Hardball

Sara Paretsky, Author . Putnam $26.95 (446p) ISBN 978-0-399-15593-2

Bestseller Paretsky tracks the poisonous residue of racial hatred that still seeps into Chicago life and politics in her fine 13th novel to feature gutsy PI V.I. “Vic” Warshawski, last seen in 2005's Fire Sale . In her search for a black man who disappeared in 1967, Lamont Gadsden, Vic reconnects with some of her father Tony's old police colleagues; pays a prison visit to Johnny Merton, a notorious gang leader she once defended in her lawyering days; and tracks down Steve Sawyer, who disappeared following a murder conviction. Vic confronts an ugly period in Chicago's history, a peaceful march in 1966 by Martin Luther King that resulted in a white riot and the murder of a young black woman, Harmony Newsome. Digging into this ancient history stirs passions and fears of what secrets might be revealed. The apparent kidnapping of Vic's fresh-out-of-college cousin, Petra, who's come to Chicago to work on a senatorial campaign, raises the ante. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/13/2009
Release date: 10/01/2009
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