Guardian Angel, by Sarah Paretsky

One of a series about VI Warshawski, a female PI in Chigaco. In this one, one of her neighbours is taken seriously ill, and is taken into hospital: another neighbour takes control of her affairs and has her dogs put down. Meanwhile another of VI's neighbours, a close friend, has taken pity on a former work colleague, who then disappears. Warshawski gets involved in trying to help in both cases, which turn out to be more connected than she first expected.

I think I read a Paretsky book some time ago, but don't remember much about it. But this one was bad. Just really poor - I guess it must be some way through the series: I can't imagine anyone wanting to publish this on its own merits. The style is irritating, written in the first person with Warshawski making smarty-pants comments both to us and to the people she meets, which aren't funny. The story was not gripping - it took over an hour at the start just going on about her and her neighbour's dogs, and although that was vaguely relevant to the overall plot, five minutes would have been too much. One scene which could have been exciting, where she was kidnapped by the criminals and made a daring escape, just wasn't, and the preceding passage, where the criminals argued amongst each other in front of her, conveniently explaining what they'd done so that the holes in the plot were filled in for us, was plain lazy writing.

I very nearly didn't bother finishing the book, I suppose a sort of masochistic fascination kept me going. I won't be reading any more.

Completed : 09-Sep-2005 (audiobook)

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