So I have been reading a ton of mystery/crime series this year as you all can see. I have gotten invested in the Harry Bosch series and am a long-time fan of the Alphabet series by Sue Grafton. I don't know yet if I am going to add in VI Warshawski as a long time reader or not. I think that parts of the book were good, but other parts that deal with VI's personality started getting on my nerves. Like a lot. I do wonder though if this was a male character if she would have irked me so much which definitely made me think.
In the first book we have VI as an established PI, but not really getting into life and death situations. Until this book which has VI investigating when a college girl goes missing and her boyfriend is found murdered. What I love about this book and the Sue Grafton books is both timelines take place during the early 1980s. There is no internet, Google, or Facebook. There are mentions of computers, but VI loves her mother's old Olvetti typewriter. We also hear about the women's right movement and man oh man the sad parallels to the early 80s to now was just whiplash inducing after a while. You would think we came further, we have not.
VI is a loner except for her best friend and mother figure, Doctor Lotty Herschel. Lotty is the Greek chorus in VI's face telling her to be careful and to slow down. Though VI wants to prove herself as strong and tough as any man out there, she keeps having run ins with a bunch of people who mean to do her harm which starts to put a damper on her and her potential love interest.
I liked the writing, but thought at times that Paretsky got a bit repetitive. It seems like every five seconds VI was relaxing in a bath tub and drinking some Black Label whiskey. After a while I wondered how the heck she was still standing since when I drink whiskey I start thinking naps are a good idea.
This first book was kind of all over the place a bit I thought. We have Paretsky laying out VI's background and her contacts. The case was actually pretty cool and I loved the solution to it and what the bad guys were getting up to.
This takes place in Chicago (you know the place that apparently is on fire right now--eyeroll) and Paretsky does a great job of making Chicago of the 80s come alive.