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Total Recall | [Sara Paretsky]

Total Recall

In Total Recall, Sara Paretsky brings together several disparate plots in one gripping story. This powerfully suspenseful novel confronts the machinations of a vast and corrupt industry that trades on the victims of Nazi terrorism; the strange and dubious phenomenon of "recovered memory;" and a personal story that brings V. I. Warshawski into the long-buried past of her dearest friend and mentor, Dr. Lotty Herschel.
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Publisher's Summary

In Total Recall, Sara Paretsky brings together several disparate plots in one gripping story. This powerfully suspenseful novel confronts the machinations of a vast and corrupt industry that trades on the victims of Nazi terrorism; the strange and dubious phenomenon of "recovered memory;" and a personal story that brings V. I. Warshawski into the long-buried past of her dearest friend and mentor, Dr. Lotty Herschel.

Lotty was a child of nine when she came to England in 1939 as a refugee from Austria. Having lost her entire family to the Nazi terror, she grew up and completed her medical training in London - and there fell in love with a fellow refugee. She ended the affair when she discovered she was pregnant and bore the child in secrecy, giving it up for adoption. Now, that long-held secret may be exposed.

At a national conference in Chicago on Jews in Modern America, a man with recovered memories makes a dramatic appearance and claim - and his name brings consternation to Lotty. V.I. is retained to find out whether or not he is a surviving relative of Lotty's. It's a search that meshes stunningly with the pursuit of another case she is on - for what she uncovers, to her great peril, is brutal insurance fraud on an international scale.

Total Recall is Paretsky's most spectacular achievement to date, and takes V.I. to new heights of gusto, guts, passion for justice - and risk.

Catch all of our V.I. Warshawski titles.

(P)2004 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (91 )
5 star
 (26)
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4.4 (34 )
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4.1 (35 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer TX USA 12-02-08
    Amazon Customer TX USA 12-02-08 Member Since 2008

    Emily

    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
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    244
    8
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    "My favorite Sara Paretsky"

    I found this story to be emotionally satisfying, believable and gripping to the end. I have listened to it many times. This seems to me to be a deeper character study of the people who fans of Sara Paretsky have come to know.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele C. Harrison 05-26-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    29
    2
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    "I love the entire VI Warshawski series."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Total Recall to be better than the print version?

    I used Whispersync to enhance my listening/reading enjoyment. I've read all the series but am going through the series again since it's been a while.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    VI of course.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Overall for me the narrator's voice is "too nice." After listening to all the different V.I. voices in order I like Susan Ericksen, Kathleen Turner (movie), Jean Smart, Sandra Burr.

    The pace matched the way I was reading the story so it worked for me. Sandra Burr just didn't have Chicago south side toughness. The accents were off for the characters in my mind anyway.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Santa Cruz, US, Canada 11-06-12
    Jennifer Santa Cruz, US, Canada 11-06-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    20
    20
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    Performance
    Story
    "The history and mystery of loss and pain"

    Perhaps my favorite mystery ever. Mystery is supposed to involve the twists and turns of the unsaid, the buried, the never faced. The tenderness and intensity of Vic's love for Lotty and the care with which she pursues the source of her anguish is exquisitely presented. As always the actual plot twists together from different, seemingly unrelated sources, and this is just the price we have to pay for a good story, I guess. I'm so glad I ignored some of the reviews of this book and actually downloaded it. It did more than get me through a bunch of exercise sessions. It led me to reconsider the carefully suppressed pain of my own parents who were from an entirely different place and circumstance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra San Jose, Ca, United States 11-12-13
    Debra San Jose, Ca, United States 11-12-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    79
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "slow at first"
    If you could sum up Total Recall in three words, what would they be?

    slow at first then-- like all of the VI Warsharsky stories they turn to predictable yet solid stories built on the lives and friends of VI.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Huber Heights, OH, United States 10-17-12
    Mark Huber Heights, OH, United States 10-17-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    27
    7
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    "Again, and Again"
    Where does Total Recall rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    .


    Any additional comments?

