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Brush Back Audiobook

Brush Back: V. I. Warshawski Series, Book 17

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Publisher's Summary

Chicago's V. I. Warshawski confronts crooked politicians and buried family secrets in the gritty new novel from New York Times - bestselling author Sara Paretsky.

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she'd be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that's precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo's plea for help.

For six stormy weeks back in high school, V. I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full twenty-five years for her daughter's murder.

Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V. I. for help. V. I. doesn't want to get involved. Stella hated the Warshawskis, in particular V. I.'s adored mother, Gabriella.

But life has been hard on Frank and on V. I.'s other childhood friends, still stuck on the hardscrabble streets around the dead steel mills, and V. I. agrees to ask a few questions. Those questions lead her straight into the vipers' nest of Illinois politics she's wanted to avoid. When V. I. takes a beating at a youth meeting in her old hood, her main question becomes whether she will live long enough to find answers.

©2015 Sara Paretsky (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, Inc. Recorded by arrangement with G. P. Putnam’s Sons, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (218 )
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4.2 (196 )
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  •  
    BJA 08-04-15
    BJA 08-04-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The narrator of this story was very grating and I believe made the novel even choppier. Not a narrator I could listen to againn"

    Poor narration made this book disappointing. Lots of similar storylines to previous novels. I was hoping for more.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    que 08-23-15
    que 08-23-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Narrator"

    I tried to finish the book - each time I fell asleep. This is the only V.I. book I'm really disappointed with.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beverly 08-16-15
    Beverly 08-16-15
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    "Good story, lousy narrator, can't speak Chicagoan"

    It was very difficult to get past the voice of the new narrator. She doesn't sound like a Chicagoan. I only continued because I like Paretsky's style.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn 07-30-15
    Dawn 07-30-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Another great V.I. Warshawski book..."

    At first I found the narrator to be quite boring, but as I continued listening, I discovered that Karen Peakes did a beautiful job of bringing the characters to life. And yes, even V.I. herself, I had almost let the fact that I believed that Susan Ericksen was the voice of V.I. interfere with my enjoyment of this story. In the end I'm willing to admit that Ms Peakes did an excellent job.
    Sara Paretsky wrote another winner as usual! I highly recommend this book to anybody that is interested in mysteries.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teri 07-30-15
    Teri 07-30-15

    My Iphone is also my work phone so...the Audio Library is available all day for easy access, bluetooh for privacy! I love the Audible App

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful book!!"

    Just use to "V I" voice being Jean Smart or Susan Ericson but it is a good story well worth the wait - can't wait for the next book!!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russ 01-22-16
    Russ 01-22-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Excellent story, well narrated"

    A lot of characters to keep track of, but the story moves along well. generally excellent job with multiple characters ' voices.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Lee Albany, NY, United States 09-21-15
    Lee Albany, NY, United States 09-21-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Warshawski continues"

    Another good story, with VI battling those who seek power for their own purposes. narrator does an excellent job with different voices for the characters, both male and female.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sylvia Atlanta, GA, United States 09-11-15
    Sylvia Atlanta, GA, United States 09-11-15 Member Since 2013
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    "V.I. as castrato"
    How could the performance have been better?

    Why or why would someone choose a narrator with a high, thin, preppy voice for a character like V.I.? No one could believe this prom queen could be from South Chicago, much less haul back and slug someone. Storyline was typical V.I. operating in her gritty home ground with a slew of working class characters, sleazy pols, and of course a few classy characters who are always bad guys. Love them all! Just not the narration.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 08-07-15
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 08-07-15 Member Since 2016

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

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    "V. I. the perfect Private eye"

    This book is number 17 in the V.I. Warshawski series. One of the things I like about Paretsky’s writing is she includes information about Chicago both past and present. In this story Vic reluctantly returns to the South Chicago neighborhood she grew up in. Vic’s high school friend Frank Garro asked Vic to look into his mother Stella’s long ago conviction for beating his sister Annie to death. She has served the time but continues to say she was framed.

    We learn more about Vic’s cousin Boom Boom, a star player with the Blackhawks years ago. Boom Boom’s god-daughter hockey player Bernadine Fouchard is visiting Vic while checking out colleges. Paretsky points out how important sports are in South Chicago’s poor side enabling the excellent players a chance for a college education.

    The story is rich and aromatic, entertaining with lots of baseball references. I noted the punning chapter titles. Paretsky has included information about Wrigley Field; I now know about the history of the field. The book is well written and as usual Paretsky plots dig deeper and deeper into the past and present until all is revealed. Karen Peakes narrated the book. I wish this series had the same narrator all the time instead of changing with each book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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    C. Savage 08-04-16
    C. Savage 08-04-16
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    "The Right Narrator"
    What about Karen Peakes’s performance did you like?

    Karen Peakes strikes the right tone as brash, argumentative V.I. while also smoothly narrating the rest of the story. One previous narrator in the series does a great V.I. but lumbers through the storytelling, while another handles the rest of the book well but manages to make V.I. too soft. Karen Peakes balances both perfectly. She is definitely the narrator for this series - I hope they'll have her go back through and record the rest for new listeners.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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