controversial proposal for a new landfill on the South Side. Everyone in the city seems to have strong opinions about the proposal, from Gifford Taggett, superintendent of the Chicago Park District, to Nobel Prize-winning economist Larry Nieland, to an inveterate protestor known only as Coop, who kicks off the story by vanishing after parking his dog with V.I., to her consternation and the ire of her neighbors and her own two dogs. As usual, Paretsky (Shell Game, 2018, etc.) is less interested in identifying whodunit than in uncovering a monstrous web of evil, and this web is one of her densest and most finely woven ever. So fierce, ambitious, and far-reaching that it makes most other mysteries seem like so many petit fours. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Library Journal Review

Chicago detective V.I. Warshawski returns in the 20th installment of Paretsky's long-running mystery series (after Shell Game). After attending a contentious meeting on possible changes to the South Chicago lakefront, Warshawski gets involved in a murder investigation that links her goddaughter Bernie and an angry professional protestor. Soon, the good detective is knee deep in a quagmire of political corruption, social injustice, and the disappearance of an award-winning singer-songwriter. Paretsky packs a lot into each new adventure and though this installment is a multilayered story, it moves at a swift and poppy pace. There are times when Warshawski's escapades are a bit unbelievable--the trap she sets for the antagonists is highly implausible--but new readers should not look for logic; they should enjoy the fun of solving the mystery and rooting for Warshawski to bring down the bad guys. VERDICT This enjoyable romp through political corruption and social injustice in Chicago will please fans of the V.I. Warshawski detective series and readers who enjoy tough women PIs. [See Prepub Alert, 9/23/19.]--Leah Huey, Dekalb P.L., IL