When V.I. Warshawski is asked to look for an aspiring filmmaker who has become the main suspect in a break-in, the Chicago private detective follows the young man's trail to Lawrence, Kansas. Apparently August, the filmmaker, was headed there with former Hollywood actress Emerald Ferring, to make a documentary of her early years spent in the area.

But August and Emerald disappeared not long after they arrived in town. When a troubled woman calls V.I. to say she saw them, an attempt is made to silence the woman before she can talk. Then people start dying--residents who might have information about August and Emerald's whereabouts, as well as what happened three decades ago around a missile silo in town. The military says the silo has been decommissioned, but V.I. discovers it may not be as harmless as it appears.

After more than 30 years, V.I. remains an appealing protagonist in Sara Paretsky's Fallout. The private eye's forthright manner and low tolerance for lies are a tonic in an age when falsehoods dominate current events. Her assistant, the golden retriever Peppy, is a joy, as is the humor V.I. shows regarding residents who claim to know nothing about August and Emerald, despite knowing everything about everyone's business.

But Fallout covers deadly matters, too, and tackles social issues, including racial tensions in the South. Paretsky's writing remains relevant while reminding readers of lessons from the past, for as one character says, what's happening now is "just another chapter in a long book." --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, blogger at Pop Culture Nerd

Powered by: Xtenit