Breakdown

A V. I. Warshawski Novel
Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
Series: V. I. Warshawski Novels, Book 15
Length: 14 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (189 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A strange crime gets V.I. Warshawski involved with some of Chicago’s most rich and powerful players in this thriller from New York Times bestselling author Sara Paretsky.

When a group of Chicago tweens holds a ritual in an abandoned cemetery, they stumble on an actual corpse - stabbed through the heart in a vampire-style slaying. V.I. Warshawski arrives on the scene to escort the girls home - but protecting them places her at the tangled center of the investigation. And the girls include daughters of some of Chicago’s most powerful families: the grandfather of one, Chaim Salanter, is among the world’s wealthiest men; the mother of another, Sophy Durango, is running for the United States Senate. 

For V.I., the questions multiply faster than the answers. Is the killing linked to a hostile media campaign against Durango - or to Salanter’s childhood in Nazi-occupied Lithuania? As V.I. struggles to find an answer, she finds herself fighting enemies who are no less terrifying for being all too human.

©2012 Sara Paretsky (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Another interesting story from Paretsky

Susan Ericksen did a good job narrating the story and giving just the right amount of the flip attitude of V. I. Warshawski. Paretsky gives us a bit of Chicago history and a descriptive view of the city. The use of young girls book club as the underpinnings of the story was interesting. Warshawski's having to research into Lithuanian history under the Nazi was interesting. Lots of suspense and nail-biting moments in the story that moves right along. I disagree with the prior reviewer as many books have either right or left wing politics in the stories and as long as it fits into the story line it is acceptable but if the politics over helms the story line I then object. Fans of Paretsky will enjoy this book as she still has her skill with a story.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Paretsky vision lives on

The mystery here is almost secondary to the development of possibilities. Although that can be awkward, these possibilities were sufficiently intriguing to keep me involved and to feel as though I did not waste my time. I felt particularly sad about the loss of Vi's friend. I wanted more stories about the two of them and more resolutions that would reflect her value in the lives she touched. As always, I had a bit of a hard time with the denoument. I wish Paretsky could wrap these stories up in other ways than what I now see is a standard trick for forcing self incrimination and resolution of the loose ends. Still, I always look forward to my next Paretsky book. I always appreciate the greatness of her scope.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it

Sarah Paretsky does not disappoint with this book. I will be listening to the next one soon.

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Great story line.

Story is fast moving and intricate. Holds your attention. Lots of twists and turns throughout the story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Political correctness...really?

As usual, Paretsky is an amazing story teller & keeps you on the edge of your seat with this mystery! But the great narration by Susan Ericksen, one of the all-time best readers, is what keeps you listening!! If it hadn't been for her, I might have stopped listening way back at the beginning when all the political issues of gays, immigration & the evils of wealth started! Political correctness...really??? I listen to have a break from all that! Even Paretsky's own characters don't fall into a group of all bad/hateful or all good/wonderful depending on their politics! The Tolerant are Not always accepting & it gets Very Old!!!

1 person found this helpful

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

Rich Detail but the Conclusion Left Me a Bit Flat

Would you listen to Breakdown again? Why?

Perhaps. There are a few points I'm sure I missed, but overall I've finished it and don't feel the need to re-"read" it.

Would you be willing to try another book from Sara Paretsky? Why or why not?

Of course. Entertaining as all Hell.

What about Susan Ericksen’s performance did you like?

In this one, she does a good job giving varying voice to the characters. Her reading is well modulated and transitions from one speaker to another, or one "scene" to another are good.

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

As is usually the case with these novels, the endings are poignant yet somehow uplifting. It leaves me wanting more (evidence by the fact I've listened to 15 of the 16 available).

Any additional comments?

I dinged the story a bit as I found the means used to expose the murderer a bit clumsy and over done. Other than that, the story flowed well and was entertaining enough

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Whaaaaaat

What made the experience of listening to Breakdown the most enjoyable?

Susan Ericksen is amazing. She really brings the characters to life! I loved this book. The suspense and action in this book fit well together. I was so nervous at the end of the book! The way Paretsky ties everything together and connects the different story lines is magnificent. I really enjoyed all the different characters in this one.

Which scene was your favorite?

The end is so good!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good, standard, V.I. story

Even if you are a bit quicker with the clues than V.I. seems to be in this story, it should please fans. As always, the characters are interesting and fun and the narration enjoyable. There are a few "over the top" sections, but the story holds together.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite VI Warshawski

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I have read all of the VI books up until this one. This is the first I have listened to. I did not enjoy the narration. The tone was just too one note strident with people constantly yelling at each other.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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Authors Political Views

Would you try another book from Sara Paretsky and/or Susan Ericksen?

NO-I have listened or read all of Sara Paretskys books. She went to far with her political beliefs. I was looking forward to another V.I. story but, her political rantings ruined the story for me. I feel cheated, if I had wanted to read a book about politics in Chicago this is not the author I would have chosen.

Would you ever listen to anything by Sara Paretsky again?

Sadly, never again. I would love to have my credit back. I would use it to be entertained not preached to.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Susan Ericksen?

No one

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Breakdown?

There are to many to list.

Any additional comments?

She is not the only author who has used their art work to try to influence their readers to their way of thinking. An author should do what they do best, write a good story, and stay out of the political ring.

3 people found this helpful