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Hard Time

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About the Author

Sara Paretsky is the author of ten other books, including the bestselling Tunnel Vision, Guardian Angel, and Burn Marks. She lives in Chicago with her husband.


Since the publication of Paretsky's non-Warshawski novel, Ghost Country, the many fans of the Chicago private detective have been eagerly awaiting the new V.I. Warshawski novel, and by and large they won't be disappointed. When V.I. swerves to avoid a body lying in the middle of the road, she never imagines that her search for the reasons behind the vicious beating death of Nicola Aguinaldo will take her from the upper classes of Chicago society to a long stint behind bars at a private women's prison overrun with sadistic guards and almost equally threatening inmates. Her investigation will fray her relationships with assistant Mary Louise Neely and old friend Murray Ryerson, but with the help of a Catholic priest, an investigative reporter (and possible new love interest) named Morrell, and, of course, her neighbor and friend, Mr. Contreras, V.I. finally makes sure that justice is done. Welcome back, V.I. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/99.]ÄNancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

V.I. Warshawski's first outing in five years begins with a party celebrating the TV debut of her reporter friend Murray Ryerson and attended by Lacey Dowell, Chicago native and star of Mad Virgin films. On the drive home, V.I. swerves to avoid hitting an injured young woman, who later dies. A hostile cop barges in the next day to question Vic about the "hit-and-run" of Nicola Aguinaldo, who seems to have escaped from the medical ward of Coolis, a privately operated prison in northwestern Illinois. Nicola was serving time for stealing a $50,000 necklace from her employers, the Baladines, owners of Carnifice Security, which operates state prisons. Vic gains access to the Baladine enclaveÄwhere no one but the Baladine son, Robbie, seems concerned about Nicola's death. Then one of Lacey's childhood friends is found drowned. Things get even murkier when Robbie shows up at V.I.'s house and the PI is arrested and herself shipped off to Coolis to await bail. Suddenly powerless, V.I. learns how quickly freedom can be lost. But her faithful neighbor Mr. Contreras and her mentor Lotty, the activist doctor, never waver; further, unexpected support comes from an advocate for political prisoners and an inner-city priest. Illegal aliens, labor problems, political corruption and prison abuse all mix into the intrigue. Paretsky (Tunnel Vision) weaves a thread of loss though this journey to hell and back in which Vic ponders the death of her own mother and the end of a relationship, as well as the pain of those caught in the far-reaching tentacles of corrupt power. The use of short chapters with catchy, ironic titles keeps the action moving without giving too much away and helps to marshal the abundant characters and plot turns. Hurrah and welcome back, V.I.Äand Sara P. Major ad/promo; 9-city author tour. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

YA-Paretsky's incomparable private investigator solves many mysteries in this suspenseful thriller set in Chicago. The story begins as she drives friends home from a large party given by a multimedia conglomerate called Global Entertainment. As she takes a short cut through town, she narrowly misses a body in the road. The victim, a young woman, is barely breathing and brutally battered. As Warshawski begins to unravel the mystery of this woman, she becomes the chief suspect in the "hit-and-run." When the body disappears and she starts to investigate the situation on her own, she takes on the Chicago police, the CEOs of Global Entertainment, and guards at a women's prison. Her friends try desperately to pull her away from a dangerous situation, but the sleuth finds too many coincidences that don't make sense as she tries to clear her own name. This PI is tough, stubborn, passionate, and right. YAs will find her story riveting until the very end.-Linda A. Vretos, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Praise for Sara Paretsky: "Paretsky's books are beautifully paced and plotted, and the dialogue is fresh and smart." --Newsweek "Paretsky is still the best...she doesn't pull punches." --The Washington Post Book World "Sara Paretsky has hit the big time...she gets better and better!" --Los Angeles Times Book Review

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