V.I. Warshawski's former basketball coach asks her to assume responsibility for the team. Returning to her old high school—and tough South Chicago neighborhood—V.I. soon gets involved in the girls' lives. She tries to help a player's mother, Rose Dorrado, by investigating her place of employment, a factory where there have been incidents seemingly aimed at closing it down.

Eventually, V.I. comes into contact with mega-billionaire William "Buffalo Bill" Bysen, who owns one of the world's largest discount-store chains, and his idealistic grandson, Billy the Kid. With Billy as her ally, V.I. attempts to get funding for the school from Bill, and she ends up getting involved in murder when one of the employees is killed.

Paretsky always knows how to rev up the thrills and the action, and she doesn't disappoint. It's business as usual as V.I. gets shot at, blown up, beaten, insulted and harassed. This intense book is all V.I., with very little side story. Regulars like V.I.'s doctor pal Lottie and her neighbor Mr. Contreras make only casual appearances. With her impeccable plotting and tight dialogue, Paretsky does not let the reader down. (Jun., 416 pp., $25.95)
Reviewed by: 
Lorraine Gelly