    I have herd this story multiple times. I enjoy it like it was the first time I listened to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scotia United States 01-03-12
    Scotia United States 01-03-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "V.I. Characterization is Awful"

    I purchased this one accidentally. I meant to get Hard Time which is narrated by Jean Smart. When I fired this one up the other day, I was in for a shock. Sandra Burr, who unfortunately seems to have narrated quite a few V.I. Warshawski audiobooks (which means I'm going to miss out on a lot of them), makes Vic sound like a wide-eyed little girl, or a Stepford Wife. The edge, the wit, and the tough as nails femininity is completely absent. She makes Vic sound like she's on mood stabilizers, and the mood of the story is ruined. When V.I. gets into a heated discussion with one of the other characters, she "shoots back" with a retort, but she could have been talking about how nice sunny days are when the sky is blue. Yes, it's that bad. Unless you're really hard up for a V.I. Warshawski novel, I suggest you skip this and pick up the ones by Jean Smart. Smart nails Vic perfectly.

    (*Reposting this as some of my reviews seem to have been disassociated from my Audible account.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scotia Escondido, CA, United States 07-09-10
    Scotia Escondido, CA, United States 07-09-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    5
    3
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    "V.I. Characterization is Awful"

    I purchased this one accidentally. I meant to get Hard Time which is narrated by Jean Smart. When I fired this one up the other day, I was in for a shock. Sandra Burr, who unfortunately seems to have narrated quite a few V.I. Warshawski audiobooks (which means I'm going to miss out on a lot of them), makes Vic sound like a wide-eyed little girl, or a Stepford Wife. The edge, the wit, and the tough as nails femininity is completely absent. She makes Vic sound like she's on mood stabilizers, and the mood of the story is ruined. When V.I. gets into a heated discussion with one of the other characters, she "shoots back" with a retort, but she could have been talking about how nice sunny days are when the sky is blue. Yes, it's that bad. Unless you're really hard up for a V.I. Warshawski novel, I suggest you skip this and pick up the ones by Jean Smart. Smart nails Vic perfectly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bethann milwaukee, WI, United States 10-16-10
    bethann milwaukee, WI, United States 10-16-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "predictable"

    I was intrigued during the first few hours, but as it went on, it became redundant, predictable and implausible. Couldn't even finish it, by the second download, it was getting painful to listen to...wish I would've left this one on the shelf.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Ballwin, MO, United States 08-05-10
    Anne Ballwin, MO, United States 08-05-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    145
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    124
    89
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    "Disappointed"

    I am a Sara Paretsky fan and have been reading the V.I. series for a long time. I love the complex, believable characters Paretsky has developed for V.I.'s world and the situations Paretsky puts them in and VI gets herself out of.... usually.

    Not this time. The storyline had potential. V.I. fans all know and respect Lotty Herschel! But this is Lotty's "story" and it left SO much to be desired.

    1. The book needed an editor SO badly! It is just too long and meandering. We follow VI all over Chicago while she does silly things like let her cell battery die and not pursue obvious leads and discuss her various physical complaints at great length. We watch as myriad folks abuse her and take advantage... and she just goes along!
    2. Lotty becomes just mean and selfish while other characters behave abominably to VI... and, VI takes it with amazing patience... for no reason. She is like some great girly Milquetoast. "Please, abuse me some more!"
    3. Everything you love about V.I. is just abandoned in this book. She solves the mystery, but she's so annoying while she does it that you don't much care.
    4. The seriously pointless storyline about that spoiled, obnoxious 5-year-old Calia and her stupid stuffed dog will surely annoy any parent or grandparent of a "nice" kid. And the way Sandra Burr reads her is particularly off-putting. She sounds like a whiney 30-year-old.

    The reader did an OK job, although she tends to "overact."

    I am not put off the VI Warshawski series by this book, but if you haven't read any of these yet, this isn't the one to start with. And you really could skip it and not feel like you missed anything great.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results
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  • Colin
    CumbernauldUnited Kingdom
    1/2/09
    Overall
    "A Great Listen"

    I used to borrow all the VI Warshawski audiobooks from my local library. Those were read by Lorelei King who I think is a great narrator. Sandra Burr reads this well and keeps the pace quick. The great thing about Paretsky's work is that each book has a completely unique plot. Unlike some other crime/thriller authors it seems the only thing they change is the name of the killer and the title of the book. All the books give a vivid impression of Chicago seen through the eyes of a hard bitten female PI. Great.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    1/18/09
    Overall
    "A cracking read,,,or should I say listen!"

    A well narrated book, with a mix of historical fact, for those interested in the events of the holocaust, particularly from the perspective of the way lives were affected outside of the camps and in later life, as well as being a darn good detective story.
    To be recommended for a long car journey or in the gym!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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