Sunday, October 28, 2018

Shell Game

Shell Game by Sara Paretsky
HarperCollins: 10/16/18
review copy; 400 pages
ISBN-13: 9780062435866
V. I. Warshawski Series #19

Shell Game by Sara Paretsky is a highly recommended 19th installment of the continuing crimes series featuring Chicago private investigator V. I. Warshawski.

This time V.I. is trying to solve two complicated mysteries. The first one is the corpse that turned up in Cap Sauer's Holding. The police are looking at Lotty's nephew, Felix, as the prime suspect and Lotty wants V.I. to protect Felix, hopefully by finding clues to the real killer. The second mystery involves Harmony Seale looking for her missing sister, Reno. Harmony and Reno's late mother was the sister of V.I.'s ex-husband, attorney Richard Yarborough. Harmony has flown in from Portland because her sister has disappeared. She wants V.I. to help her find Reno, who would never take off without talking to Harmony.

The investigations are involved and complicated, insuring V.I. gets little sleep and has to deal with multiple lines of inquiry as well as injuries. In the plot expect Slavic thugs attacking her (and her dog), Middle Eastern ties, immigration questions, predatory payday loans, stolen art, wealthy corporate abuse, financial fraud, ICE agents, ISIS backers, and stock scams - and those are not all of the problems V.I. encounters.  These cases are going to challenge V.I. mentally and physically. The good news is that she is up to the task.

Paretsky is an accomplished, seasoned crime writer who knows how to write an intriguing, complicated, and engrossing plot that will hold your attention and that is certainly the case with Shell Game. This is a page-turner that will have most readers saying, "Just one more chapter..." The pace is fast and furious as additional information is uncovered, leading to more questions and new lines of inquiry.

Obviously, V.I. is a well-developed character, as are the other regulars that populate Warshawski's world. The new characters are also generally developed enough to give them depth and keep a measure of interest in their actions. Although this is the 19th novel featuring V.I., it can also be read as a stand-alone since relationships between people and pertinent backstories are explained.There are several hot-topic current social issues at play in the plot, so please take note if that is going to bother you.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.

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