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Body Work

A V. I. Warshawski Novel
Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
Series: V. I. Warshawski Novels, Book 14
Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins
4 out of 5 stars (234 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“Doctors take days off — why not PIs?” V.I. Warshawski demands. But when America’s hardest-working private eye goes clubbing, a stranger is shot and dies in her arms.

V.I. has been visiting Club Gouge, Chicago’s edgiest nightspot, where a woman known as the Body Artist turns her naked body into a canvas for the audience to paint on.

The show attracts all kinds of people, from a menacing off-duty cop to Ukrainian mobsters and Iraq war vets - and V.I.’s impetuous cousin, Petra. A tormented young painter shows up, too, and the intricate designs she creates on the Body Artist drive one of the vets into a violent rage.

When the painter is shot, the cops figure it’s an easy collar — PTSD vet goes off the rails, stalks then kills young woman. But the vet’s family hires V.I. to clear his name, and the detective uncovers a chain of ugly truths that stretches all the way from Iraq to Chicago’s South Side.

Crack another case with V. I. Warshawski.
©2010 Sara Paretsky (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Paretsky’s superb 14th novel featuring PI V.I. Warshawski (after Hardball) delves into Chicago’s avant-garde art scene.... Scenes with her aging neighbor and a new love interest give a much needed balance to the serious plot. This strong outing shows why the tough, fiercely independent, dog-loving private detective continues to survive." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    94
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Performance

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    28
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    15
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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

VI Grows Up

In this book, a soldier suffering from PTSD after three tours of duty in Iraq/Afghanistan, is accused of murder. VI is hired by the parents to clear him. What follows is highly entertaining, another well woven tale in the series. There's just enough wry humor to be satisfying.


What interested me most is VI's self-assessment. She's 50ish, no longer young, a point driven home by almost every other character. She's questioning her vocation as a private investigator, and asking what she has to show for her life. If there's another book in the series, it will be interesting to see if it's the last, and if so, how VI retires.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 10-30-10

Body Work

Paretsky has done a good job with her new book. Susan Ericksen was great reading the story. I think she did better job than the other narrator of prior books. The idea of body art was interesting and different. Always enjoy the description of Chicago. Feels like I just took a trip there for a visit. Paretsky always has a fast pace with lots of action. Appreciated the comment about wishing that she had Abbie P. from NCIS to help her track a cell phone. But did feel there was a few times in the book she repeated her self. Can not wait for the next book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Back to top form

I have always loved the VI Warshawski books, but there were a couple that seemed not to be up to Paretsky's standard. This one, however - loved it! The narrator is excellent, as well. Can't wait for the next one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible

I have listened to several of VI Warshawski novels and enjoyed them. I looked forward to listening to her latest novel but this was so bad I didn't even finish it. The storyline and narator were equally bad. Read the reviews and don't waste your money.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Cheryl
  • Long Beach, CA, United States
  • 10-19-10

Sad for Sara

Well, I hate to say it, but Sara Paretsky has really lost her touch. It's been a long time since I've read a V. I. Warshawski, and I wish I had passed this one up. I don't know if would have been any better if I'd read it instead of listening to it. The story line was a good idea, but it just seems like it was tritely done. Practically everyone in the story was mean, argumentative, pissy, and any other adjective you can think of. Wow, even Vic's best friends and relatives were mean and argumentative. Really disappointed, wish I hadn't wasted one of my monthly credits. Sad.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Implausible yet entertaining

The plot is rather convoluted and the cast of characters so large as to be hard to keep track of all their names and roles in the story. Still a socially and politically interesting and fast paced tale.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A bit slow and predictable

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Faster pace, less whining by the female characters, and less predictable.

Any additional comments?

Paretsky has done far better work. I'd skip this one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of her most complex and best

Intriguing stories come together and lead VI to unravel a most distressing tale. As always, the narrator makes it easy to distinguish across the diverse array of characters with well rendered tones and accents for both male and female voices. Two thumbs up!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • Santa Cruz, US, Canada
  • 08-16-12

loved the characters, loved VI, loved Petra,

What did you love best about Body Work?

Again Paretsky weaves the real world events into her book skillfully enough that we are captivated. The characters are believable and the performance extremely strong. Most of all, I like VI and all her introspection, her honesty, her growth as a human.

What other book might you compare Body Work to and why?

Hard Time had the same strengths, though perhaps not quite as buffed and polished. Paretsky gets better and better at making all of her strengths work together. This was a gem.

What does Susan Ericksen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The personalities came through, particularly the Body Artist and Olympia. Chad is as real as it gets, and I appreciated his parents' story as well.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Ali's diary

Any additional comments?

Just the usual. I want more!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • BRENDA
  • MESQUITE, TEXAS, United States
  • 08-13-12

Very Imaginative Narrrative

Would you listen to Body Work again? Why?

I have already listened to it twice to make sure I caught everything that happened.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes, it was a very complicated plot--I back tracted several times to keep on top of things.

Which character – as performed by Susan Ericksen – was your favorite?

I like the way the main character V. I. Warsharski grow older as the years go by. Since she and I are close to the same age, I can really empathize with the descriptions. She is always my favorite character.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I especially enjoyed the relationship between V. I. and her "pesky" little niece. It was always gratifying when her niece would admit that V.I. was right about some things.

Any additional comments?

I am getting a little tired of books using their plots based around homosexuality to teach all of us the correct way to be. Personally I don't think a person's sexuality is anyone's business and doesn't need to be constantly discussed. People are who they are and their sexuality is only one aspect of a much larger whole.