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Obsidian Blue

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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Linda Fairstein
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Great Pivot for Series

Burn Marks - Sara Paretsky

I have been told by many of my friends that once I got to "Burn Marks" I would love VI Warshawski. Since these books have been hit or miss with me I thought my friends were full of it. Happily, they were not.

"Burn Marks" delves once more into Victoria's messed up family. Her father's sister, Elena (who we have not heard of until now) is a barely functional alcoholic. She pops up on Victoria's doorstep at 3 am looking for a place to stay since the room she had in a single room occupancy (SRO) building caught on fire leaving her homeless. Victoria calls on her uncle (who sucks by the way) to help her out, but it looks like Victoria may be stuck with her aunt for sometime. Then her aunt shows up again with a friend who needs help saying that her baby died in the fire. Couple this with the fact that Victoria keeps getting warned off looking into a friend of hers background spells danger for Victoria. 


Victoria is 37 in this one and feeling her age a bit. She's realized that kids and another husband are not in the cards for her. What I like though, is that it doesn't bother her at all. What made me laugh a bit about this book is that Victoria really doesn't want to be involved with looking into what her old friend is up to. But people keep acting like asses to her so she perversely decides to figure out what is going on. And for long time readers they know that Victoria is a feminist and went to school with like minded women. And the blow back she gets about not being there for women when she starts looking into what her friends is getting into felt raw and real. I love the line that she throws out that being a feminist does not mean just letting some other woman walk all over her and or turn a blind eye to whatever she's up to. 


She also has a lot of guys thrown at her in this one, but resists a godson of Bobby's that is also on the police force. She realizes that her need to be independent will never work with his need to just have a woman sit there and be pretty.


And man oh man, I love that Victoria and Bobby once and for all have it out in this one. I really loathed this character (Bobby) for 6 books. His dismissing Victoria and always blaming her for being in danger (if she just get married and have kids, none of this would happen) finally hits a point that Victoria has to decide whether it is wise to even be in his life anymore. 


We have appearances by Lotty and Mr. Contreras. I am really tired of the character of Mr. Contreras. Seriously. I have a bad feeling he is going to be in the rest of the books and I need him to go away.


I did laugh about the budding war between Victoria and her downstairs neighbor due to her and her late night visitors.


The writing in this one was really good and the flow worked very well. This book touches upon feminism, race, Chicago politics, etc. I can honestly say that I was wondering how everything was going to tie up in the end, but it does work wonderfully. I do wonder if Elena is going to pop up in any other books or not. 


The ending left Victoria I think with finally getting some much needed respect from the police force. I do wonder though what is going to happen in the next book. Can't wait to read it.