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Fire Sale

V. I. Warshawski, Book 13
Narrated by: Sandra Burr
Series: V. I. Warshawski, Book 12
Length: 14 hrs and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (92 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

V. I. Warshawski may have left her old South Chicago neighborhood, but she learns that she cannot escape it. When V. I. takes over coaching duties of the girls' basketball team at her former high school, she faces an ill-equipped, ragtag group of gangbangers, fundamentalists, and teenage moms, who inevitably draw the detective into their family woes.

Through young Josie Dorrado, V. I. meets the girl's mother, who voices her worries about sabotage in the little flag manufacturing plant where she works. The biggest employer on the South Side, discount-store behemoth By-Smart, pays even less, and Ms. Dorrado doesn't know how she'll support her four children if the flag plant shuts down.

The elder Dorrado's fears are realized when the plant explodes; V. I. is injured and the owner is killed. As V. I. begins to investigate, she finds herself confronting the Bysen family, who own the By-Smart company. Founder William "Buffalo Bill" Bysen, now in his eighties, has four sons who quarrel with each other and with him; the oldest, "Young Mr. William," is close to sixty and furious that his father doesn't cede more power to him. And then, there's "Billy the Kid," Young Mr. William's nineteen-year-old son, whose Christian idealism puts him on a collision course with his father, his grandfather, and the company as a whole.

When Billy runs away with Josie Dorrado, V. I. is squeezed between the needs of two very different families. As she tries to find the errant teenagers, and to track down a particularly cruel murderer, her own life is almost forfeit in the swamps that lie under the city of Chicago.

Catch all of our V. I. Warshawski titles.
©2005 Sara Paretsky (P)2005 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
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Mixed feelings

I love these stories, but I feel like they still have not found the right narrator. The earlier narrator was too pit bull like, making V.I. Less sympathetic than the text suggested. This one was good in many respects, but it was disconcerting to have our tough as nails detective read in a Hello Kitty voice.

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Another winning story

A PI series with a social conscience and an author who lets our heroine win some battles for justice.

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Recording staff should be fired

The whole book is presents in a sing song pattern which is disgusting. I'm not sure where it was the person who over saw the recording, the reader or just a total screwup, but they ruined a great story as I was annoy d during the day ntire story.

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Fire Sale Review

Would you consider the audio edition of Fire Sale to be better than the print version?

I have not read the book, so I cannot say.

Who was your favorite character and why?

V.I. is my fav; and the reason I purchased the novel.

How could the performance have been better?

Though I'm sure the reader did her best, (she also had to contend w/ the fact that Kathy Bates has also narrated Ms. Paretsky's V.I. books), I would recommend that she give V.I. back her "teeth". Her vocal personification of V.I.'s character is just too girly-girl to be believed. Also, it might be good for her to listen back to Jean Smart's rendition of this series' characters. I felt that the subtleties and nuances of the various accents was missing.

Any additional comments?

Offer more books in this series w/ Jean Smart as the narrator, if that is possible. :0)

0 of 2 people found this review helpful