by Sukey HowardOctober, 2005
Sabotage on the South Side
There was a time when female detectives were a rare breed. Though the subgenre has mushroomed, Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski series remains one of the very best. In Fire Sale, the 12th in the series, narrated by Sandra Burr, Paretsky and V.I. are in top form, taking on social and economic injustice while going head-to-head with the bad guys. Returning to her South Side roots to coach the girls basketball team at her old high school, V.I. gets involved with her team, their working-poor parents and their many troubles troubles that entangle her in the sabotage of a local factory, with a hotheaded, overzealous Mexican pastor and the feuding, super-rich, super-righteous family that owns a dominant mega-discount chain. Not enough? Add one brutal murder, nearly being buried alive in Chicago's vast dump and revelations about the cutthroat practices of bigger-than-big business.