Book Review: “Fallout” by Sara Paretsky

This is a mystery novel, published in 2017 and features Private Investigator V.I. Warshawski. The book opens with two friends asking for Warshawski’s help finding a missing young man. He’s been implicated in a robbery of pharmaceuticals at a local gym in Chicago and has vanished. His friends, Angela and Bernie, don’t believe he did it and are concerned for his safety. They ask their private investigator friend, V.I. Warshawski or Vic, for help. She agrees to take a look at the case but the deeper she looks the more complicated the case becomes. After her initial investigation, she learns that the young man may have gone to Kansas to help an aging film star record her youth. Vic follows and finds a mystery that reaches to bioterrorism, missile silos, and the federal government.

The novel opened up to me as the reader in layers. It began with a simple missing persons case and then gradually grew and grew. The author caught the flavor of the town of Lawrence, Kansas and small town U.S.A., complete with the local police and sheriff, trying to run her out of town. In addition, she brought in elements of the U.S. Army, the Air Force, other branches of the government and radical right-wing groups as well. It takes a while to uncover the mystery, but it’s good. By the way, the story has nothing to do with nuclear fallout, but fallout in a more generic terms, like a disagreement or class of opinions (and there’s a lot of that). The author has a sly sense of humor that comes out of the mouth of her favorite P.I.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and skipped doing other chores in order to finish it.

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