Wow. You would think Sara Paretsky had a crystal ball and could look into the future of America with this book.
"Blacklist" taking place in a post 9/11 America where everyone who is a Muslim is automatically a terrorist is starting to wear on VI. Due to her protesting during her college days, she knows what a slippery slope the US is in right now with allowing The Patriot Act to allow the government to spy on its citizens all for the great good of security. When VI is asked by one of her long-standing clients to look into his mother's accusations that someone has broken into their old home, VI comes across a dead journalist/writer. And it looks like his investigations into a pioneer in the African American art scene during the Red Scare in the U.S. has run into an America that is ready to do whatever it can in the name of terrorism.
I loved this book and it in turn broke my heart while reading. VI can be self righteous. But you definitely (or I did) get where she is coming from. You can see parallels to what the US did back in the 50/60s to those who they claimed where Communists to them saying anyone with brown skin is automatically an enemy. VI ends up running into a powerful publisher and a character who reminded me a little too much of Glen Beck while I was reading.
We get the usual cast of characters in this one. We also have VI feeling lost now that her lover Morello is in Afghanistan investigating the Taliban. She makes a lot of comparisons to her being Penelope and him being Odysseys. I would have to say though that no one puts VI in the corner, so it was a bit much to have her being all fire and brimstone towards anyone who is blocking her ability to figure out who murdered this journalist to them being all weepy over the state of her love life.
The ending shocked me (in a good way). I wish that sometimes Paretsky would do what Sue Grafton does with her Kinsey Millhone detective books and write an epilogue. I hate things being left twisting in the wind.