This is a story of secrets and betrayals that stretch across four generations - secrets political, social, sexual, financial: all of them with the power to kill. Eager for something physical to do in the spirit-exhausting wake of 9/11, V.I. accepts a request from an old client to check up on an empty family mansion; subsequently surprises an intruder in the dark; and, giving chase, topples into a pond. Grasping for something to hold on to, her fingers close around a lifeless human hand.
It is the body of a reporter who had been investigating events of 45 years earlier, during the McCarthy era, and V. I.'s discovery quickly sucks her into the history of two great Chicago families - their fortunes intertwined by blood, sex, money, and the scandals that may or may not have resulted in murder all these years later. At the same time, she inadvertently becomes involved in the story of a missing Egyptian boy whose possible terrorist connections make him very much sought after by the government. As the two cases drive her forward - and then shockingly tumble together, pushing her into situations more perilous than she could have imagined - she finds that wealth and privilege, too, bear a terrible price; and the past has no monopoly on patriotic scoundrels. Before everything is over, at least two more people will lie dead...and V.I. might even be one of them.
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©2004 Sara Paretsky; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Here's an audiobook that really needs to be abridged to separate the story from hours of superfluous blather about the "McCarthy Era." I appreciated the occasional jab at the stupidity of the Patriot Act, but hours spent reliving the (fictitious in the audiobook) trials of the House Unamerican Activities Committee -- boooring, and not much to do with the underlying (and I do mean underlying) story. The story itself is OK (not great) but it's so broken up by McCarthy-stuff, and there are so many characters/names, that you lose track of who's doing what to whom -- to the point you don't really care. Save your money -- Audible has lots of better audiobooks to choose from.
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