cover image Brush Back

Brush Back

Sara Paretsky, read by Karen Peakes. Brilliance Audio, , unabridged, 11 CDs, 13 hrs., $36.99 ISBN 978-1-5012-3129-2

Chicago PI V.I. “Vic” Warshawski’s 18th anticrime foray takes her back to her old neighborhood and her second recorded case, the murder of her beloved cousin, hockey great Boom-Boom Warshawski (the basis for the plot of 1984’s Deadlock). Frank Guzzo, her flame, approaches Vic with a sensitive issue: his mother, Stella, just finished 25 years in prison for murdering Frank’s younger sister, Annie, and she’s now proclaiming her innocence. Vic agrees to look into the matter, but is floored when Stella accuses the detective’s beloved late cousin of having a hand in Annie’s murder. Actress Peakes, assuming reading duty from Susan Ericksen, has the narrator-sleuth sounding a little younger and speaking a little faster, with the angry edge that was previously part of the characterization now reserved for the times when Vic really is angry. As for the other players, Peakes smoothly adds to Frank’s weakness under pressure with stammering and halted speech, manages a bit of gravitas when limning the lawyers and rabbis on Vic’s info-gathering list, and does a fair imitation of the Windy City Irish accent during her visits to the old neighborhood. A Putnam hardcover. (July)