My rating: 5of 5 stars
Sara Paretsky continues to compel her readers to confront uncomfortable truths about American society. In Body Work, she takes on the evils of war, corrupt corporate scheming, PTSD, and the exploitation of women. VI is hired by the father of an Iraq combat veteran, accused of murdering a young woman outside a seamy nightclub. Vic’s cousin Petra has taken a job there, and Vic’s familiar with the current act, in which patrons are invited to paint upon the body of a naked woman. The investigation is perhaps the toughest she’s ever encountered, but lies, cover-ups, and chicanery always bring out her tenacious side. Petra, now a recurring character in the series, is her typical petulant self, complicating Vic’s efforts, but she also manages to save Vic’s life. This is an intelligent but complicated plot, with scenes that evoke visceral reactions, so it’s not an easy book to read, but it is a rewarding one. The denouement is particularly surprising, as VI takes an risky step out of her personal comfort zone. Another first rate novel from Paretsky.