Multitudinous story-strings make for a convoluted plot though you can skim over tinny parts to get to protagonist's character development. Rough in parts /okay in others. Uneven, boring.
In a Note to the edition that I read, Paretsky wrote that some publishers rejected this book because it was too talky and had wooden characters. I completely agree. I found the protagonist to be loquacious, did not empathize with a single character, and thought the plot tedious. Maybe Paretsky has learned some lessons since this book and her other novels are better, but I do not intend to take the time to find out.
The first V.I Warshawski mystery and a good one that made me a fan.
As you might expect from a first novel, it has some weaknesses. But it is still an entertaining read and essential for any V.I. fan.
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