It’s a Mystery: Blacklist, by Sara Paretsky


Political dissent, discrimination, and the suspension of civil rights in the immediate wake of 9/11 play a major role in the development of VI Warshawski’s latest outing. Hired to stake out an abandoned mansion where suspicious lights are seen night after night, VI stumbles (literally) into the murder of a rising, provocative journalist who happens to be African American. The police are treating the death as a suicide, but that seems unlikely to VI, and in the course of her investigation, she becomes entangled in a web of money, power, and infidelity stretching back to the 1930’s and the McCarthy era. VI, with a vicious cold, is determined but tired and disheartened, both by the recent acts of terrorism and by her boyfriend Morrell’s absence on a dangerous assignment in Afghanistan. Her struggle to arrive at the truth is an engrossing one.

Blacklist is a skilfully written study of two parallel times in American history. It is also a portrait of a feisty, intelligent, strong woman who is not afraid to act on her principles. Finally, it is a complicated yet credible mystery that is far from easy to solve. It should get you thinking…..


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